Friday, January 26, 2007

Oxymoron of the Day

Dafna Linzer of the Washington Post writes "for three years, the Iranians have operated an embedding program there, offering operational training, intelligence and weaponry to several Shiite militias connected to the Iraqi government, to the insurgency and to the violence against Sunni factions."

This implies the existence of at least one "Shiite Militia[] connected to ... the insurgency." This only makes sense if "the insurgency" includes both sides of the Iraqi civil war.

Traditionally, "the insurgency" refers to Sunni arabs fighting coalition troops. There is debate over to what extent the insurgents are Sunni Jihadis, Sunni sectarians or neo-Ba'athist secularists with Sunni religious backgrounds.

I consider "Shiite Militia[] connected to ... the insurgency." to be on the order of "secular al Qaeda" in oxymoronicity.

This one is not a slip. The Bush administration is very eager to suggest that Iran supported Iraqi militias are killing US soldiers. They don't quite lie, but they deliberately use the vaguencess of "insurgency" to lump deadly enemies together.

Linzer is basically demonstrating that Bush has gone completely insane (see post below). She attempts to make up for that unforgivable act of actual journalism by abusing the language in a Bush administration supported manner.

She makes the dangerous madness of Bush clear, so I shouldn't be picky.

Tinfoil hat update:

I am looking at the context of the oxymoron

said.

But, for three years, the Iranians have operated an embedding program there, offering operational training, intelligence and weaponry to several Shiite militias connected to the Iraqi government, to the insurgency and to the violence against Sunni factions. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the director of the CIA, told the Senate recently


I worried that I had incorrectly ascribed to Linzer deceptive phrasing of an un named source. I did not do so, the oxymoron was written not quoted by Linzer.

Now, however, I wonder. Is it possible that there is a level of off the record background beyond "quote indirectly and not for attribution" such as "write what I dictate without presenting it as a quote." I can't avoid the paranoid fantasy that Hayden agreed to talk to Linzer off the record only if she presented "Shiite Militia[] connected to ... the insurgency." as her own writing and not as his dictation.

No serious reporter at a serious newspaper would do such a thing. Right. Right ?

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