The inestimable Richard Fernandez today, expanding on the Confucian theme that the first task of governing is to rectify names:
Defeat begins in the mind. It starts in the way we think; or rather when we don’t: when it is no longer possible to call things by the right names. When the enemy becomes a “militant” and pirates become “raiders”. It continues when car bombs become romantically characterized as the “poor man’s F-16″. The end nears when mass murderers can don the mantle of victims who “progressive” lawyers hasten to defend; and indeed demand compensation for. Finally it reaches the stage when political organizations sworn to the destruction of everything become, through some alchemic passage of the Nobel Prize magic wand, esteemed “partners for peace”. The farcical part of the any catastrophe often lies in what people are urged to want; the tragic part occurs when they get it.