words and Weapons

Ali Sultani aasultani at YAHOO.COM
Fri Feb 10 22:48:23 UTC 2006

Words and weapons
  Words are weapons. If you have the power to mean them, you can kill “others”, occupy their lands, and run the world. The poor words take the meanings we give them. “Democracy”, “human rights”, and “freedom” are all empty, void of any true content, but when you have the power to fill them with your own meanings, then, you are the better human beings who can spread your democratic values throughout the underdeveloped world, the developing world, the third world, worlds of the bad peoples. If you can mean the words, you may have all the human rights because “others” are not even human to have their own rights or if they deserve any rights, they deserve the rights you determine for them. And, if you can mean the words, you have all the freedom, even the freedom to kill “others”. We and our words got lost amongst the anarchy of meaninglessness. Democracy against democracy, human rights against human rights, and freedom against freedom.
  If the US and the West couldn’t mean “democracy” in their own way, could they kill thousands of people in Afghanistan and Iraq to democratize the Middle East? One cannot defend Saddam or Ben Laden, but who is responsible for all those who were killed and injured in Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of democratization? (I guess words!) The confusion of fighting against others for the same others is possible only if you have the power to manipulate meanings.
  One who can mean “human rights” can kill thousands in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in a split second and, still, deny the others, by means of NPT, the right to have even the peaceful nuclear technology. If “rights” had just one meaning, Israel and could not have nuclear bombs, while others are paying a lot for peaceful nuclear research.
  Freedom of speech is the freedom to hurt the feelings of millions of people, because you have the power which runs the media. Through your global media institutions you can mean freedom in a way that allows you to publish the offensive cartoons of Mohammad who is the leader of more than one-fifth of the world population. But, when it comes to Holocaust cartoons, it is against the freedom of speech because it may hurt the feelings of a very small portion of the world population who own most of the world media.
  All these contrasting uses of words by means of which international powers dominate and exploit masses of people and thereby degrade humanity show how critical is our duty as discourse analysts.
  Ali A. Sultani,
  Baqir al-Olum Higher Education Institute,
  Qom, Iran.

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