Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Case of Terminology

Trey Smith

Over the past decade or so, the acronym IED (Improvised Explosive Device) has entered the American lexicon. It seems that whenever a US or allied soldier is killed or maimed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan or some other country in the Middle East by a roadside bomb, our elected leaders and the mainstream press are sure to tell us that the culprit was an IED.

What I find peculiar is that the devices that caused the explosions at Sunday's Boston Marathon have almost uniformly been referred to as bombs, not IEDs. This is strange to me because authorities have gone out of their way to state that these devices appear to be homemade and of a crude design lacking high level explosives. Isn't that the very definition of an improvised explosive device?

Of course, there is one rationale for this difference in terminology: location. IEDs are used in foreign lands by forces trying to do in our heroic soldiers. Bombs, on the other hand, are the work of evil groups or an individual bent on harming American citizens. IEDs are meant to sanitize war by way of utilizing a less emotive term. When you are not gripped by raw emotion, you won't spend as much time questioning the whys of our many ongoing wars.

Since our national police state needs fear to stoke its fire, calling a bomb an IED just won't do. You actually want people to react with raw emotion. If the national fear level is palpable, it makes it that much easier to take away more basic freedoms under the guise of protection. People will be so scared that they will hand over their freedoms without much prodding.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want.