In a recent article, I made the case for the deliberate corruption of English to serve a political motive. On Monday July 14, 2014 White House press secretary Josh Earnest stepped further down this dubious road inventing a completely new phrase about Obama Administration's foreign policy ... I want some of what he is smoking.
Newspeak was the official language of Oceania and had been devised to meet the ideological needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism. In the year 1984 there was not as yet anyone who used Newspeak as his sole means of communication, either in speech or writing. The leading articles in the Times were written in it, but this was a tour de force which could only be carried out by a specialist. It was expected that Newspeak would have finally superseded Oldspeak (or Standard English, as we should call it) by about the year 2050. Meanwhile it gained ground steadily, all Party members tending to use Newspeak words and grammatical constructions more and more in their everyday speech. The version in use in 1984, and embodied in the Ninth and Tenth Editions of the Newspeak Dictionary, was a provisional one, and contained many superfluous words and archaic formations which were due to be suppressed later. It is with the final, perfected version, as embodied in the Eleventh Edition of the Dictionary, that we are concerned here.
The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought — that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc — should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever. To give a single example. The word free still existed in Newspeak, but it could only be used in such statements as ‘This dog is free from lice’ or ‘This field is free from weeds’. It could not be used in its old sense of ‘politically free’ or ‘intellectually free’ since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed even as concepts, and were therefore of necessity nameless. Quite apart from the suppression of definitely heretical words, reduction of vocabulary was regarded as an end in itself, and no word that could be dispensed with was allowed to survive. Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum.
Newspeak was founded on the English language as we now know it, though many Newspeak sentences, even when not containing newly-created words, would be barely intelligible to an English-speaker of our own day. Newspeak words were divided into three distinct classes, known as the A vocabulary, the B vocabulary (also called compound words), and the C vocabulary. It will be simpler to discuss each class separately, but the grammatical peculiarities of the language can be dealt with in the section devoted to the A vocabulary, since the same rules held good for all three categories.
George Orwell, 1984
"The Principles of Newspeak,"
More than one reporter during Monday’s press briefing referred to a front-page Wall Street Journal article highlighting some of those crises, and citing security strategists as saying “the breadth of global instability now unfolding hasn’t been seen since the late 1970s.”
“How does the White House react to the notion that the president is a bystander to all these crises?” asked Fox News’ Ed Henry, citing the widening gaps between the sides in the Iranian nuclear talks, the conflict in and around Gaza, and the Syrian civil war.
“I think that there have been a number of situations in which you’ve seen this administration intervene in a meaningful way, that has substantially furthered American interests and substantially improved the, uh, you know, the – the tranquility of the global community,” Earnest replied.
... ABC News’ Jon Karl quoted Attorney General Eric Holder’s assessment in an interview aired Sunday that the terrorist potential arising from Westerners returning home after fighting in Syria was “more frightening than anything I think I’ve seen as attorney general.”
Karl then pointed to “what’s looking like an all-out war” between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Sunni jihadist successes in “taking over vast territory in Iraq and in Syria,” Russian aggression in Ukraine, and concerns about Chinese handling of territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
“It doesn’t seem like a time to be touting tranquility on the international scene,” he told Earnest. “Do you think the president’s foreign policy bears any responsibility for any of this, or is there anything he can do about any of this?”
Earnest said President Obama’s thinking about foreign policy was guided by one core principle – “the national security interests of the United States of America.”
IN his recent piece writing for The Washington Post Dana Milbank also citing the Wall Street Journal piece wonders:
The Journal’s catalogue of woes — civil wars in Iraq and Syria, hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians, an electoral crisis in Afghanistan, tension with Russia over Ukraine, floundering nuclear negotiations with Iran and renewed Chinese expansionism — didn’t include the current crisis on the United States’ Southern border.
Could things get any worse? Well, maybe if the president’s chief spokesman claimed that Obama was bringing “tranquility” to the globe — which is what White House press secretary Josh Earnest did at his daily briefing Monday afternoon.
Fox News’s Ed Henry, citing the Journal report, asked for a reaction to “the notion that the president is a bystander in all these crises.”
... Earnest, mentioning the disposal of Syria’s chemical weapons, Secretary of State John Kerry’s mediation of Afghanistan’s electoral dispute and progress in recent negotiations with China, argued that “there have been a number of situations in which you’ve seen this administration intervene in a meaningful way that has . . . substantially improved the — you know, the tranquility of the — of the global community.”
Tranquility? Where, in Iceland?
Mike Miller writing for Independent Journal Review takes it a step further with the following list:
- Obama Draws Red Line On Syrian Use Of Chemical Weapons; Does Nothing When Assad Gases His Own People
- Russia Annexes Crimea; Obama Slaps Sanctions On Putin’s Pals
- U.S. Border Out of Control As Thousands Pour Into Country; Obama Asks For Billions To House Them
- North Korea Tests Nuclear Weapon, Rockets; Responds To Obama’s Threats By Calling Him Names
- Obama Unilaterally Lifts Sanctions On Iran; Mullahs Continue Pursuit Of Nuclear Weapons
- Terrorists ‘On The Run’ In Libya Kill U.S. Ambassador, Three Other Americans In Benghazi
- Obama Suspends U.S. Aid To Egypt After Ouster Of Muslim Brotherhood; Russia Now Supplying Military Hardware To Egypt
- Obama Releases ‘Taliban-5′ Dream Team In Exchange For Army Deserter Bowe Bergdahl
- Germany Expels Top U.S. Intel Official Over NSA Spying Scandal
- Obama’s Abrupt Withdrawal From Iraq Leads To Rise Of Muslim Extremism, Creation Of Islamic State
Tranquility must have taken on a completely NEW meaning while I slept this past weekend.