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Citations Needed

Mar 20, 2019

Barack Obama unleashes "kinetic strikes” on Libya, Hillary Clinton lobbies for "limited military coercion" in Syria, Congress passes “robust sanctions” on Iran, and Trump gives “US generals more room to run” as he “ramps up” “pressure” on ISIS. The Center for American Progress calls for a “no fly zone” to “protect civilians.” It’s important the US “engage” in the Middle East as it “reasserts itself” on “the world stage,” and backs up “diplomacy” with “military muscle.” While Russia "expands" its naval and nuclear capacity the US merely “modernizes” its fleet or stockpile. “All options are on the table” when discussing Venezuela and Iran.
So much of how we discuss US militarism and imperialism is laundered through seemingly anodyne phrases, rhetorical thingamajigs that vaguely gesture towards an idea without drawing up unseemly images of what’s really being called for.
In this two-part episode, we examine what’s being said, what’s being left out when we use “foreign policy-speak,” and how writers can avoid these lazy euphemisms, and instead make a concerted effort to objectively describe the policy being advocated for rather than relying on well-worn thought-terminating cliches that are designed to do all of our thinking for us.
Our guest is FAIR's Janine Jackson.