Acronyms and Assholes
So, I see the photo insert in the news feed and had to re educate myself on why some refer to those who, as the last real President, Barack Obama put it, “have perverted and distorted and tried to claim the mantle of Islam,” as either ISIL, ISIS or Daesh.
– From Zeba Khan, writing for CNN: “Daesh is the Arabic acronym for ISIL. It spells out word for word in Arabic what ISIL spells out in English. But the term Daesh doesn’t carry the same meaning in an Arabic-speaking context as ISIL does in an English-speaking context. In fact, it has the exact opposite effect than the terrorists want.
Acronyms are not common in Arabic as they are in English, so an Arabic acronym as a concept comes off as a weird invention — something that is made up and not real. The acronym can also be seen as a play on words given it is just one letter away from the Arabic word ‘daes’ meaning something or someone who crushes or tramples.
So where the idea behind the names ISIS, ISIL, and the Islamic State is to evoke power and authentic religious authority, Daesh as a name undermines those goals in the ears of native Arabic speakers. Muslim satirists in the region have taken advantage of that fact, and are using the term as part of subversive comedic critiques of the militants.
Daesh may technically just be the Arabic acronym for ISIL, but it is a name that actively undercuts the power these militants wish to convey to native speakers. And because each letter represents an Arabic word, it weakens the terrorists’ ability to convey the narrative they want to non-Arabic-speaking audiences as well.”
So, now onto a phrase for which there is no acronym: civilian casualties.
After U.S.-backed Syrian forces on Friday declared “total liberation” of Raqqa, Trump’s been thumping his draft dodging chest and claimed his administration has made, alongside US coalition partners, “more progress against these evil terrorists in the past several months than in the past several years.” But UN war crimes investigators said last week that there had been a “staggering loss of civilian life” in Raqqa and Syrian activists say between 1,130 and 1,873 civilians were killed and that many of the civilian casualties were the result of the intense US-led air strikes.
And now even Russia, a country that finds the Geneva Conventions cumbersome and itself accused of committing war crimes for its bombardment of Aleppo last year, has accused the US-led coalition of bombing the Syrian city of Raqqa “off the face of the earth” during the fight against the so-called Islamic State.Raqqa air strike for blog
– From The Hill: A spokesman for the Defense Ministry said in a statement only 45,000 people are left in Raqqa, out of the 200,000 that previously lived there, Reuters reported.
“Raqqa has inherited the fate of Dresden in 1945, wiped off the face of the earth by Anglo-American bombardments,” Major-General Igor Konashenkov said. … “There’s only one explanation – the desire to cover up evidence of the barbaric bombardments by the U.S. air force and the coalition as fast as possible and to bury the thousands of civilians ‘liberated’ from Islamic State in the ruins,” he said.
Trump probably looks at Konashenkov’s comment as complementary, as he’s the kind of deplorable dickwad that retweets a paraphrasing of his words as a quote.
He’s really quite the asshole.