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February 08, 2006

Great Moments In Non-Standard Usage

From an article in the Times of London:

Iran has threatened to defend itself if attacked.

I didn't realize a country could "threaten" to defend itself. I thought the threatening was done beforehand by the attackers, and it was pretty much taken for granted that the attacked would defend themselves.

Posted at February 8, 2006 10:35 PM | TrackBack

Whenever the people I attack refuse to accept freedom, I feel threatened.

Posted by: George Bush,jr at February 9, 2006 12:31 AM

Freedom's just another word for no one left to attack.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at February 9, 2006 12:33 AM

Chomsky's covered this at some length:

A quote: 'It was also understood throughout that the aging MiGs that Nicaragua was accused of trying to sneak into its territory could have only one purpose: to protect Nicaraguan airspace from the CIA supply flights that were required to keep the U.S. proxy forces in the field and the regular surveillance flights that provide them with up-to-the-minute information on the disposition of Nicaraguan troops, so that they can safely attack civilian targets in accordance with their instructions and training. Understood, but scarcely mentioned. A search of the liberal Boston Globe, perhaps the least antagonistic to the Sandinistas among major U.S. journals, revealed one editorial reference to the fact that Nicaragua needs air power "to repel attacks by the CIA-run contras, and to stop or deter supply flights" (Nov. 9, 1986). Again, the conclusion is clear and unmistakeable: no one has the right of self-defense against U.S. attack.'

Posted by: John Caruso at February 9, 2006 12:58 AM

Blame the French.
Goes back to 1940: "France threatened to surrender if attacked."
Confusion ever since then, as manifested in French critical theory. Words don't mean what they mean. Really.

Posted by: donescobar at February 9, 2006 09:08 AM

Did they change the article? Currently reads: "Tehran scoffs at threats by the West, has pledged to press on with its nuclear progamme and defend itself if attacked."

Posted by: AP at February 10, 2006 11:53 AM

never mind. helps to read the whole thing.

Posted by: AP at February 10, 2006 11:54 AM

"...57 per cent of Americans favoured military intervention to stop Iran building a bomb." So how many favor enlisting in the military to participate in the intervention?

Posted by: coal_train at February 12, 2006 05:39 PM