14 February 2008

The words we choose

There is little doubt that Imad Mougnieh, murdered by a car bomb in Damascus yesterday, was not a good man or an upstanding human being but to suggest, as US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack has, that Mougnieh has been "brought to justice", tells us that Mr. McCormack, and his supervisors need to spend some time curled up with an English dictionary. Let us review the various definitions of justice to see if we can determine which of these finds appropriate for an act of murder, shall we?
  1. "the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments b: judge c: the administration of law; especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity" - clearly this is a NO
  2. "the quality of being just, impartial, or fair b (1): the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action (2): conformity to this principle or ideal : righteousness c: the quality of conforming to law" - once again a big NO
  3. "conformity to truth, fact, or reason" - probably NO (although it is clear that Mr. McCormack and his superiors are absolutely convinced of their own rightness)

Whatever may be said about the end of Mougnieh, (murder, terrorism, retribution, vengeance), it was not an act of justice.

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