My Mideast Punchlines: Newspeak, a.k.a. bullsh**t

Iran supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds force should be viewed as a “humanitarian organisation with human values,” while delivering the morning prayer sermon on Friday.

In the sermon Khamenei was expected to throw his support behind the elite Revolutionary Guards after their belated admission that they had downed an airliner in error sparked days of rage on the streets.

biffI am reminded of George Orwell’s Newspeak in 1984. Don’t be surprised if the mad mullahs create a dystopian “Minipax (Ministry of Peace, i.e. Ministry of War).” This, Orwell explains, is similar to “the characteristic features of political language… in totalitarian countries” of the early 20th century. Make that early 21st century.

Newspeak isn’t just a set of buzzwords, but the deliberate replacement of one set of words in the language for another. The transition is still in progress in the fictional 1984, but is expected to be completed “by about the year 2050.” We can’t wait that long. The regime is struggling now more than ever, and Ayatollah Khamanei should remember the Iranian proverb, when misfortune moves over you, even jelly will break your teeth. Opposition to the regime is mounting, so he should also remember that you can close the city gates, but you can’t close the people’s mouths. Are we witnessing the beginning of the endgame? I sincerely hope so.

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