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The Language of War

A Poem by:

Michael Hillmer

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Copyright shall at all times remain vested in the Author. No part of the work shall be used, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the Author's express written consent.

In a Pentagon document "bullets" are referred to as being "kinetic energy penetrators" ... "combat" is referred to as "violence processing."

Doublespeak is language that only pretends to say something. It's language that hides, evades, or misleads ... words are used not to extend thought but to limit it ... it is language that makes the bad seem good ... the U.S. Army doesn't "kill" anyone, they just "service the target" ... it wasn't an "invasion," it was a "predawn vertical insertion" ... "soft targets" are cities ... actions start happening to fulfil the words that have been spoken.

William D. Lutz
Professor of English Rutgers University
Author of: Doublespeak Defined


These are different hours

That turn our mind, send it

Down the dead-end alley

Littered with past follies

Draped in flags

With words that transcend or deceive

The very bones of definition, feed inward on themselves

Their fog hovering, descends

As if sheltering some hidden compulsion

The age was not ready to see



Trace their lineage back far enough

On the walls of caves

Is fallen blood

A tri-color blur

Red white and blue.


Michael Hillmer
Copyright ©February 2003

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