Death Squads

by Clifford D. May

Many of you will remember this superb piece written by the late Steven Vincent for NRO in which he argues:

[W]ords matter. Terms like “paramilitaries,” “death squads,” and “fascists” clarify the nature of our enemy and underscore a fundamental point that the American media has inexcusably ignored: it is the Iraqi people who are under attack. They are the victims, their future is threatened, they are bleeding from wounds inflicted by pan-Arab Baathists and pan-Islamic jihadists. By calling these neo-fascists the “Resistance” the media reverses the relationship of assailant and defender and renders a terrible disservice to the millions of Iraqis who oppose, in ways large and small, these totalitarian forces.

So I was initially encouraged when I saw the Washington Post’s lede editorial today: “Iraq’s Death Squads.”

But no, the Post’s editorialists are not taking a tougher stance toward the “armed men,” or the “militants” or the “insurgents.” (I don’t think the Post has ever gone so far as to call them the “Resistance,” as do so many leftists and Europeans).

Instead, the Post’s editorialists have apparently reserved the term “death squads” for “U.S.-trained government police forces.”

I’m not defending those forces if they are murdering people. But why can’t “death squads” be applied equally by the MSM to those who murder school teachers and job applicants and, yes, policemen? Why only when there is a link to the U.S. government?