For a look at the banality of words in the analysis of war, see this erudite guest post, via the blog, Jewcy. The piece was written by translator/blogger Haim Watzman, who obviously was inspired by a perennial feature in the New Yorker magazine.
Q: Why Magnus Arbuthnot! How unexpected to see you in South Jerusalem! What brings you here?
A: I have been sent by a respected and impartial NGO to investigate the carnage inflicted by Israel in the Gaza Strip.
Q: Which NGO would that be?
A: An NGO that uses an ostensible human-rights agenda as camouflage for an anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic program.
Q: So you’ve been south. What did you see there?
A: Collateral damage.
Q: Collateral to what?
A: To Israel’s right to defend itself.
Q: And what else?
A: To courageous Palestinian resistance against Zionist imperialism.
Q: What targets were hit?
A: Homes, schools, hospitals, military installations, and firing positions.
Q: How do you tell one from the other?
A: If you are Palestinian, you don’t bother.
Q: And if you are Israeli?
A: You shoot anyway.
Q: Could you be more specific? If you are a Hamas guerilla fighter, what is a legitimate military target?
A: Every outpost of Zionist imperialism.
Q: And what is an illegitimate civilian target?
A: Come again?
Q: The Israelis bombed homes and schools containing non-combatant men, women, and children.
A: They were being used as firing positions and endangering Israeli forces.
Q: How were they being used?
Q: And what the hundreds of deaths this caused?
A: They were tragic.
Q: What about the tunnels from the Gaza Strip to Egypt that Israel bombed?
A: They were lifelines for a besieged civilian population.
Q: Didn’t Hamas use them to smuggle rockets and other weapons?
A: Of course, the tunnels were a threat to Israeli security.
Q: Now that you’ve been to Gaza, what do you think of Hamas?
A: Hamas is fanatical Islamic movement sponsored by Iran that seeks Israel’s destruction.
Q: So Israel has a right to be concerned.
A: No, because Hamas is the national resistance movement of an oppressed people.
Q: And what do you think of us Israelis?
A: You are brave and determined.
Q: So you like us?
A: I suppose. Of course, you are the descendants of apes and pigs.
Q: Why did Israel invade?
A: It was provoked.
Q: And why did Hamas bombard Israel’s southern cities?
A: It was provoked.
Q: Couldn’t they have responded differently?
A: No, because the other side understands only force.
Q: What did Israel achieve?
A: All its goals.
Q: And what did Israel fail to do?
A: Finish the job.
Q: When will Hamas stop attacking Israel?
A: When it destroys the Zionist entity and liberates the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Q: And what did it inflict on Israel in this engagement?
A: A decisive loss.
Q: And what has Israel regained?
A: Its deterrence.
Q: What was the outcome of the war?
A: A cease-fire.
Q: What was the immediate cause?
A: The end of a cease-fire.
Q: Hey, where are you going?
A: Back home to a place where clichés don’t kill so many people.