Nick Page

Assymetric language

As a writer, I’m always interested in the inventive use of language, and no-one is better at this that the US military. These are the people who brought you ‘friendly fire’ (i.e. being killed by people on your side) and ‘collateral damage’ (i.e. all those civilians who are silly enough to get in the way of missiles). And now we have the news of three suicides in Guantanamo — only they’re not suicides — according to Rear-Admiral Harry Harris, they were ‘an act of asymmetric warfare committed against us’. So we’re the victims then, rather than them. I see. Thanks for clearing that up.