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Thursday, July 26, 2007


Asymmetric warfare, asymmetric language

Why is it you would never see the words "asymmetric warfare" used in an article like this:
A Palestinian militant group says three of its men have been killed in an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip.
No, "asymmetric warfare" only seems to be mentioned when the weapon is an IED or a suicide belt. Mathematically, asymmetry cuts both ways. When discussing the asymmetry of the letter "G", for example, the left half (or the top half) is just as much part of the asymmetry as the right half (or the bottom half).

In politics, though, it doesn't work that way. The ones with the real power are the "normal" ones; it's the ones fighting back with slingshots, or their bodies, or some lesser weapon that are always the ones engaging in "asymmetric warfare." Funny, that.

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