George Orwell, the author of 1984 and Animal Farm, wrote that “political speech is largely the defense of the indefensible and consists of euphemisms, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.” Newspeak was the official language of 1984. It was designed, “to diminish the range of thought.” Today, the media saturate us with terms that would have made Orwell wince. The lexical minefield is littered with collateral damage, detainees, unlawful combatants and terrorism. Saudi Arabia, one of the most repressive countries in the world, is described as moderate.
Norman Solomon is a political commentator and media critic. The National Council of Teachers of English honored him with the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language. He is director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and co-founder of Roots Action, an online activist group. He is the author of many books including Target Iraq, War Made Easy and Made Love, Got War.