Oct 27 2013
By Fatih Abdulsalam
Azzaman, October 27, 2013
Iraq’s lexicon of violence is expanding with scores of new entries representing absence of law and order.
Lexically, the Iraqi discourse typically represents the state of countrywide violence. And lexically too, the Iraqi discourse typically represents a social reality in which there is no room for terms referring to peace and quiet.
The list of discursive representation of violence is growing. Some terms may not be found in other countries’ discourses when talking or writing about violence and rampant corruption.
Here are a few examples:
Forced emigration, forced displacement, killing on identity, storming a city, the Green Zone, incubators of violence, liquidation of journalists, high-ranking officials with forged degrees, files of corruption, incomplete projects, fictional projects, cancelled projects, a terrorist member of parliament, Baghdad Operations, the flight of a minister, the flight of a vice-president, etc.
These are but a few examples. However, they have invaded the political discourse in the country for more than a decade.
The problem is these terms typically represent the social reality out there in the country. And the bigger problem is that they have not antonyms and if they exist their opposite discursive representations have come to have no meaning at all.
There are some positive terms but they are shallow and have lost their meanings and effectiveness.
For instance, the word democracy has no wings in the face of the horrific scene of innocent blood that is being shed in the country.
With almost 1,000 people killed and more than 2,000 wounded in September alone as a result of car and suicide bombings, any benign discourse will become obsolete.
Democracy has developed a special meaning for itself in Iraq that is different from how other countries interpret it.
Democracy in Iraq means hegemony and domination of the executive branch of government over the other two branches, namely the legislative and judicial systems.
If you win through the ballot in Iraq, it means you have the right to rule through the gun and the bullet. It means you have the right to undermine all laws, legislations and regulations including the constitution.
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