Intense Irony

December 12, 2009

One really mind-boggling particular nowadays is the continual use of hypocritical-irony; creating a two-faced lie through the clenched-teeth of a smile.

Verbal irony is distinguished from situational irony and dramatic irony in that it is produced intentionally by speakers.
For instance, if a speaker exclaims, “I’m not upset!” but reveals an upset emotional state through their voice while truly trying to claim they’re not upset, it would not be verbal irony by virtue of its verbal manifestation (it would, however, be situational irony).
But if the same speaker said the same words and intended to communicate that they were upset by claiming they were not, the utterance would be verbal irony.
This distinction gets at an important aspect of verbal irony: speakers communicate implied propositions that are intentionally contradictory to the propositions contained in the words themselves.
There are examples of verbal irony that do not rely on saying the opposite of what one means, and there are cases where all the traditional criteria of irony exist and the utterance is not ironic.

We’re living and walking around in an age of horrifying and catastrophic irony.

A terrible case in point: Nimble-minded George Jr. arrogantly blubbered to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 20, 2001:

Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there.
It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.

And the irony of it all:

Americans are asking “Why do they hate us?”
They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

(Illustration found here).

The then-spawned The Global War on Terror coupled with the creation of the huge, bungling Department of Homeland Security reproduced what it supposedly sought to eradicate — an example would best be described in the old reflective-adage of pouring JP4 jet fuel on a small, charcoal brazier in order to smother the fire.

This morning from Al Jazeera English:

Extremists held in a US-run detention centre in Iraq were allowed to teach fellow detainees how to use explosives and become suicide bombers, a former inmate has told Al Jazeera.
Adel Jasim Mohammed, a former detainee of Camp Bucca near Umm Qasr, said that US officials did nothing to stop radicals from indoctrinating young detainees at the camp.
“Extremists had freedom to educate the young detainees. I saw them giving courses using classroom boards on how to use explosives, weapons and how to become suicide bombers,” Mohammed said.
“For the Americans we felt it was normal. They did not stop them [the radicals].”
Adel, who was held for four years without charge at Camp Bucca, said that extremists were allowed to speak freely to fellow inmates.
“In 2005, an extremist was sent to our camp. At first, Sunnis and Shias rejected his teachings. But we were told that he was imposed by the prison authority,” he said.
“He stayed for a week and recruited 25 of the 34 detainees – they became extremists like him.”

And those five young, naive Americans arrested last week week in Pakistan has created a good scare about homegrown jihad, and the fabled wide, wide world-war on terror has doubled back on itself, feeding off its own entrails, as it were, to make matters far, far worse.
Those lost souls from Virginia were nabbed only after one of the guys’ daddy, Khalid Farooq, called authorities — and after his son and the others were arrested, and just to be on the safe-terror side: Police said they’d also detained Khalid Farooq as a precautionary measure.
One never knows the mystery of jihad.
Read a good view on the mythology of the US-led terror war here.

And this past week, the current US president, Barack Obama, reached far into the cosmic-ironic heavens to pluck a few words to whitewash the total-irony of  being both a Nobel peace-prize winner and a war escalator.

(Illustration found here).

Although Obama claimed he was “most surprised and deeply humbled” by the Nobel prize in October, he popped some hawkish-spin into the peace mix last week in Oslo, Norway:

We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations — acting individually or in concert — will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.

But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their (Gandhi and King) examples alone.
I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people.
For make no mistake: evil does exist in the world.
A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies.
Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms.
To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism — it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

But what about change?
And what about reality vs bullshit?

A situation stated best via a letter to the editor, published Friday in the New York Times: The Nobel Peace Prize only underscores the irony and sadness of President Obama’s Afghanistan policy. On that memorable night a year ago, in Grant Park in Chicago, before an impressed and stunned nation and world, Mr. Obama promised that change would come to America.

Obama, therefore, has produced verbal irony using both the situational and dramatic ironies — Pain is just weakness leaving the body!

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