MoonDawg's Den: Politically Correct Correction

MoonDawg's Den

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Politically Correct Correction

Since part of my job is providing destination intelligence to my firm's customers, I'm on the State Department's mailing list for travel advisories. At 11:58am today I received a Travel Warning for Israel. Note the second sentence (emphasis mine):

This Travel Warning is being issued to update information on the general security environment in Israel, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and to reiterate threats to American citizens and U.S. interests in those respective locations. Terrorist aggression from Lebanon and numerous rocket attacks into Israel have resulted in fatalities and injuries to civilians. This is a volatile and extremely dangerous situation. In addition to this, the conduct of the Palestinian Authority government led by Hamas and actions such as the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Hamas have caused increased instability in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Then at 12:29pm I see in my inbox a "Corrected" version of the same Travel Warning from the State Department. Later today I wondered just what the "correction" was. Was a telephone number for the US Embassy listed incorrectly? Was the web link for online travel registration bad?

Nope, it seems that the initial verbiage was just too politically incorrect for the weasels at Foggy Bottom. Look at the change to the second sentence:

This Travel Warning is being issued to update information on the general security environment in Israel, Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and to reiterate threats to American citizens and U.S. interests in those respective locations. Hizbollah continues to launch numerous rocket attacks into Israel, which have resulted in fatalities and injuries to civilians. This is a volatile and extremely dangerous situation. In addition to this, the conduct of the Palestinian Authority government led by Hamas and actions such as the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Hamas have caused increased instability in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
So "Terrorist aggression from Lebanon" becomes "Hizbollah continues to launch". Because, of course, the wonderfully sensitive U.S. State Department simply cannot bring itself to label terrorist aggression as...terrorist aggression.

You can read the "corrected" Travel Warning at the link below; then take a look at my screen capture (click on the image for a larger version) of the original un-PC version from my inbox:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_922.html



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