The US military has a specific, politically manipulative, vocabulary that we have to be aware of, especially before Presidential elections when manipulation rises to a maximum, so that we can decode it. The media rarely decodes it for the public. The murder of the Iranian General Soleimani by a drone while he was in Iraq this week by the US armed forces highlights a couple of these terms.
take out, verb, means to premeditate, target, and murder someone in cold blood, usually in another sovereign country.
Usage 1: It is common usage when reporting on this event to avoid any reference to the customary procedures of an arrest, prosecution, a trial, witnesses and arguments, then a verdict and a sentence. Due process is assumed not to apply. No reasons, it is also assumed, need be advanced for this lack of due process. The international traditions and law are not referred to much either.
Usage 2: Once someone is “taken out” by the US armed forces, by its special forces, navy seals or drones, it is common usage for those residing in the USA or under US mind-control, to announce publicly that the victim was a bad person anyway, who nobody mourns.
Usage 3: “Take out” often includes simultaneous homicide of other people, who happen to be nearby i.e. his wife, brother, driver, a hitch-hiker, doorman, even his child, innocent bystanders or passers-by of any ilk, all of whom are mere nothings to the murderers, and indeed to most of the Western media reports. These people may be referred to, as any other chattels might be, as “collateral damage”, if they are mentioned at all.
The best article on the most notorious example of “taking out” someone (taking out Osama Bin Laden) is the Sermour M. Hersh 2015 classic in the London Review of Books https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v37/n10/seymour-m.-hersh/the-killing-of-osama-bin-laden?utm_source=LRB+icymi&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20200104+%23LRFREE&utm_content=ukrw_nonsubs_icymi
This article was published four years after the “taking out” event, itself, and has been read by 2 million visitors. It is a stinging and wholly justified critique of the Obama administration’s role in “normalizing” the war crime of assassination squads “taking out” people in other countries, long before it became the Trump administration policy. The 2015 article has been re-published on the London Review of Books site today in the context of the “taking out” in Iraq of the Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani this past week, and in particular in the context of the webs of propaganda and outright lies that then get spun around the event for political gain.
terrorist, noun, means fighter using as a weapon the instilling of fear, but this never applies to anyone employed by, contracted to, or ally of, the US State apparatus, and applies solely to those on a list of non-USA organizations and individuals drawn up by the US Secretary of State.
Usage 1: Past and present “terrorists” on the USA list of terrorists include Nelson Mandela (until, wait for it, the year 2008), members of mass parties like the Muslim Brotherhood (that was elected to power in Egypt, then overthrown by the army under Sisi, who is a US ally therefore not a terrorist whatever he does), or the Taliban (a mass party in Afghanistan), parts of a country’s armed forces (Iran), or the biggest single party in a country’s Government (the Lebanon).
Usage 2: However much US tactics may seem like terrorist activities e.g. bombing Baghdad and filming it like a fireworks display, these are not “terrorist” activities.
Usage 3: US allies, however much their tactics may seem like terrorist activities, are not “terrorist” either i.e. bombing the family homes of elected members of Hamas in Gaza is not “terrorist” because US ally, Israel does it; nor is, however much fear it instils in you, killing a journalist in your Embassy, chopping up his body and carting it off in black plastic bags “terrorism” because US ally, Saudi Arabia does it.
proxy, noun, means ally of your enemy.
Usage 1: The Syrian government is an Iranian “proxy”, because Al Assad is an ally of the Iranian state. So far, the only country that has “proxies” is Iran.
Usage 2: Is “Israel a US proxy?” No, it is a US ally. Is “Saudi Arabia is a US proxy?” No, it is another US ally.
Please look out for and decode your own examples.