George Orwell understood the power of words, and he understood the power of ideology to utterly corrupt their meaning.
He identified tyranny with expressions such as "war is peace" or "ignorance is strength." But absolute government is not necessary to experience the corrupted language of power and the abuses it hides. A nasty democratic minority, supported by a population choked with fear or prejudice, or a ruling majority full of hate or bad intentions is perfectly capable of producing them.
We literally see this happening before our eyes, both in the United States and in Israel.
Mr. Bush calls Mr. Sharon a man of peace. Mr. Sharon rockets and bulldozes his way through the West Bank and Gaza, murders suspects, arrests the families of suspects, threatens to deport whole families guilty of no crime, and calls his dirty work a fight against terrorism. North American defenders of his brutality call any conscientious person questioning these actions an "anti-Semite."
It is impossible to understand how bulldozing homes of "suspects" and the idea of rounding up their families for deportation reflect anything but the most elemental hatred and vengeance. And just so, the many assassinations of "suspects," along with the countless violent arrests that include no trials, no proof offered, just outright public murder and improper arrests.
I don't think it's possible to imagine what Britain would have unleashed had she followed the same policies in Northern Ireland. American public opinion would have exploded had she done so. It was Americans, after all, who largely financed the IRA's guns and bombs.