I’m sure that many people have already said everything interesting about the utterance “all options are on the table” by the usual suspects. Nevertheless, hard to resist plagiarising some of them, not wittingly.
This sentence has a range of connotations that may look somewhat at odds with each other. It sounds, at 1st, so evil, terrifying, and bloody of course. But, at the same time, also sounds hackneyed and boring these days. Especially these nobody-knew-how-to-pronounce-guaido days.
Besides that, there’s something curious going on in here. Don’t know how to name it. But I’m mellowly thinking it’s about nature of speech.
Anyway, the thing is this:
The easiest to see is that The Option, among others, is meant to be the military option(s) from the outset. And the bigliness and ugliness in this language is exactly what those usual hawks want us to be reminded of.
But do they really have more of severer means on their fancy table? In most cases, they’ve already waged the most savage kind of economic warfare, for decades here and there, killing nearly one million of children elsewhere. Also have taken other measures such as ‘peaceful’ demonstrations demanding democracy, soft coup, or ‘moderate’ rebellion, typically mobilised by ned or open something foundation money, haven’t they?
Having done them all, it doesn’t look like they have far too many broad and diverse kind of options
… except for military ones of course. Sheer abundance of options in that area is too excessive, kinda obscene, according to k. bigelow type fictions. From clandestine ones to wildest kind. The beautiful missiles for brian w. to watch to the dirtiest ones. Drone-monitored random slaughter to plain-ol random slaughter. The ones successfully bloody to the others bloodily botched … all may result essentially in the same thing for victims, and it’s no joke.
And this one is bloody certain: absolutely no diplomatic or dialog’ish kind of blah blah was on their table at the points of utterance.
The phrase ‘all options’ which may look, at first glance, as if it consisted of various many things effectively boils down to only a single massacring type of options. Outright bloodiness aside, you smell something ironical in this utterance, if not so much as logically paradoxical, don’t you?
After all, getting back to speech-act’esque kind of things, isn’t it pretty much impossible to decontaminate ordinary languages of non-straight, impure, or non-sound elements, those seen in jokes, theatrical effects etc.? And in actual ordinary conversations, those impure parts frequently play more important roles, don’t they?
… Though being nefarious, effect of the trope is all the more discernible.
Yet another bloody ironical thing to remember: years ago, the tali, accused of being a terrorist organisation, couldn’t be a counterpart of negotiations of any kind. Decades later, after butchering and mincing literally countless people up there day in day out, those usual suspects do not have better options to solve the problem they caused, other than negotiations. And I hope they’ll need to thank bowe for possibly successful negotiations someday.