fifth columnの新しい意味

前回の fifth estate からの連想で、スペイン内乱に由来するという「第五列」 fifth column について書いてみたい。敵と内通し破壊活動をする国内の集団のことで、以前取り上げたことがある enemy within にちょっと似ているが、911テロ以降、使われる対象や意味が広がっているようだ。


- a subversive group that supports the enemy and engages in espionage or sabotage

- (originally) Franco sympathizers in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War: so called in allusion to a statement in 1936 that the insurgents had four columns marching on Madrid and a fifth column of sympathizers in the city ready to rise and betray it.


一方、 fifth column の方は、911テロ以降に使われた例を目にして印象が深くなった。たとえば、こんな実例がネットで見つかる。

- It is unfortunate that so many of the Fourth Estate (journalists) are also a Fifth Column, a force inside our nation seeking to distort and destroy its achievements.

- Sullivan twice suggested that anti-war leftists were part of a real or potential "fifth column," a term that directly implies treasonous behavior on behalf of a foreign enemy.

- The phrase "Fifth Column" originally refers to a secret army engaging in war behind enemy lines, but more recently refers to citizens who in their activities make it easier for the enemy to win.


同様に fifth columnist は、辞書にあるように a member of a clandestine subversive organization who tries to help a potential invader という意味だが、次のような使われ方を目にするようになっている。本物の「コラムニスト」を批判する場合にも使われそうな表現である。

- A fifth-columnist reporter sought to get Karzai to say that he opposes the Iraq War, or that it has increased terrorism.

- Academic writer Susan Sontag was accused of being a treacherous fifth-columnist for suggesting that U.S. foreign policy may have had something to do with the attacks (=911テロ攻撃).


- ... but the term Trojan horse--the durable ancestor of the expressions fifth column and mole, and of the modifier stealth--has certainly been enjoying a prominent vitality these days, ...

という実例にもあるように、fifty column の類似表現に Trojan horse (トロイの木馬)があるが、これについては、以前取り上げたことがあった

敵は内にあり (enemy within)
第五身分とは何か(fifth estate)