Death-ifintions of War

The acts of defecation and fornication haven't had as many word or phrase "stand-ins" as war and its companions- maiming and killing. However, the War (misadventure) in Iraq has super-sized the language of war due, in part, to its past and present mismanagement and ever-changing rationales.

Consider just a few highlights springing from the dictionaries and thesauruses of those currently at the helm of the Ship of State:

"Military operations other than war; dead-enders; Baathist holdouts; former regime loyalists (changed to regime elements when it was determined that "loyalist" was too human); guerrila and militant (used sparingly and mostly replaced by suicide bombers, terrorists, and homicide bombers); slog; search and destroy; shock and awe; IED's; and WMD's".

We also have the "crazy language uncle" locked up in the attic who goes by the name of "Torture". For Iraq, "Torture" has actually convinced some people that notions of keeping him locked up are "quaint".

This abuse of the language is simply due to the fact that, in Iraq, our gunsights are unclearly trained on ill-defined, "military and paramilitary operations conducted in enemy-held or hostile territory by irregular, predominately indigenous forces" rather than on a clearly identifiable enemy.

Perhaps the lack of clarity is the result of the country being led to war by unexceptional men with less than acceptable vision sitting on unremarkable resumes padded with unlimited contributions. Men who, despite their easy access to dictionaries and thesauruses, cannot find the meanings of the words "responsibility", "accountability" and "consequences".


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