The Official War Glossary

Doublespeak edition.

The Official War Glossary

As in all military actions (can we really call this one-sided massacre a war?), government and media advocacy for the planned U.S. invasion of Iraq has introduced a number of new words and phrases, or new usages of existing ones, to the English language. Since many of these are directly opposite of their intuitive meanings, we present here, for your reference, a guide to some of these new linguistic developments. Keep this handy guide by your TV for the next time Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Franks, or any of their minions appear on your screen.

allies n: Tony Blair.

collateral damage obs: The hapless schmucks that happen to be in the way when the U.S. bombs civilian facilities or residential neighborhoods. No longer in common usage since civilian deaths are now ignored entirely. Other obsolete words and phrases include Osama bin Laden, Afghanistan, budget surplus, economy, environment, corporate scandals, education, civil liberties, Constitution, Guantᮡmo Bay, and the end of the war.

democracy n: The ideal form of a political systemnow used interchangeably with the economic system called capitalismin which a handful of wealthy people with occasional minor policy differences take turns enriching their patrons and being elected by a citizenry that is allowed no other choices; e.g., We intend to turn Iraq into a democracy, just like the United States.

deterrent n: A category of military weapons that includes massive nuclear arsenals, space-based nuclear and laser weapons, and chemical and biological weapons research. Only applies when possessed by the United States.See weapons of mass destruction

disarm v.: To blow to smithereens; e.g., Saddam Husseins destruction of missiles is an impediment to U.S. plans to disarm Saddam Hussein.

embed v: To engage in an act of prostitution; e.g., Hundreds of U.S. media outlets have elected to cover the war by having their reporters embedded in an American military unit.

empire abbr A shortened form of the phrase American empire. A state in which 196 countries are eternally grateful, or should be, for being plundered by the 197th. See democracy.

homeland n: That portion of empire that got ignored because the Department of Defense is no longer used for defending.

oil n: Booty.

Old Europe n: Formerly allies. A collection of countries too stuck in the mud or jealous to welcome empire. See world.

peace n: The mythical state achieved when the United States has a complete global monopoly on the use of military force. Not to be confused with democracy, freedom, or justice. See empire.

people of Iraq n: See Saddam Hussein.

precision bombing n: Replaces smart bombs. What a morally enlightened country like the United States does. Involves using MOABs, daisy cutters, or up to 3,000 cruise missiles to create firestorms that convert oxygen to carbon monoxide and asphyxiate anyone within range of the miles-wide inferno, and then pretending that the resulting fatalities do not exist. See civilian casualties.

pre-emptive attack n: Replaces blitzkrieg. Unprovoked invasion of a country that poses no threat, esp. if that country is defenseless and has extensive reserves of oil.

proof n: Sales receipts, usually from before or just after the Gulf War; e.g., We have extensive proof for the existence of Iraqs biological and chemical weapons.

reconstruction n: The lucrative process undertaken during the occupation of an invaded country, involving replacing buildings, bridges, and utility systems. There is nothing you can do to rebuild the peoplefortunately, they never existed. See Saddam Hussein.

regime change n : Coup d鴡t.

Saddam Hussein n: The nation of Iraq, pop. 24,002,000 (2002 est.); area 172,476 sq. mi. (slightly larger than California), centered on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Southwest Asia, previously known as Persia and Mesopotamia; one of the oldest continuously civilized regions in the world. Iraq and Saddam Hussein are generally used interchangeably; e.g., Were going to bomb the hell out of Saddam Hussein.

shock and awe n: War crime.

terrorism n: What they do.

terrorist n: Anybody who dislikes George Bushs policies. See unlawful combatant.

unlawful combatant n: Any opponent of George Bushs policies whom the U.S. government would prefer to have held indefinitely without trial. See Constitution.

war on terror n: A comprehensive marketing strategy to ensure the re-election of George W. Bush in 2004 by embroiling the United States in war for decades to come. Replaces these previous campaigns: compassionate conservative, fiscally responsible, education president, and hes really not as dumb as he looks.

weapons of mass destruction n: What they have. See deterrent.

world n: The collection of nations and peoples that thinks George Bush is out of his freakin mind.

gparrish@seattleweekly.com


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