By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
The discussion of the war in Iraq has created or modified its own vocabulary, especially in the halls of Congress.
Below is our attempt at an easy to use pocket dictionary to help navigate the verbology being used today.
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Redeploy: (verb) To reduce troops in one area in order to move them to another area. Usually connotes moving troops from combat to the rear. See: Murtha, Okinawa, retreat, surrender on the military goal. See also: Retreat, lose, loss, failure, enemy wins, back down, allies disheartened, terrorists emboldened.
Retreat: (verb or noun) In all prior wars this was an ugly word for Americans. Indicates failure. We retreat (we lose and the other guy wins). Why has this word been moved to the back of the word train? Because it has been easy to understand and clear for hundreds of years. See: redeploy.
Lost: (as in “the war is lost”) (noun or past tense of the verb to lose) Indicates failure or in war, an inability or unwillingness to prevail in battle. Usage: “The war in Iraq is lost and the troop surge is failing” (Senator Harry Reid, reported by AFP, April 19, 2007). See also, “We have not lost a military battle in Iraq (Senator Barak Obama, reported by AP, July 20, 2007).
Mission creep: (noun and verb) The activity of expanding upon the existing military mission gradually. Also used by some Democrats to describe people in support of the mission. Example: “The General is a mission creep.”
Pillow fight: (noun) A derisive term being used by so called “talking heads” to describe the U.S. Senate’s all night Iraq debate.
Pillow talk: (noun leading to a verb) The discussion, usually between partners, that occurs in the bedroom. Usually means one person is attempting to have sex with another. In the case of the current U.S. Congress, the term refers to Senator Reid’s “all nighter” where each party was trying to screw the other. See “all nighter.”
All nighter: (noun) Term used by adolescents who have failed to do their coursework and homework usually in school. An effort to cram a semester or more into one night: often to no avail. See Harry Reid.
Surge: (noun and verb) A temporary increase in troop levels modulated by political restriction. Not an attack but better than a retreat.
Support: (verb) As in “support the troops.” An often used and misused sign of patriotic zeal by Democrat Party member who really would do anything to downsize the Army. When used by Democrats, the word “support” seldomly means a plus-up in the budget. Often used by Democrats in an attempt to bolster backing from the military, and potential red-state voters.
In reality, most Democrats only “support” the troops when they are a) deployed on U.N.-sponsored peacekeeping missions in Haiti, Bosnia, or New Orleans; or b) when a Democrat President is in office, and he needs to rattle the saber to divert attention from domestic problems.
Undercutting: (verb or noun) Usually refers to a disruption of normal structural support such as sawing off one leg of a stool. Am action leading to instability and uneasiness on the part of users of the structure. In Washington currently, refers to efforts to deny U.S. troops proper funding or support. See: treason.
Election season: (noun) That time when politicians can be trusted even less than “normal.” See all self anointed candidates for president (Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Richardson, Romney, Giuliani, McCain and a host of others).
Troop morale: (noun) This word apparently does not appear in any Democrat dictionary. It means, as any football coach can tell you, if you pull together as a team you have a chance to actually “win.” In April the Senate Majority Leader told our troop, the American people and our enemies that the war was “lost.” Good luck, coach: you don’t get it.
Best interest of the United States: I am sorry but this term is no longer in vogue in the Congress (or anywhere else).
White Flag: (noun) Made famous by the French in WWII, the White Flag denoted surrender to the enemy so that the enemy would cease any operations against the unit displaying the white flag realizing that they had given up the fight without winning. The White Flag Party now denotes the Democrats in Washington for the same reasons.
(Contributed to Peace and Freedom by Tom Boley)
[The work above is posted as an unfinished work. Those that wish to contribute should email firstname.lastname@example.org ]
Maybe the Rhetoric is too Harsh: The Phoney Debate
THE SENATE Democratic leadership spent the past week trying to prove that Congress is deeply divided over Iraq, with Democrats pressing and Republicans resisting a change of course. In fact that’s far from the truth. A large majority of senators from both parties favor a shift in the U.S. mission that would involve substantially reducing the number of American forces over the next year or so and rededicating those remaining to training the Iraqi army, protecting Iraq’s borders and fighting al-Qaeda. President Bush and his senior aides and generals also support this broad strategy, which was formulated by the bipartisan Baker-Hamilton commission. Mr. Bush recently said that “it’s a position I’d like to see us in.”
The emerging consensus is driven by several inescapable facts. First, the Iraqi political reconciliation on which the current U.S. military surge is counting is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Second, the Pentagon cannot sustain the current level of forces in Iraq beyond next spring without rupturing current deployment practices and placing new demands on the already stretched Army and Marine Corps. Finally, a complete pullout from Iraq would invite genocide, regional war and a catastrophic setback to U.S. national security.
The decision of Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) to deny rather than nourish a bipartisan agreement is, of course, irresponsible. But so was Mr. Reid’s answer when he was asked by the Los Angeles Times how the United States should manage the explosion of violence that the U.S. intelligence community agrees would follow a rapid pullout. “That’s a hypothetical. I’m not going to get into it,” the paper quoted the Democratic leader as saying.
For now Mr. Reid’s cynical politicking and willful blindness to the stakes in Iraq don’t matter so much. The result of his maneuvering was to postpone congressional debate until September, when Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, will report on results of the surge — in other words, just the outcome the White House was hoping for. But then, as now, the country will desperately need a strategy for Iraq that can count on broad bipartisan support, one aimed at carrying the U.S. mission through the end of the Bush administration and beyond. There are serious issues still to resolve, such as whether a drawdown should begin this fall or next year, how closely it should be tied to Iraqi progress, how fast it can proceed and how the remaining forces should be deployed.
There’s no guarantee that Mr. Bush can agree with Congress on those points or that he will make the effort to do so. But a Democratic strategy of trying to use Iraq as a polarizing campaign issue and as a club against moderate Republicans who are up for reelection will certainly have the effect of making consensus impossible — and deepening the trouble for Iraq and for American security.