Joe Quinnan has in WSJ a very funny riff about the new war names that came from the B0 (the 2 legged) administration

The Obama administration has come under intense criticism for replacing the term “war on terror” with the emaciated euphemism “overseas contingency operations,” and for referring to individual acts of terror as “man-caused disasters.”

Many feel that such vaporous bureaucratese is a self-emasculating action that plunges us into an Orwellian world where words have no emotional connection with the horrors they purport to describe.

But before agreeing with Queenan that Obama started a trend, let’s remember the “โ€œweapons of mass destruction-related program activities” which was the toned down reason for war with Iraq once it was evident that there WMD were a fairy tale” (sorry if I shocked you by using those words).

And the Bushes also had a ball with the game of “opposites” such as “The Clean Air Act” for polution leeway

As forย  Obama, he started updating our lexicon with the economy: the bailout became rescue and for a while the stimulus became recovery.

And Cinie reports on a British tweak

That being said, I also think Quinnan is wrong to think that terms like “overseas contingency operation” were invented to tone down the confrontational content. I think they are being used to pacify, muddy and confuse anti-war activists. It’s a bit harder to make a sign


Very few such protest signs are being seen lately (although in all fairness Code Pink – after finishing supporting Obama they went back to their original purpose of opposing war, without noticing the contradiction)

We have two wars going – one escalating to the point of doubling the number of troupes, one extended from 2010 to 2011 and the left is snoring to the sweet sound of “overseas contingency operations”.

So, let Queenanย  have fun with

This week, in a pronounced shift from its usual theatrical style, the Taliban announced that it will no longer refer to its favorite method of murder as “beheadings,” but will henceforth employ the expression “cephalic attrition.”

When the Taliban will encounter opposition amongst their own to such actions, that may me attempted. Until such time, “beheadings” is doing just fine, than you very much.

Tweaking the vocabulary is just one of the manifestation of that “Change” everyone wanted so much. At least the change that they’ll get for sure