[FoRK] Buzzword Update

Owen Byrne owen at permafrost.net
Thu May 13 17:50:16 PDT 2004

I can't think of a useful comment. Says it all.

> *Global Buzzword Search-And-Delete: Rove at the Keyboard*
> *by Bruce Feirstein <mailto:bfeirstein at observer.com>*
> Memo from: Karl Rove
> cc: Cheney, Ashcroft, Rice, Powell, Rumsfeld, Ridge, Mueller and Tenet 
> (bcc: Hannity, Novak, Sinclair Broadcasting) 
> <http://observer.com/pages/story_lookup.asp?story=The%20New%20Yorker%27s%20Diary>
> To All Concerned Parties: In light of recent events, I feel the need 
> to clarify some of the language and "descriptive phraseology" we’ve 
> been using in regard to the war on terrorism and our ongoing efforts 
> in Iraq.
> These are not to be interpreted as "non-negotiable edicts" (whose 
> violation will result in your immediate reputation-tarnishing 
> dismissal), but rather as "helpful suggestions."
> Remember: The Patriot Act depends on you, acting patriotically.
> So please update your lexicon of White House–approved media buzzwords 
> immediately.
> 1) "/Shock and Awe/." Deleted. Archaic. Please resist the urge to 
> describe the goings-on in the soon-to-be-renamed Abu Ghraib prison 
> (see below) as "Shock and Flaw," "Shocking and Awful," etc., etc.
> 2) /Abu Ghraib prison/. Henceforth, this will be known as the "Khalil 
> Gibran/Dale Earnhardt Jr. vocational-training facility and 
> recreational center." As John Kerry himself has asked: "Who among us 
> does not like NASCAR?"
> 3) "/Mission Accomplished/." Unoperative. And please avoid the 
> alternate punctuation: "Mission accomplished?"
> 4) "/Bringing peace, freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people/." To 
> better reflect our current goals, please substitute "Protecting the 
> American homeland from vicious Al Qaeda terrorists."
> 5) /Ahmad Chalabi/ is no longer "the legitimate voice of the Iraqi 
> people." Please update your records to cite U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi 
> in this role, and avoid quoting his recent speech on French radio 
> blaming the whole mess over there on "the Israeli policy of domination 
> and the suffering imposed on the Palestinians."
> 6) "/High moral ground/." We’ve lost it. Lose it from your vocabulary.
> 7) "/Connecting the dots/."/ /Inoperative.
> /8) /"/Shaking trees/." Archaic. Arcane. Deleted.
> 9) "/Former generals in Saddam’s vicious Baath ruling party/." 
> Post-Falluja, please refer to these gentlemen as "Dedicated civil 
> servants and members of the previous administration, who now have 
> reformed and joined the coalition." (Note: Please avoid using this in 
> any paragraph with the words "bribes," "pay-offs," "failed policy," 
> "questionable loyalty," "grasping at straws." Similarly:
> 10) "/De-Baathification./" Oops! Let’s try "re-Baathification."
> 11) "/Body armor/" and/or "/Bolt-on Humvee armor kits/." As both 
> remain in short supply, these will now describe Secretary Rumsfeld’s 
> suits (i.e.: "Nice bolt-on armor, Don. Wearing that while you read 
> Dowd this morning?").
> 12) "/Liberators/." This remains the preferred terminology to describe 
> our presence in Iraq, as opposed to "bungling, clueless superpower."
> 13) "/Coalition of the willing/." Even post-Madrid, this verbiage 
> remains in effect. (Given Spain’s proximity to France, we were always 
> slightly suspect of Spaniards anyway.) No matter how tempting—or 
> truthful—please avoid all modifiers, such as "Coalition of the 
> not-so-willing-anymore," "The gang of 17," or "Our partners in crime."
> 14) "/Uprising/," "/Armed resistance/," "/Insurgent forces/," 
> "/Organized anti-American factions/." We no longer recognize or 
> condone the use of these terms. In all cases, please substitute 
> "Vicious Al Qaeda terrorists." Likewise:
> 15) "/Syrian mercenaries/," "/Iranian guerrillas/," "/Radical 
> Shiites/," "/Fundamentalist clerics/," "/Disgruntled Iraqi 
> shopkeepers/." For simplicity’s sake, these groups will now also be 
> classified under the general category of "Vicious Al Qaeda terrorists."
> 16) "/Weapons of mass destruction/." Alas, we’d like to find a better 
> phrase here; we haven’t as yet, but we remain hopeful. In the 
> meantime, we’re still searching.
> 17) "/American war criminals./" Please substitute "Overzealous patriots."
> 18) "/Independent contractors/" remains our preferred appellation. 
> "Mercenaries," "hired guns," "Halliburton employees" or "crazed good 
> ol’ boys operating outside any known moral or legal authority" are not 
> acceptable synonyms.
> 19) "/Prisoners of war/." Better to say "Guests of interest."
> 20) "/War/ /Crimes/," "/Atrocities/," "/Human-rights/ /violations/," 
> "/Torture/," "/Softening up prisoners for interrogation/." The 
> preferred description is "intelligence-gathering activities." But if 
> pressed, use "Having a frank and honest chat with our ‘guests of 
> interest.’"
> 21) "/A world of hurt/." Avoid. Please substitute "An unfortunate and 
> unforeseeable blip on the road to success."
> 22) "/Slam-dunk/." Deleted.
> 23) "/Chain of command/." Obsolete.
> 24) "/Swatting flies/." Inoperative.
> 25) "/Imminent threat/." Banished.
> 26) "/Boots on the ground/." Expunged. (Alas, it seems that certain 
> "independent contractors" mistook this to mean "boots on the 
> prisoner’s head.")
> 27) "/Quagmire/." Forbidden, in any link to Vietnam.
> 28) "/Quagmire/." Acceptable, when used in reference to a) John Kerry 
> trying to explain precisely what he did with his medals, and b) how he 
> earned them. Remember the Karl Rove mantra: The best defense is to be 
> really offensive.
> 29) "/Don’t dipstick me/." We like this rejoinder. Especially in 
> response to press inquires as to "how things are going" in Iraq.
> 30) /Presidential daily briefing./ The P.D.B. will henceforth be known 
> as "/USA Today/." If you get a chance, stop by to say hello to ace 
> journalist Jack Kelley, who’s been brought in to edit it.
> 31) "/Unknown unknowns/." Now that we know what said "unknown 
> unknowns" are (i.e., white trash gone wild in Abu Ghraib prison), this 
> phrase will be dropped from our lexicon.
> 32) "/It’s possible/." As per use by Donald Rumsfeld: "Not a chance."
> 33) /Enemies list/. Let’s make it clear that we have no "enemies 
> list." On the other hand, we do have lots of people we’re "not too 
> fond of." (P.S.: Please tell me that no one left the missing file with 
> Paul Krugman’s tax returns in a Georgetown Starbucks.)
> 35) /Green security zone./ New definition: American states where 
> G.W.B. can still raise money.
> 36) /Exit strategy/. Inoperative. Obsolete. Archaic. Irrelevant.
> 37) "/America is not what’s wrong with the world/." Please avoid using 
> this Rumsfeld-coined locution, as it will only beg some smartass 
> columnist with /The New York Observer/ to reply:
> He’s right. It’s the people /running/ America who are what’s wrong 
> with the world.
> You may reach Bruce Feirstein via email at: bfeirstein at observer.com 
> <mailto:bfeirstein at observer.com>.

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