Another Phrase Deleted From The War on Terra Dictionary

“Long War” Is Out

When the Bush administration has sought to explain its strategy for fighting terrorism, it has often said the United States is involved in a “long war” against Islamic extremists.

The phrase was coined by Gen. John P. Abizaid before he retired as head of the Central Command. It was intended to signal to the American public that the country was involved in a lengthy struggle that went well beyond the war in Iraq and was political as well as military.


As it turned out, however, the long war turned out to be surprisingly short-lived, at least at the command that pioneered the term. After taking over last month as the head of Central Command, Adm. William J. Fallon quietly retired the phrase.

Military officials said that cultural advisers at the command had become concerned that the concept of a long war alienated Middle East audiences by suggesting that the United States would keep a large number of forces in the region indefinitely.

Admiral Fallon was also said to have been unenthusiastic about the phrase. He has stressed the importance of focusing on the difficult situation in Iraq and in achieving results as soon as possible. The notion of a long war, in contrast, seemed to connote an extended conflict in which Iraq was but a chapter.

4 thoughts on “Another Phrase Deleted From The War on Terra Dictionary

  1. Well, gee, if we don’t use the phrase “long war,” then people in the Middle East won’t think that we’re keeping a large number of forces in the region indefinitely; they’ll pay no attention to the bases we’re building, they’ll pay no attention to Bush’s equating leaving Iraq with losing, they’ll pay no attention to the thousand and one other clues the administration is giving that we intend to keep forces in the Middle East FOREVER. Because one phrase is the only thing they’ll pay attention to, of course.
    I suppose this is what happens when you assume that the rest of the world is as clueless and stupid as you are.

  2. Holden just posted some more poll results – 43% of Americans feel safer with Bush as president. So, perhaps the rest of the world isn’t clueless and stupid, but the jury has given its verdict about our country.
    Of course the plan is to have our military firmly planted in Iraq forever, or until the oil runs out, which ever comes first. There is no other credible explanation for our building the humongous military bases there, nor for our remaining there with a civil war raging. So, I suppose we can call it a “long war” or a “crusade” – take your pick. Personally I kinda like the phrase “long rape” better.

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