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Madness Translated



Many television viewers worldwide have been confused by the vast amount of military terminology, slogans, and acronyms being utilized in reporting on the ongoing war against Iraq being waged by the United States and Britain. As a service to these news watchers, the following Iraq War Dictionary has been compiled.

“Shock and Awe”–Title of Iraqi resistance strategy, intended to “shock” invading American and British troops and “awe” them with their unexpected ferocity

Operation Iraqi Liberation–alternative name of US military action, but dropped from consideration because of obvious implication of acronym (OIL)

“Imbedded with”–term used to describe primarily Western reporters traveling with American and British troops; can be used interchangeably with “in bed with”

Decapitation strike–term used to describe how Iraqi civilians are being liberated (refer to very graphic pictures at al-jazeera)

Born Again Ba’ath Fundamentalist–term describing Saddam Hussein’s recent turn to religious rhetoric
Umm Qasr and Al-Nassiriyah: Iraqi Sister Cities of Jenin Refugee Camp in Israeli-occupied West Bank
Friendly Fire: term used to describe strategy employed by coalition troops to liberate Iraqis

NPR–National Pentagon Radio
Patriot Missile–New weapon to be used by Attorney General John Aschroft to enforce Patriot Act against dissenting Americans

WMD–weapons of mass distraction; can be used interchangeably with “US media”

Precision Guided Weapons–used to describe Pentagon’s informal term for “imbedded journalists”

Enemy Combatants: Term used by Iraqi Information Minister Muhammad Al-Sahaf to describe American POWs in attempt to justify their (mis)treatment by comparing them to Johnny Walker Lindh and Guantanamo Bay prisoners, thereby relieving Iraq of need to abide by Geneva Convention

Dud–informal nickname of CNN anchor Paula Zahn; synonym–empty shell

MIA–new acronym for the Arab Leaque

“Between Iraq and a Hard Place”–Term used to describe current position of Coalition troops in the Middle East

CNN–Controlled News Network

Air Jordan–Pentagon’s term for available airspace corridors provided by this kingdom

Food for Oil Program–What American troops are offering starving residents of Basra and southern Iraq: “We’ll give you food if you give us your oil.”

Drone–Pentagon code word for CNN anchors Aaron Brown and Wolf Blitzer

Fratricide–military term used for soldiers killing other soldiers; also applicable to official Arab stance on the war on Iraq

AWOL–another acronym for the Arab League (Arabs WithOut Leadership)

Fictitious–(1) Michael Moore’s description of US presidency; (2) In the Middle East, term used to describe “Arab unity”

Sandstorm–obstacle in US forces’ attempt to defeat “sand niggers” in Iraq; alternatively, according to US Central Command, “heinous act of terrorism by God”
MRE–(1) formally, military term used to describe soldiers’ rations (Meals Ready-to-Eat); (2) informally, military term used to describe coalition enemies (Muslims Ready for Extermination)

Al-Fallah (translation-“the peasant”)-crude Iraqi anti-aircraft weapon-used to down Apache helicopters; not to be confused with Al-Samud missiles; Al-Fallah was not declared to UN Weapons Inspector Hans Blix by Iraqi leadership)

Irregulars-Pentagon term for constipated recruits

Objective Reporting-term used to describe over-dramatic reporting of flak-jacket and gas-mask-clad, gleeful correspondents when US bombs strike their “objectives”

Regime Change-term describing US policy objective vis-à-vis France

FOX News-US State-run media outlet; official White House and Pentagon mouthpiece

MOAB-term used to describe international reaction to US/British Campaign; Mounting Outrage Against Bombing; also Saddam’s term to describe his new, nuclear-proof hideout-Mother of All Bunkers

Gutter-apparently, a new Persian Gulf nation serving as temporary home to US Central Command

“Kurds N’ Way”-overheard statement by Turkish official regarding situation in Northern Iraq

Operation Dish Out-reported clandestine US military plan to bomb Al-Jazeera’s Baghdad office; modeled after similar operation in Kabul

Colon Bowel-Arabic pronunciation of US Secretary of State’s name, as heard on Al-Jazeera

King George-reported title requested by President Bush upon the occupation-err, liberation-of Iraq; see also Prince Richard (Cheney), Prince Donald (Rumsfeld), and Prince of Darkness

Republican Guard-term used to describe neoconservative hawks Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and Douglas Feith

Turkish Ba’ath-previously unheard of Turkish pro-Saddam militia

Cruise-Aid-planned fundraising concert to be held by neoconservative war supporters to raise money for more Cruise missiles; not to be confused with “Crusade”

Targets of Opportunity–White House term for US taxpayers, expected to fund massive war effort.

Dr. Riad Z. Abdelkarim of Anaheim, California, writes the monthly “Islam in America” column for the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. He can be reached at:

Yesterday’s Features

Pablo Mukherjee
Watch Their Lips

David Krieger
Shock But Not Awe

Linda Heard
Winning Hearts and Minds Bush—-Style

Imad Jadaa
The Beautiful Face of America

Adam Engel
Buckets of Blood

Patrick Cockburn
Kurds Unimpressed

David Lindorff
POWs, Torture and Hypocrisy

Robert Fisk
The Coup That Didn’t Happen

April Hurley, MD
A Doctor’s Outrage in Baghdad

Gloria Bergen
Chretien’s Shame

Reema Abu Hamdieh
The Smell of Death Surrounds Me

Website of the War
Iraq Body Count

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