100 Things

email me

Listen to the Deviant SynCast! [Archive]

TPCQ = Tangential Pop Culture Quote

Why I Link to Amazon

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

There Is No War in Iraq 

John McCain said yesterday that "we are winning the war". This is not true. It is in fact impossible, because there is no war in Iraq. A war – to quote the Right Honorable William Hicks – is when two armies are fighting. He was speaking humorously of the ease with which the US military defeated the Iraqi military in 1991, but it applies to the current situation as well.

In 2008 there is no war in Iraq. There is an occupation, an insurgency, and a counter-insurgency. The distinction is crucial: There are laws of occupation which differ from the laws of war. The difference is also important to our society (as well as Iraqi society); people feel differently about occupations than they do about wars.

This is not my usual brand of English-teacher diction pedantry – in this case, it is a word specificity with real consequences beyond the academic Saussurian deliberation. Everyone, please stop calling this a war. Thank you.

The image – of dead civilians near a burning US Bradley fighting vehicle – is one of the less hideous images in this Salon gallery. You've been warned.


Guy lets the city of San Francisco cut his hair. Via BoingBoing.

Today I'm listening to: The Cool Kids!