It's an ESCALATION, Not a "Surge"

This is right on. The Republicans and Big Media have successfully bamboozzled the Democratic leadership in DC into seemingly going along with this escalation of troops. It's a direct contradiction of the '06 mandate given to the Democrats to stop Bush and get out of Iraq. It is the Democrats that will bear the costs at the polls, if they allow an escalation to happen. Bush and Rove know that, whereas the Democrats, once again, seem like they just wish the war would go away. Jerome

If there's one thing we've learned about Karl Rove's MO it's that his job number one is to start by figuring out the poll-tested term that has the best chance of selling Bush's policies to the public and then job number two is making sure that that term is the one everyone in the media uses. Prominent examples include "social security reform" and "personal accounts" instead of "social security privatization" and "private accounts;""sectarian violence" instead of "civil war;""healthy forests" instead of "clear cuts;" you get the idea.

So I don't mean to chide anyone in particular for using the term "surge," since everyone else is doing it too. But why on earth is everyone calling it a "surge" when in any other combat situation in history the same shift on the ground would be called an "escalation?"

For examples of progressive blogs using the term, and a few closing thoughts, there's more below:

You want examples? How about right here or here or here or here or here or here. I could go on.

I don't mean instances in which the blogger puts it in quotation marks, which implies a skepticism toward the term; that's fine. I also don't mean all the instances in which the blogger is simply quoting directly from a (so-called liberal) mainstream media source, virtually all of which have drunk the "surge" Kool-Aid -- a disturbing trend that shows just what we're up against.  These are all instances (and there are plenty of others) of some of the very top progressive blogs using the term without irony.  

As long as the term of choice is "surge" it's a virtual certainty that it's going to happen. We need to do everything we can to shift the terminology. It's easy to see why Rove and Bush wouldn't want it called an escalation, but why isn't anyone on our side using the term? It seems to me folks on the left had better start hammering very hard on the idea that the word "surge" is nothing more or less than propaganda, and that this preposterous, stupid, and evil policy shift that everyone seems to expect Bush to carry out is plain and simply an <u>escalation</u&gt.

Just a thought.

UPDATE: BTW, I don't mean to suggest that any of the blog entries to which I linked are particularly egregious or anything. And some of these are on blogs that also sometimes put "surge" in quotation marks in other instances. The point is just how mundane they are. Bush picked a word: "surge" that no one has ever used to mean what he means by it, and everyone slavishly follows. That's the point.

Tags: Bush, Escalation, Iraq, lies, propaganda, Rove, surge (all tags)

Comments

23 Comments

Re: It's an ESCALATION, Not a &quot;Surge&quot;

The Ministry of Truth does it again.

by Kobi 2006-12-20 06:48PM | 0 recs
Re: It's an ESCALATION, Not a &quot;Surge&quot;

I'm in complete agreement here, since I posted the following on Daily Kos yesterday:


Escalation is a great word

I'm pretty sure that the word they did not want to use is "escalation", since this word was used to death during the Vietnam war.  Which is exactly why we should be using it.

From Wikipedia:

Escalation is the phenomenon of something getting more intense step by step, for example a quarrel, or, notably, military presence and nuclear armament during the Cold War. (Compare to escalator, a device that lifts something to a higher level.) The term is said to be originally coined by Herman Kahn.

Vietnam is exactly the right analogy here, and we need to keep at it.  "Surge" seems to suggest that this is temporary.  Which given the lack of any plan by the administration, it certainly is not.  "Escalation" suggests that there would be no end in sight, and that we can expect casualties of both Americans and Iraqis to keep escalating right along with it.

by Rob Thorne 2006-12-20 07:33PM | 0 recs
Re: It's an ESCALATION, Not a &quot;Surge&quot;

Cool -- sorry I missed it!

by joelspolls 2006-12-21 06:39AM | 0 recs
Contact Speaker-elect Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi's website accepts e-mail from any part of the country if you wish to send your thoughts on the use of "surge" to her:

http://democraticleader.house.gov/index. cfm?

by Books Alive 2006-12-21 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: It's an ESCALATION, Not a &quot;Surge&quot;

Correcting the terminology...

In addition to escalation, not 'surge' - by the way, what an odd choice of words, seeing as how it was a Storm Surge that flooded New Orleans...

Anyway,
It's an occupation, not a war

When Iraqis are killing Iraqis, its civil war.  Some actions of the civil war, such as civilians shooting at government troops could be termed a rebellion or even a revolution, but overall its civil war.

When Iraqis are killing Americans, its an insurgency.  Also known as a Resistance.  

When the occasional foreigner kills indiscrimintely, it could be termed terrorism.  

by JJCPA 2006-12-21 05:10AM | 0 recs
The Surgin' General

I posted this as a diary on Kos yesterday, but what the heck.  I like it.

A CONVERSATION WITH THE SURGIN' GENERAL

DATELINE:  BAGHDAD, Spring 2007

Supply Sergeant:   Who are these men, sir?

General:   It's the Surge, Sarge.

Sergeant:   Sorry, sir?

General:   The Surge.  It's urgent, Sergeant. The insurgents are resurgent. George says, "Splurge on the Surge."

Sergeant:   A Surge of what, sir?

General:   Soldiers, Sarge. George swore to be the scourge of these shores.      Said George, "Surgers! Search the source, search the sewage. Purge the emergent insurgents. The stores of nucular swords will emerge. I'm sure.  We won't be discouraged.  Search for germs.  Search the Kurds, search the birds, search the herds of horses, search the stores of spores."  

Sergeant:   Search the hordes of hearses, sir?

General:   Herds of horses, Sarge.  

Sergeant:   Yes, sir.  Any other words?

General:   Scorch, Sarge. Scorch the source.  It's urgent to discourage the insurgents. What you can't deterge, submerge.  George says we're on the verge, Sarge.

Sergeant:   The verge of what, sir?

General:   We're on the verge of encouraging words that soon will emerge. We'll purge the curs who discourage the Surge.  

Sergeant:   Do you expect high casualties, sir?

General:   Don't be absurd.  Some Surgers are certain to be hurt. But we have surgeons, Sergeant.  Scores of surgeons.

Sergeant:   And dirges, sir?  Will we need some new dirges?

General:   Great minds converge, Sarge.  Order some dirges. For the feckless few fatalities.  Scores of dirges.

Sergeant:   Yes, sir.  Scores of dirges.  How 'bout the words?

General:    Of course.  And you're right, Sarge.  We will need hordes of hearses.

Sergeant:   Yes, sir.

by drlimerick 2006-12-21 05:17AM | 0 recs
Re: It's an ESCALATION, Not a &quot;Surge&quot;

Not only blogs but also Harry Reid.

by eRobin 2006-12-21 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: It's an ESCALATION, Not a &quot;Surge&quot;

Your point is well-taken, but the bottom line is that you are trying to reframe an issue we have already won convincingly.

Only 11% of the American public supports the "surge."  There's no need to go looking for a more advantageous label to slap on it, even though I like your word better.

by Steve M 2006-12-21 05:49AM | 0 recs
The NYT editorial page did not use the word

They used "temporary increase" and "escalation."

Gail Collins has been doing a fine job giving clear sighted and hard-hitting analysis of the war, and of the administration's law-breaking.

by jayackroyd 2006-12-21 06:08AM | 0 recs
Re: The NYT editorial page did not use the word

That's great to hear -- thanks for the info!

by joelspolls 2006-12-21 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The NYT editorial page did not use the word

Wouldn't call it a "temporary increase" either.  Temporary increases have a tendency to cease being temporary very quickly.

Once they're there, they're staying until we get out.  We've already seen this, as there have been attempts to slightly draw down the number of troops, only to have them sent straight back with a few more to boot.

It's an escalation.  It's an increase in troop levels.  Which will mean an increase in violence.  An increase in the death rate, the insurgency may re-surge (if that's a word), as Iraqi's from all sides start going after the common enemy, again.  I say "may" because who knows.  They might continue more or less ignoring the Americans as they work on killing each other.  Either way, it just means more bloodshed.

And it ain't reversing until GWB is out of
office, unfortunately.  

by JJCPA 2006-12-21 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: The NYT editorial page did not use the word

By the way, where are all these infantry troops coming from?  The reserves? Afghanistan?  Some 40 year old guy with 3 kids in Al-Anbar?  Further draw down forces in Afhanistan chasing Osama, while letting the Taliban retake Khandahar?

Are they going to retrain support soldiers to be front-liners, while bringing in more National Guard to man the support roles?  Or retrain support troops to be front line and replace them with private contractors?

The army hasn't exactly been hitting its recruiting targets lately.

by JJCPA 2006-12-21 07:11AM | 0 recs
Not a Double-Down

One other thing this escalation in troops is most certainly not is a double-down bet.

Doubling down implies doubling your force.  Another 20,000 or 30,000 troops will certainly not come even close to doubling our forces in Iraq. But it sure sounds more decisive and formidable to label as a "double-down" the drop in the bucket that 20,000 more troops represent!

by Curt Matlock 2006-12-21 06:15AM | 0 recs
It's a troop buildup

All troop buildups in all wars are temporary, unless we plan on being in a permanent state of war, 1984-style.

It is indeed not a surge -- it's a troop buildup, or an escalation if you prefer.

But if we're going with newspeak euphemisms, my favorite is 'temporarily-swollen magic pony plan'.

by miholo 2006-12-21 08:38AM | 0 recs
Good insticts, but actually...

I'm pretty sure what they're talking about is, in fact, something closer to a surge or temporary increase in troops (since the additional number is small compared to the existing number, and since no one wants to discuss a permanent increase), and I'm quite sure that the proposal on the table does not qualify as 'Escalation'.

Escalation would imply a broad increase in the scale of fighting, with both a significant change in the scale of forces, and a more aggressive or biligerent set of tactics. Launching an invasion of Syria, for example, would constitute escalation. Or launching an all-out effort to smash Sadr's militias. Or going from 50,000 US troops in Vietnam in '66 to 550,000 in '68. But no one is proposing that. What we're hearing about is a roughly 20% increase in the amount of forces already in the country, tasked with doing what the forces there are already trying to do. Surge is, terminology-wise, pretty good. Of course, this doesn't mean that it actually has a prayer of working, but that's another story.

by James Gatz 2006-12-21 09:02AM | 0 recs
escalating violence, not just troop levels

Escalation would imply a broad increase in the scale of fighting, with both a significant change in the scale of forces, and a more aggressive or biligerent set of tactics. Launching an invasion of Syria, for example, would constitute escalation.

Launching an invasion of Syria would be opening a new front, not to mention insane. A huge increase in numbers is not possible, but the change in tactics is really all that's needed.

Putting 15,000 more boots on the ground in Baghdad will ratchet up the level of violence, in a way that's likely to stick even if the solders are drawn back. More of our peeps are targets, more get killed, looser rules of engagement to kill back... even though troop numbers are not permanent (they can't be), the intensity of conflict/pace of death will be bumped up for a lot longer.

It would not be surprising to see the inevitable numerical drawback replaced by increased airforce action. It's escalating. Going from 50,000 to 650,000 in vietnam wasn't one move. It's incremental. As I said we don't have the manpower for that kind of numeric escalation, but we sure do have the technology to start killing more people (which is what the backers of this are really after when you read it).

by Josh Koenig 2006-12-21 09:45AM | 0 recs
Really?
I think I may just disagree that we're going to significantly increase the level of violence in Iraq by adding 15,000 or 30,000 more Americans. The bulk of the violence in Iraq is a raging civil war between Shiites and Sunnis. Militias and insurgent groups number in the tens of thousands each, and kill far more Iraqis than the US forces do. Which is not to say that we couldn't escalate the killing in Iraq, even without dramitically increasing troop numbers - we could, say, start carpet bombing Sadr City - but I don't think that any sane person is suggesting this, nor is the Administration. I think we're seeing recommendations for increasing the number of troops for 'clear and hold' type missions in the Baghdad area, manning checkpoints, and training and cooperating with Iraqi security forces.
Which, to reiterate, still won't 'win' the Iraqi Civil War, but also doesn't qualify as escalation.
by James Gatz 2006-12-21 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Really?

If you look, the strategic thrust here is to put more combat troops in trouble spots and try to rein in the Shia militias, who we have not really fought against. This would most likely bring a couple million more trigger-fingers (or IED detonators) to bear on our supply lines, prompting some additional reaction in defense.

Since the whole deployment is hopelessly vulnerable from the supply-chain standpoint (no number of HUMVEE escorts will make it secure), the likely response will be large and blunt, designed to deter rather than actually prevent, increasing guerrilla attacks; likely much in the style of Israel vs Palestine.

Once we start blowing up populated apartment blocks with A-C130-fired howitzer shells to wipe out suspected safehouses, it's all downhill from there.

by Josh Koenig 2006-12-26 11:48AM | 0 recs
Bagging semantics

They're not "body bags" they're "troop receptacles"

by gregflynn 2006-12-21 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: It's an ESCALATION, Not a &quot;Surge&quot;

And it's an OCCUPATION, Not a "War."

by Bush Bites 2006-12-21 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: It's an ESCALATION, Not a &quot;Surge&quot;

And when we send troops into more counties (Iran, Syria). they will be chasing insurgents rather than invading.

by mollyd 2006-12-21 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: It's an ESCALATION, Not a &quot;Surge&quot;

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by josemelena6 2007-03-17 06:10AM | 0 recs
Re: It's an ESCALATION, Not a &quot;Surge&quot;

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fond-d-ecran
fond-d-ecran-gratuit
fonds-d-ecran
football
gay
gay-gratuit
girl
golf
gratuit
gratuit2
gratuit3
gratuite
gratuite2
gratuite3
gros
grosse
gros-sein-gratuit
hard
hardcore
hentai-gratuit
histoire
homosexuel
horoscope
horoscope-gratuit
horoscopes
hot

humour
icone
icq
illusion
image
image2
image-humour
jeu
jeu2
jeu-adulte-gratuit

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by josemelena6 2007-03-17 06:11AM | 0 recs

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