It's an ESCALATION, Not a "Surge"
by joelspolls, Thu Dec 21, 2006 at 04:28:57 AM EST
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:
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>.
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.