July 29, 2005
Bush Administration Renames “War on Terror” for Second Time in a Week
WASHINGTON—In a move that caught Washington pundits off guard, the Bush Administration again renamed the “Global War on Terror,” having just changed the name to the “Struggle against Extremism” earlier in the week. Cabinet officials did not explicitly acknowledge the latest change, but they began using the new phrase, “The Tussle with Uneasiness,” throughout the day.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on a diplomatic visit to China, hinted at the new phrase in prepared remarks she delivered before giving a state piano recital to Chinese President Hu Jintao. “It took me years to learn to play the piano at a competitive level,” Rice acknowledged. “At first, I was uneasy in front of crowds. But I had to fight, or tussle, with that uneasiness until it went away. Eventually it did. And it’s the same with Osama Bin Laden. We need to tussle and tussle until we are no longer uneasy. And we will.”
After a speech at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld corrected a reporter who used the phrase “Struggle against Extremism” in a question. “You might know that in Arabic, the word ‘struggle’ translates as jihad,” the Secretary pointed out. “Our enemies have declared jihad on us. I reject the idea that there is some kind of equivalence between us and the enemy. But I tell you this: when I wrestled at Princeton, I was in a lot of tussles. And I won most of them—and there’s absolutely no question that I could beat you.” [In what a spokesman later described as a confidence-building measure for the watching troops, he subsequently locked the hapless reporter in a sophisticated wrestling hold, and insisted that the journalist cry “I’m not uneasy” before he would release her. “As you can see, this is a Tussle that we will win,” announced the Secretary.]
A high-ranking Administration official, who spoke off the record because of the liberty it gave him to invent whatever he felt like, said the newest name “would reassure the American people.” He added, “At a time when almost 2,000 American soldiers have died and we have spent more than 200 billion dollars above and beyond the official federal deficit, it’s nice to know that we no longer have to worry about a ‘Global War on Terror.’ Obviously we’ve made huge progress this week, much more than anyone expected.”
However, Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman criticized the renaming. “The ‘War on Terror’ was always a bad name,” he said. “I mean, how do you win a war against a technique? It’s like the ‘War on Vigorous Tooth Brushing.’ But these new slogans are plain silly.” Yet the Senator admitted that it could have been worse. “If you think ‘Tussle with Uneasiness’ is bad, you should have heard some of the alternatives these bozos were kicking around. I mean, ‘Impromptu Scuffle with Dudes Who Differ?’ Who’s coming up with this stuff, Tom Cruise’s sister?”
Hmm... maybe they should take a cue from professional wrestling! They come up with names like this all the time. Or, perhaps Lemony Snicket could name the thing...
Posted by: SheaNC | Jul 29, 2005 5:47:17 PM
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