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United States surrenders, terror, drugs win.
May 14, 2009 11:10 AM   Subscribe

Without much fanfare, the Global War on Terror has ended. The new name for these military interventions is the Overseas Contingency Operation. Press Q&A. Some Republican representatives discuss. (SPOILER: They are not pleased.) Military blogs discuss. Similarly, the War on Drugs also looks to be on the way out, though no new name for the project has been announced at this time.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim (53 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
While seemingly a pointless gesture, they're also not. If we're going to reclassify the way we phrase things, we're really trying to make an effort on how we think critically about them. And that, for all intents and purposes, is critical.

Good stuff here. Reading diligently.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 11:20 AM on May 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's a War On Declaring War On Stuff ...
posted by jim in austin at 11:24 AM on May 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


I guess this means we won?
posted by Mister_A at 11:24 AM on May 14, 2009


I guess I should read the title?
posted by Mister_A at 11:25 AM on May 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


So should we celebrate with a whole load of drugs and terror?
posted by The Whelk at 11:32 AM on May 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


This is clearly designed to get the crazy kettle whistling again and make him look good and reasonable by comparison. I hope they have this kind of republican-confusing stuff rolling out every month or so.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 11:33 AM on May 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


I guess this means we won?

Hey, when even The Terminator thinks its finally time to wave the white flag and all sit down at the table to negotiate a peace with The Drugs, then I think its time to call it a day.

And about damn time, too, in regard to both the WOT and the WOD.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:35 AM on May 14, 2009


Isn't this kind of old news though? The change in nomenclature for the "War on Chtulhu" goes back at least a couple of months (and the WaPo piece is from late March). Still, this is a nice round up of reactions and context.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:38 AM on May 14, 2009


MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:39 AM on May 14, 2009


To make our surrender complete, what we need is a drug that causes terror. To take a page from the venerable Mr. Lewis, it should not be exorbitantly priced nor be packaged in a tablet or capsule form. I pondered this, then realized that this hypothetical drug is already here.

It's the ten o'clock news. The opiate of the masses, now turned to the paranoid, bugging out "it seemed like a good idea at the time" dope menace of the masses. Technology, you have beaten me to the punch once more.
posted by adipocere at 11:39 AM on May 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


ah, the folly of trying to fight two wars at once.
posted by the aloha at 11:44 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lame. We should call them Expeditions* and the units assembled to carry them out can be Expeditionary Forces.

American Expeditionary Force. Has a nice ring to it.


---------------------
*Or, if you like, Expediences. American Expedient Force.
posted by notyou at 11:50 AM on May 14, 2009


Maintain vigilance, citizens; the War on Drugs has not yet been won. Should you find yourself face-to-face with the demon weed, you should waste no time; you must burn it with fire.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:53 AM on May 14, 2009 [7 favorites]


Det. Ellis Carver: You can't even call this shit a war.
Det. Thomas Hauk: Why not?
Det. Ellis Carver: Wars end.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:55 AM on May 14, 2009 [6 favorites]


You're next Eurasia, then Eastasia.
posted by Paid In Full at 12:04 PM on May 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


They should rename the War on Drugs "Contraband Operations Control", that way when they acronymed it and combined it with the new War on Terror would turn into COC-OCO operations, and that isn't scary at all.

And I'd pay some money to see O'Reilly or Limbaugh work themselves into an indignant froth over how the Co-co-co situation is being handled.
posted by quin at 12:04 PM on May 14, 2009


The Obama administration is continuing the DEA raids on medical marijuana.

They’re just renaming the “war On Drugs” something else. They’re not changing a thing. In fact, Attorney General Eric Holder has publicly said “And with marijuana sales central to the drug trade, Mr. Holder said he was exploring ways to lower the minimum amount required for the federal prosecution of possession cases.”

It’s the same old horseshit. Not a thing has changed. More arrests for weed, higher penalties, longer prison sentences, more SWAT teams handcuffing little old ladies in wheelchairs who suffer form terminal cancer because they visited a state marijuana dispensary.
- Balloon Juice commenter
posted by Joe Beese at 12:05 PM on May 14, 2009


"Should you find yourself face-to-face with the demon weed, you should waste no time; you must burn it with fire."

Well, to quote Obama himself, "that was the point!"
posted by CautionToTheWind at 12:06 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


We kicked the crap out of Oceania, though!
posted by Mister_A at 12:06 PM on May 14, 2009


(SPOILER: They are not pleased.)

That made me laugh out loud. They haven't been pleased about anything since 1985. Why start now?
posted by zarq at 12:07 PM on May 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Coc-ocos operations

I hate redundant acronyms.

posted by quin at 12:08 PM on May 14, 2009


Meanwhile, the Pentagon is still handing out Global War on Terror medals to the armed forces. I guess "Overseas Contingency Operation service medal" doesn't have the same ring to it.
posted by lullaby at 12:08 PM on May 14, 2009


The Obama administration is continuing the DEA raids on medical marijuana.

Joe Beese: You're beating a dead horse and you know it. When this topic last came up on the blue, it was discussed at length that there were special considerations in that final last-minute raid--specifically, that the dispensary being raided had been deemed an illegal dispensary by California authorities because it failed to comply with the state's tax collection and other licensing requirements. And yes, states can still request federal support for such a raid under current law, since California hasn't actually legalized selling marijuana for recreational use, nor has the new DOJ position ever been that it won't enforce existing Federal prohibitions in states that don't modify the Federal rules in some way, such as California has done with the medical marijuana policies.

At the time, I asked you to let me know when an actual example of the administration breaking its pledge came up. I can't help but notice you haven't got anything new to share with the class, so I'm just going to chalk this up to politically-blinkered axe grinding. Even the final link in the FPP acknowledges that the DEA raids actually have stopped now, despite your stubborn refusal to face the reality that this policy is not just another political trick.

The Administration has been getting less warlike on drugs: they're backing the Congressional drive to remove the federal sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine dealers, a major drug-war relic, and have ended the noxious practice of raiding medical marijuana suppliers in states where it's legal.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:24 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, the Pentagon is still handing out Global War on Terror medals to the armed forces. I guess "Overseas Contingency Operation service medal" doesn't have the same ring to it.

Are you sure about that? You might want to read a little more closely. And you might also reconsider the wisdom of linking to a website that sells both past and present US military service medals to collectors as a method of verifying what medals the US military is currently issuing. But then, that might take--what, like a whole ten seconds of critical thought?

a. Authorized to be awarded to soldiers who have participated in or served in support of Global War on Terrorism Operations outside the designated areas of eligibility (AOE) for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, on or after 11 September 2001 to a date to be determined. Initial award of the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal (GWOTSM) will be limited to airport security operations (from 27 September 2001 through 31 May 2002) and soldiers who supported Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:33 PM on May 14, 2009


All right, I'm an ass. Sorry for jumping down your throat, lullaby. The GWOTS medal apparently is still current. But geez, a better cite would have been nice.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:36 PM on May 14, 2009


While it may be possible to create a redundant acronym ("DoRD for Dep't of Redundancy Dep't, perhaps), the likes of "ATM machine" and "PIN number" and so on are not examples.

While they certainly started off as merely nouns, most nouns in English can be adjectivized, particularly in the context of complex noun phrases. This leads to such things as "computer engineers" which are not in fact computers, and "ATM cards" which are not in fact automated teller machines.

(Tangent: I give it 10-20 years before there are ATMs aren't really "machines" in the original sense either. With the right scanning technology, you could create a "deposit station" tomorrow with no moving parts.)

The evolution of terms like "PIN card" and "ATM drive-through" and so on lead to the further adjectivization of PIN and ATM in the anglophone lexicon. Most people now view them as both the original nouns and as adjectives describing anything to do with that technology or process. Because ATM and PIN are now lexical entries independent of their original acronymic breakdown, terms like "ATM machine" (a machine of or relating to the ATM technology) or "PIN number" (a number of or relating to the PIN safeguard convention) aren't really redundant. At most they are superfluous.

My point is only that it's kind of a waste of time to worry yourself over such things, and your position isn't really supported by English linguistics anyway.
posted by jock@law at 12:37 PM on May 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


And an update from your second link, Joe Beese:

UPDATE:: Scott Morgan at stopthedrugwar.org provides some clarification on Holder's remarks by pointing to a Baltimore Sun article. In short, Holder was basically referring to the prosecution of traffickers, who currently slip under the amount threshold warranting federal prosecution

posted by saulgoodman at 12:39 PM on May 14, 2009


I think I can most succinctly summarize my opinion by saying 'politicians suck ass'.
posted by kldickson at 12:45 PM on May 14, 2009


BABT: The Battle Against Bad Things
posted by gottabefunky at 12:51 PM on May 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Some of the reactions these changes are getting here are really puzzling to me.

Weren't many of you (like me) bitching all along about the fundamentally dishonest and nonsensical nomenclature used to describe these policies ("War on Drugs," "War on Terror," etc.) while Bush was in office? Haven't I been seeing annoyed references to the GWOT™ and endless sniping about the sheer stupidity of declaring war on abstractions and battlefield tactics?

This was specifically one of the many policy changes I and lots of others who supported Obama during the election wanted to see: This is a step away from the Orwellian doublespeak and shameless branding and marketing of what should be treated as complex policy challenges, not the latest variation on the theme "We have always been at war with Eurasia."

I just don't understand how anyone can interpret this change in policy as anything other than a good thing. Hopefully, another step for further down the line will be doing away with "Department of Homeland Security" and banishing the use of the shudder-inducing phrase "The Homeland" in all matters of public policy (though unfortunately, that one seems to have caught on with too many in the general public to go away anytime soon).
posted by saulgoodman at 1:01 PM on May 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


But geez, a better cite would have been nice.

Heh, I have to comment on the irony of linking to wikipedia and then telling me to get a better cite.
posted by lullaby at 1:01 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I, for one, welcome our new Overseas Contingency Operatives/Overlords.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:04 PM on May 14, 2009


Hey, all is not lost. The French surrendered in 1940 to the Nazis.

Next time you're in Paris, count how many Nazis you see.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 1:05 PM on May 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


lullaby: touché.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:08 PM on May 14, 2009


The evolution of terms like "PIN card" and "ATM drive-through" and so on lead to the further adjectivization of PIN and ATM in the anglophone lexicon.

It's fine to adjectivize (really?) PIN and ATM, but it is just as good renominify (really.) them. It's really lazy construction to say things like ATM machine and PIN number, and certainly more efficient to say ATM and PIN.

However, to jump off your hobby horse and onto mine, why do medics say W-B-C for white blood cells, when the acronym takes more syllables to say than the original phrase? Huh? Explain me that!
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:13 PM on May 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


I propose that Metafilter declare War on Euphemisms.
posted by Rumple at 1:40 PM on May 14, 2009



However, to jump off your hobby horse and onto mine, why do medics say W-B-C for white blood cells, when the acronym takes more syllables to say than the original phrase? Huh? Explain me that!

Speaking of that, why does English have 25 letters of one syllable, and one (w) with three syllables, but none with two syllables? Let's kill W!
posted by freecellwizard at 1:43 PM on May 14, 2009


Let's kill W!

I'd rather we put it in prision for it's role in leading war crimes, but opinions vary here.
posted by quin at 1:52 PM on May 14, 2009


Meanwhile, the Pentagon is still handing out Global War on Terror medals to the armed forces.

Of course they are. They bought them in bulk back in 2002 when everyone was supposed to be back on US soil any time, all treated as heroes, and eevery serving soldier would have gotten medals. Unfortunately, the government is left with a huge inventory of medals and not enough chests to pin them on.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:58 PM on May 14, 2009


I propose that the War on Euphamisms can go box the bishop.
posted by Fezboy! at 2:02 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


One of many ways to see of the inherent idiocy of these things is to try and imagine alternate universes where they ever could have ended with much fanfare.
posted by Bokononist at 2:09 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


A little advice to the warpigs.. it's all in the name. Don't name wars after intangible things like "terror", you'll never win - it's like waging a war against "saddness".
Same goes for waging wars against general items like "drugs". At no point could you declare victory on such a broad thing .
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:42 PM on May 14, 2009


At no point could you declare victory on such a broad thing .

But isn't that why they name them that way...so they will never be over, and the "war against <>" industry will always be needed.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:50 PM on May 14, 2009


<>
Speaking of Boxing the bishop...
** possibly NSFW link ***
http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/Party-of-Five-44817027.html
<>
posted by Nauip at 3:12 PM on May 14, 2009


oddly the THREAD_DERAIL tags have disappeared from my <>s
posted by Nauip at 3:14 PM on May 14, 2009


Give me a couple of tanks of Nitrous Oxide and I believe that I could indeed wage a fair war against sadness.

Or die trying.
posted by quin at 3:21 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I propose that Metafilter declare War on Euphemisms.

That sounds so harsh. Can't we call it something else?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:43 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maintain vigilance, citizens; the War on Drugs has not yet been won. Should you find yourself face-to-face with the demon weed, you should waste no time; you must burn it with fire.

I'm helping to eradicate this menace (and make sure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands) by incinerating it under high temperatures in a glass crucible. Am I a patriot? Oh hells yes.
posted by porn in the woods at 3:54 PM on May 14, 2009


when even The Terminator thinks its finally time to wave the white flag

If you remember Pumping Iron, you'll remember that Ahnold himself has been known to seek out the occasional joobie to go along with the infamous plochops.
posted by rokusan at 5:06 PM on May 14, 2009


25 letters of one syllable, and one (w) with three syllables

Because of this, and the fact that it looks more like a double-V than double-U, I propose we change the pronunciation of "W" from "double-U" to "wuh ", or "wub" if you are Canadian.
posted by fings at 5:26 PM on May 14, 2009


Give me a couple of tanks of Nitrous Oxide and I believe that I could indeed wage a fair war against sadness.

Remember to take your B12.
posted by wires at 10:28 PM on May 14, 2009


However, to jump off your hobby horse and onto mine, why do medics say W-B-C for white blood cells, when the acronym takes more syllables to say than the original phrase? Huh? Explain me that!

Perhaps it's because it's often written as the abbreviation (which is indeed shorter than writing it all out). And so to maintain semantic contact between the concept as written and the concept as spoken and minimize interpretation between the two - the utility of which may be significant in a stressful situation - the acronym is spelled out when spoken as well.

That, or medics like to impress themselves and others with teh jargon, I dunno.
posted by darkstar at 10:30 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, and the origin of the "w" in our orthography spelled out (heh) here (scroll down).
posted by darkstar at 10:35 PM on May 14, 2009


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