Thursday, July 28, 2005


We're confused. Not over whether our current relations with certain fundamentalist members of certain underground radical groups is GWOT or GSAVE. What we want to know is if the mission is still accomplished? Well, we'd also like to know what the frequency is, but Dan Rather won't return our calls.

In recent speeches and news conferences, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has spoken of "a global struggle against violent extremism" rather than "the global war on terror," which had been the slogan. Administration officials say that phrase may have outlived its usefulness, because it "focused attention on the fact that after two years we don't even control Baghdad, haven't found Osama Bin Laden, WMD's, or been welcomed as liberators."

Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, "GWOT's a bust because it's associated in the public mind with what's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan right now. We need a new slogan the same as MacDonalds had to move from 'You deserve a break today' to 'I'm lovin' it.'"

Administration and Pentagon officials say the revamped campaign has grown out of meetings of President Bush's senior national security advisers and representatives of BBDO one of the world's largest advertising firms. "We figured we weren't going to be able to play the spreading democracy angle again," said White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "So we figured we'd get some professional help. GSAVE tested best so we went with it."

The shifting language is one of the most significant changes in the administration's strategy to battle Al Qaeda and its affiliates. "OK, it's our only strategy to battle Al Qaeda and its affiliates," Secretary Rumsfeld admitted at a Pentagon briefing. "We need to divert people from the gloomy reality and offer a positive fantasy, and that fantasy needs a name."

"The president said we were going to use all the means of national bluster and obfuscation to keep people distracted," said Lawrence Di Rita, Mr. Rumsfeld's spokesman. "If the terrorists think they have a better slogan, well I say bring it on. Oops, I said terrorists. I meant violent extremists."

Opinion polls show that the public is increasingly pessimistic about the mission in Iraq, with many doubting its link to the counter terrorism mission. So, a new distraction confusing the public with irrelevant acronyms may allow the administration to avoid having to explain the daily mayhem in Iraq and the mounting American casualties.

Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary of defense said that because the nation's efforts were limited to "fighting the enemy where he isn't, you're on a treadmill that is likely to go downhill with time." The key to "ultimately selling the war," he said, "is having a pithy slogan that disheartens the terrorists. Oops, I means the radical extremists."

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