Wednesday, July 26, 2006

This war needs a name

News continues to pour in from the Middle East. And sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but as I read I can't help noticing the absence of such words as "cease fire," "negotiations," "withdraw," and "peace is really taking root here."

Rather, there are mentions of "civil war," "escalating violence," and "ground troop occupations." In
an analysis piece this morning, the Post's Robin Wright wrote:

The real issues, U.S. officials say, are not simply the hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah but far wider questions of Lebanon's sovereignty and what the administration sees as an existential battle between forces aligned for and against democracy in the region.

Existential battle? That sounds a lot like "reckoning" to me. So on that note, I think this war needs a name. A real name. Not some mealy-mouthed catch-all like "the Second Gulf War," or "Crisis in the Middle East" or "The War on Terror." With so many nations involved and so many cross-streams of hatred, it should now be The Middle East War, or The Culture War (kinda like that one) or, dare I say, World War III. It's out of control out there. It is total, utter bedlam. And I think the way we define (and, thus, the way we think about) what's happening needs to change to reflect that.

- Washington Post story on
adding troops
- Washington Post story on
heavy Israeli casualties
- N.Y. Times story on
Israel occupying Lebanon
- Washington Post story on
killed U.N. peacekeepers

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Town E. Dispatch said...

that "world war III" has got a catchy ring to it. i'm going with that one. besides the first two were such blockbuster successes, lets have a sequel! it won't be as good, but it's still be watchable.

I.P. Daily said...

Remember, there is a precedent here. 30 years ago we had the Lebanon War. Since there has been no formal declaration of war, this war has been dubbed the Lebanon Conflict. Should an official war break-out, we could dub it the Lebanon War II, but it would be presumtuous to call it that at this point. Given my choice, I'd go with the Lebanon Police Action. That makes it sound a lot less serious - like there are Israeli mounted cops with billy clubs in southern Lebanon as opposed to warplanes and bombs. As if, "Nothing to see here, it's just a police action. We just got a possy together to round up some Hezbollah."

MSH said...

Yeah, no official war declaration, but then again, prisoners of war are now detainees. How about we call it The Lebanon Games? We could give out medals. And instead of detainees, we go with VIPs. If a lot of VIPs end up coming back to American soil after The Lebanon Games, we'd be in a pretty good situation!