For those who, like me, seem to be watching coverage of the Iraq situation as reported by people from a bizarro dimension, in which they speak a language very similar to English, but with subtle and confusing differences, I think that I’ve finally broken the code, and have thus put together a little translation guide for the rest of us.


Nations that we either defeated or liberated six decades ago, and then paid to rebuild half a century ago, and continued to pay for their defense through the Cold War, which has been over for more than a decade, who now feel that they are thereby entitled to obstruct or dictate our foreign policy, which is driven by our own self defense, in the furtherance of the business interests of their corrupt governments and the brutal dictators that they cynically coddle.

going it alone“:

Meaning 1: Taking action in concert with numerous European and Middle-Eastern nations, and others around the globe, but without France and Germany.

Meaning 2: Using the coalition from (1) to enforce numerous UN Security Council resolutions, including one that was passed within the past three months, which was supposed to be final, without going back to the Security Council, hat in hand, to get yet another “final” resolution.

let the inspections continue“:

Allow more time for a few dozen people to literally cluelessly wander around a country hundreds of thousands of square miles in area, searching for things that the Iraqi government has no intention of letting them find, and are hidden in private homes, or mosques, or presidential “palaces” (some of which are themselves the size of typical western cities), or in caves that we don’t even know exist, or that are moved just prior to the threat of an actual search in any of these areas, in order to continue to delay military action in the slim hope that some other means of delay can be found while this one continues, or that the weather will get too hot, or that W is so dumb that he will eventually forget why he’s doing this, or choke on a pretzel, this time for good, all in order to put off forever the day that we actually remove Saddam Hussein from power.

making war on the innocent Iraqi people“:

Removing a malign tyrant who, along with his vile offspring, has been torturing, starving and murdering the Iraqi people for decades, often for no reason other than his own perverse pleasure, and thus thereby finally giving them peace. To fully satisfy the definition, he must be removed while we spend vast amounts of money on precision munitions to minimize collateral casualties to the Iraqi people, even to the extent of risking higher casualties to our own forces to do so.

rush to war“:

Waiting a dozen years after Saddam signed an agreement to relinquish his weapons of mass destruction; waiting almost half a decade after he threw out the arms inspection teams who were there to see that he carried out his commitment; waiting a year and a half after being attacked by Middle Eastern forces that woke us up to the possibility of our vulnerability to people who have been threatening us for years; waiting over a year after declaring Iraq one of the nations that constitute a danger to the planet; carefully crafting and passing yet another UN Security Council resolution reiterating all the previous ones, with the stated intent of being a final one; waiting two months after the submission of a declaration in response to that supposedly final resolution that was 12,000 pages of non-responsiveness, before actually taking any significant military action to see that Saddam’s capability to attack his neighbors and our own nation is eliminated through military force.

smoking gun“:

The level of evidence that will justify removing Saddam Hussein by military force. This one is very precisely defined.

It is a photograph of Saddam Hussein, standing next to fifty-gallon barrels clearly labeled “Anthrax, “Tabun, “Sarin,” “VX,” “Phosgene,” and “Smallpox Virus,” along with a suitcase marked “Danger: ACME Suitcase Nuke–Stand Well Back Before Detonating,” next to a geiger counter with meter pegged. One of Saddam’s hands is evilly twirling his mustache a la Snidely Whiplash, and the other arm is around the shoulder of a hale and hearty Osama bin Laden, who is in turn holding up a clearly-identifiable copy of last Sunday’s New York Times.

The picture must be taken by an objective, prize-winning photographer, such as Robert Fisk. No satellite imagery or CIA evidence is acceptable, since such a photo could be easily faked, and its provenance would thus be highly suspect.

I hope that this guide will help make more sense out of the speeches from politicians and commentary by clueless pundits and reporters that you’ll continue to hear over the next few weeks.