The Day Satire Died

Things going wrong? just change the brand

Tom Lehrer famously said that satire died the day Henry Kissinger won a Nobel peace prize, but today may have topped it.

The press today is full of articles such as this one about the Bush administration's decision to change the name of the global War on Terror to the "the global struggle against violent extremism"

Much ink is shed over what a smart move this is,

"The Bush administration is retooling its slogan for the fight against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, pushing the idea that the long-term struggle is as much an ideological battle as a military mission, senior administration and military officials said Monday."


"Administration and Pentagon officials say the revamped campaign has grown out of meetings of President Bush's senior national security advisers that began in January, and it reflects the evolution in Mr. Bush's own thinking nearly four years after the Sept. 11 attacks."

Now that all sounds fine and dandy, here it is, the new strategy (and god knows they need one) and who can disagree that violent extremism is a bad thing (especially when compared to it's polar opposite peaceful moderation)

However there appears to be one little point thet the gentlemen of the press to missed, except for Fred Kaplan in Slate

Fred points out that the original acronym for the Global War on terror (GWOT or G-WOT) is a bit of a mouthful, a bit negative a bit you know, out of date, yesterdays news. However the super-duper new acronym you get with a simple name change to the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism is GSAVE or even better G-SAVE! Don't you just feel better about it already, G-SAVE!, who could argue with that?

This great new branding, as national security adviser Stephen Hadley puts it is caused by a "need to dispute both the gloomy vision and offer a positive alternative." Save the world, not go to war with it.

So it comes to this, Iraq is a disaster area, the Taliban are back in Afghanistan and the world is less safe from terrorist attacks than it has ever been. but we have a snappy new acronym (SNA) so all is well.

Pass the sick bag Doris.

Popular Posts