nettime's_roving_reporter on Sun, 30 Nov 2003 07:00:53 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Name That War

     [via <>]

< >

Name That War

Published: November 29, 2003

A drum roll, please: It's time to announce the results of the Name
That War Contest.

In a column 10 days ago about Iraq, I expressed frustration at the
absence of a good name for our war there. So I offered prizes (Iraqi
250-dinar notes with Saddam's picture) and invited readers to send in


Then I fled to Guatemala and El Salvador, and when I returned to the
office this week, there were 4,000 entries from all over the world.

Hundreds of people offered "Bush's Folly," "Burning Bush," "Bush
League War," "Bubba's War," "Shrub's War," "Operation Quicksand" or
"The Crawford Conflict." Then there were zillions of "Iraqmire,"
"Iraqgate" and "Iraqnam."

Lois from New Zealand suggested "Operation Bushwhack Iraq." Avie Hern
of California offered "Bushkrieg."

Some people suggested that instead of Operation Iraqi Freedom, this is
"Operation Iraqi Liberation." I thought they were hawks until I
recognized the acronym: OIL. Also on the petroleum front, Peter Wilson
of Pennsylvania offered "Mother of Oil Wars."

Some names were interesting but a bit long. For example, Charles Hayes
of New York offered these options: "Bremer Takes a Baath," "I Waged
Two Wars Against Saddam and All I Got Was His Headache" and "Visit
Scenic Saddam and Gomorrah."

Imaginative, but try to fit those into a headline. Or this from Pat
Malach of Oregon: "Operation Gee Whiz, This Liberation Thing Seemed a
Lot Easier When We Were Drawing It Up Back at the Think Tank."

But some entries were so concise they sounded as if they could have
graced a Robert Ludlum thriller: "The Iraq Pre-emption," "The Bush
Incursion," "Bush's Botch" and "The Big Uneasy."

The last is, of course, a play on the movie "The Big Easy." There were
lots of other pop culture references (my assistant, Christina Lem, had
to translate some for me; I speak foreign languages but have never
been fluent in pop). A Minnesota astronomer who evidently likes
Britney Spears offered: "Operation Oops, We Did It Again." And movie
buffs urged "Operation Kick the Dog," "The Empire Strikes Out,"
"Apocalypse Right Now," "Mission Implausible: A Job Well Spun" and
"Trek 2: Wrath of Neo-Khan."

Scholarly readers argued that the distinctive quality of this war was
America's claim that it has the right to invade other countries if
they are developing weapons of mass destruction and may threaten us.
John Parry of North Carolina suggested "Pre-emptive War I," leaving
room for us to continue the series if we move on to Tehran and

On the model of the War of Jenkins' Ear, one reader suggested "The War
of Bush's Flight Suit." Harold Kramer of Massachusetts singlehandedly
came up with "Rummy's Retreat," "Cheney's Chaos," "Perle's
Predicament," "Powell's Problem" and "Rice's Regret."

Others came up with "King George's New Colony," "The War of the Roves"
and "The War That Cried Wolfowitz."

Donn Blodgett of Vermont urged "Coup d'√Čtats Unis," and Linda Kolker
of Georgia recommended "The Charge of the Right Brigade."

Honorable mention in this contest goes to "Operation Unscramble Eggs,"
by Russell Schindler of New York; "Desert Storm und Drang," by Robert
Proctor of Connecticut; "The 'Raq," by Jeff Schramm of Missouri;
"A'bombin'nation," by Kent Moore of North Carolina; "Tigris by the
Tail," by Paul Reeves of New Mexico; "War of Mass Deception," by Scott
Dacko of New York; and "Iraq: A Hard Place," by Chris Walters of

The five winners, each of whom gets a 250-dinar note left over from my
last Iraq trip, are: Brad Corsello of New York for "Dubya Dubya III";
Richard Sanders for "Rolling Blunder"; John Fell of California for
"Desert Slog," Will Hutchinson of Vermont for "Mess in Potamia"; and
Willard Oriol of New York for "Blood, Baath and Beyond."

More seriously, during this holiday weekend, I hope we'll think often
and appreciatively of those Americans who are in Iraq right now. Humor
cannot erase their fear and loneliness in the face of Washington's
policy failures, or the heartbreak here in so many homes where
bereaved parents, spouses and orphans are struaggling in this season
to remember why they should be giving thanks.¬

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: