I said today would be a light blogging day, but “today” is over officially and it’s now tomorrow. So here we go. George Lakoff, whose book is available in my sidebar, has this great post
on Daily Kos about framing the Iraq occupation. His main point is that those of us opposed to our occupation of Iraq would do well to frame it as an occupation
, and not as a war
. Firstly, this is a more accurate description of what we’re doing there. “War” implies armies clashing, front lines, capturing territory, the whole World War II thing. (Now most modern wars don’t look anything like this, but that’s still the image people get) Occupation involves keeping the peace, battling rebels, doing street patrols, getting shot at by resentful locals, etc. The image that comes to mind is Israel in the occupied territories. This is far more similar to what we’re currently doing in Iraq than the Battle of the Bulge or Operation Bagration
The main benefit of using this frame is that occupations naturally end, either with withdrawal or annexation. Since annexation seems completely farfetched, withdrawal is the logical thing to do. The only question is when, how, under what conditions, etc. One doesn’t “cut and run” from an occupation. One simply leaves. The “war” frame makes it impossible to leave Iraq without suffering some kind of “defeat” or “surrendering”. While this is palatable to some of us, it makes the sensible thing to do difficult for some Americans to rally around.
So I’m not going to go back through Internal Monologue and scrub every reference to the “Iraq war” and change it to the “Occupation of Iraq”, but that’s how I’ll be referring to it, unless events there make this term obsolete.