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Nomenclature

By Matthew Yglesias on December 1, 2006 at 12:54 am

"Nomenclature"

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Jim Henley hints at a small item from the “what were they thinking” file, the apparent fact that a big assemblage of neoconnish intellectuals that framed the political objectives of the Iraq campaign before the war was named “Bletcheley II.” Here’s Woodward o the subject:

And Wolfowitz got — right after 9/11 set up this thing called – Bletchley II. Do you remember that? Chris DeMuth at the AEI — And they wrote a paper, seven pages, called, “The Delta of Terrorism,” meaning the origin of terrorism, and it essentially said we are in a two-generation war with radical Islam, and we have to do something, and we better start with Iraq.

Now why would you call it that? The reference is to the Bletchley Park group during World War II, but they were breaking codes, not dreaming up asinine grand strategies. And, for that matter, if you’d just written an analysis of the origin of terrorism, why would’t you title it “The Origin of Terrorism?” Doesn’t “delta” mean “change?” In some ways, I think this artless combination of pretension and ignorance nicely sums the whole Iraq venture up.

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