Monday, February 26, 2007

There's not much point in reading Joe Lieberman's pro-surge op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal -- it's filled with just the kind of insufferable happy talk ("We are now in a stronger position to ensure basic security") you'd expect from Lieberman (or whatever team of Republicans is ghost-writing for him).

The only interesting detail is the attempt to rebrand the surge as "the battle of Baghdad" -- something that is "under way" (and thus mustn't be reversed). Lieberman says "the battle of Baghdad" is "under way" twice, in case you don't get the message.

The problem with Lieberman's use of the definite article -- "the battle of Baghdad" -- is that some of us recall being told that "the battle of Baghdad" took place last summer and fall. At least, that was the message conveyed by America's then-ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, in (by astonishing coincidence) an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. That op-ed bore the title ... gosh, what was the title? Oh, yes: "The Battle of Baghdad."

None of this is to be confused with the 2003 "battle of Baghdad," which ended with the overthrow of Saddam.

And, of course, let's not forget that President Bush referred to the Iraq War as "the battle of Iraq" in his "Mission Accomplished" speech, which would suggest that "the battle of Baghdad" -- whichever one you're referring to -- is actual a sub-battle of "the battle of Iraq."

And then there's "the battle of Baghdad" that took place in 1258, but I probably shouldn't confuse matters even more by bringing that up.

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