Remembering Shock and Awe et al.

I was going through a desk drawer yesterday and I found a wrinkled piece of scrap paper, which goes back to the spring of 2003. It was the early days of the Iraq War, and I had jotted down some phrases which I was hearing over and over again on the radio and tv. Looking at the list now, I think, what an innocent, nostalgic time it was.

The list seems almost quaint now. Who can forget the wonderful poetry of “shock and awe”? — Well, apparently almost everyone. It seems like a hollowed out slogan from some bygone era, like “I like Ike” or “Remember the Maine.”

    secure undisclosed location
    Coalition of the willing
    shock and awe
    target of opportunity
    credible threat
    protective custody
    increased chatter

Oh, those were the days.