Lexicon of Iraq War Lingo: Fightin’ Words

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GROUNDHOG DAY: another day on duty in Iraq

DEAD CHECK: to put bullets in a lifeless body to ensure it’s dead

BAGHDAD CLOCK: Iraq’s own timeline for progress, usually set several months behind the Washington clock

ALL-AMERICAN DECOY: guard posted out in the open; a sitting target.

HOLLOW ARMY: to fill out the ranks with untrained or unqualified soldiers

20 PERCENT SOLUTION: General David Petraeus’ plan to arm the Sunnis to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq

80 PERCENT SOLUTION: plan to break the Sunni insurgency by siding with the Shiites and Kurds

CRUNCHIES: tank-driver slang for infantry. (Think of the sound of a tank rolling over a body.)

RED ON RED: enemy-on-enemy fire, such as when Shiite factions battle each other

FOBBIT: American soldier who never leaves a forward operating base (FOB)

DBIED: Donkey-Borne Improvised Explosive Device. Also known as “shock and hee-haw.”

CROCKET: insurgent vehicle carrying rockets or artillery rounds. Also known as “cartillery.”

HILLBILLY ARMOR: improvised vehicle armor made from scrap metal and scrounged parts. Also known as “Frankenstein” in the Marine Corps.

RHINO: 37-ton armored bus that shuttles VIPS from the Baghdad airport to the Green Zone

THUNDER RUN: high-speed military convoy in the midst of battle

ROAD APPLES: wake of defecation left by a convoy as soldiers relieve themselves from the backs of their trucks

AIRHEAD: base for supply and evacuation by air

FREEDOM BIRD: airplane flying American soldiers out of Iraq. Originated in Vietnam.

NEO: noncombatant evacuation operation

ASS AND TRASH: hauling people and things, usually by air. Originated in Vietnam.

ROLL UP: orderly dismantling of military facilities

CHU: Containerized Housing Unit (pronounced “choo”). A movable living space made from a shipping container. Often clustered in “CHUvilles.”

RE-HAT: to give a local militia new uniforms, often without adequate training

LILY PAD: military base used as a jumping-off point to get to another part of the world

COMMO BLACKOUT: communication blackout for a dead soldier’s unit until family is informed

TRUNK MONKEYS: derogatory term for Iraqi troops in a pickup truck mounted with a machine gun

ROUTE TAMPA: main military supply line into Iraq from Kuwait. Also the main route out of the country.

OVER-THE-HORIZON FORCE: post-withdrawal contingent of American forces that would remain in the Middle East

TINY HEART SYNDROME: affliction common among Iraqi units that shy away from combat

CHEWERS: insurgents who record the license plates and movements of Iraqi civilians working with the Americans to target them for assassination

RAT FUCK: to ransack

“SHUT UP AND COLOR”: admonition to a soldier who is expected to do his duty despite less-than-ideal circumstances

SIMPLIFICATION: Iraqi slang for ethnic cleansing

FORT LIVING ROOM: civilian life

BUG OUT: to beat a hasty retreat

KMAG YO-YO: Kiss My Ass, Guys, You’re On Your Own. Translation: Adios, Iraq!

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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