We live in remarkable times at the moment, and our words this week are taken from the press coverage of the military events in Iraq. Apologies for any bias, reflected here, by the authors of the illustrative quotations.
billet - noun lodging for soldiers, or an order for their lodging; verb to provide housing for soldiers
cadre - a nucleus of traind personnel around which a larger organization can be built. Typically used for a military or political group
quote:A local contact told me that Saddam Hussein ... has also forcibly billeted troops and loyalist cadres in civilian homes in readiness for street fighting. - Melik Kaylas, Beware of the Kurds, Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2003
Sorry to be AWOL for a few days. Real life got in the way.
frag; fragging - to wound or kill a fellow soldier by a grenade or similar explosive. from frag, slang for fragmentation grenade
I understand this as limited to victimizing your fellow soldier, deliberately, and not covering accidents, or attacks on the enemy. But perhaps I'm mistaken:
quote:The depressing neweekend news -- a firefight that caught our troops here, the American POWs there, the fragging of U.S. troops apparently by one of their own -- are all real things that happpened. But while the camera can record them accurately, the one thing it cannot do is provide the larger perspective. - Wall Street Journal, March 25, 2003
quote:Sharon Begley, Burning Oil Wells May Be Less Damaging Than First Thought, Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2003 (excerpted):
As Iraqi forces blew up an estimated 732 Kuwaiti oil wells at the end of the 1991 Gulf War, some scientists warned that the infernos could produce a pall of black soot that would reach the stratosphere, circle the planet and remain aloft long enough to trigger a mini-nuclear winter. Because oily droplets are hydrophobic (they don't mix with water), worst-case models predicted the smoke plumes would be immune to "cloud scavenging," or removal by precipitation.
Fortunately, "because of all the salt and sulfur in the plumes, many of the particles acted like cloud-condensation nuclei, which seed the formation of raindrops when they encounter a cloud."
To catch up a bit for my lapse, let's have two words today.
inveigh – to attack with harsh criticism or reproach hubris – overbearing pride or presumption
quote:Inveighing against the president's commitment to mounting "a massive democratic revolution throughout the Arab world," Gary Hart writes, "The extravagance, not to say arrogance, of this epic undertaking is sufficiently breathtaking in its hubris to make Woodrow Wilson blush." – Lawrence F. Kaplan, Democrats Against Democracy, Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2003
atavistic - from atavism: the return of a trait or behavior after a period of absence; throwback
quote:... an age-old reminder about the reality of war. Under the armor there is still only the body, the flesh and blood and sinew of young soldiers. It makes no difference whether that armor is the shield of an ancient Greek soldier or the electornics jamming of a modern attach aircraft. A small cluster of young men gathered around their howitzer still look [sic] much as they did even in WordWar II.
There is a far more atavistic element playing out in this war as well. - New York Times editorial, March 29, 2003