MEMO TO REUTERS

A reader sends in some Newspeak terms for Reuters to use to describe the September 11 terrorists: “asymmetric warfare specialists” or “civilian elimination engineers.” Other euphemisms welcomed.

HITCH VERSUS THE LEFT: Hitchens goes at it again, taking on his own friends in the Nation. It’s ok for me to bang on about the Left. They hate me anyway. But Hitchens’ brilliant little piece skewers them like a well-done kebab. Here’s one favorite rhetorical flourish: “But straight away, we meet people who complain at once that this enemy is us, really. Did we not aid the grisly Taliban to achieve and hold power? Yes indeed “we” did. Well, does this not double or triple our responsibility to remove them from power? A sudden sheep-like silence, broken by a bleat.” LOL.

MOVE OVER, PETER JENNINGS: “My daughter, who goes to Stuyvesant High School only blocks from the World Trade Center, thinks we should fly an American flag out our window. Definitely not, I say: The flag stands for jingoism and vengeance and war… It seems impossible to explain to a 13-year-old, for whom the war in Vietnam might as well be the War of Jenkins’s Ear, the connection between waving the flag and bombing ordinary people half a world away back to the proverbial stone age. I tell her she can buy a flag with her own money and fly it out her bedroom window, because that’s hers, but the living room is off-limits.” – Katha Pollitt, The Nation. These domestic scenes sound like a hilarious red-diaper version of Absolutely Fabulous, where hippie mom and nerdy daughter fight their own little cultural war. I’m with the kid.