The once-new words weapons of mass destruction meant, not "They have atomic weapons", but only, "If we can just find one container of mustard gas, no one will ever complain." Of course, they didn't find it and now they aren't even looking any more.
The new word surge means, not "a temporary buildup to take us over the top", but rather, "a permanent escalation in troops sent to Iraq and a permanent increase in the size of the army".
Humpty Dumpty, before he had that tragic fall, which all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't set right, developed a reputation as a political linguist:
'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,' it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'
'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master - that's all.'
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. 'They've a temper, some of them - particularly verbs: they're the proudest - adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs - however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!'
'Would you tell me, please,' said Alice, 'what that means?'
'Now you talk like a reasonable child,' said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. 'I meant by "impenetrability" that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life.'
'That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a thoughtful tone.
'When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'I always pay it extra.'
'Oh!' said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any other remark.
Don't like that plan? Here's another! Stunningly cunning!
Okay, boys, we bring in 20,000 extra troops to Iraq. That'll tip the balance, because 140,000 troops and 100,000 contractors just aren't enough to spread thin. And if those cowardly traitors in the Pentagon don't think we know what we're gonna do with them, here it is: We'll wipe out the Shia militia.
That's actually two attacks for the price of one, because not only will the elimination of the Shia militia totally pacify and democratize Iraq, it will also weaken our new enemy, Iran, which is also filled with Shi'ites.
This is the most godawful strategic cockup in American history.
Let's keep doing exactly what we were doing when we got in this mess, at least for two more years.
Then we'll pull out all our combat troops and leave the unarmed troops behind, surrounded.
Great ideas, oh wise men, just great . . .
"In short, a German spy is giving away every one of our battle plans." "You look surprised, Blackadder." "I certainly am, sir. I didn't realise we had any battle plans."
The idea was to have two vast opposing armies, each acting as the other's deterrent. That way there could never be a war. Baldrick: But this is a sort of a war, isn't it, sir? Edmund: Yes, that's right. You see, there was a tiny flaw in the plan. George: What was that, sir? Edmund: It was bollocks.
Edmund: Baldrick, that is by far and away, and without a shadow of doubt, the worst and most contemptible plan in the history of the universe. On the other hand, I hear the sound of disembowelling cutlasses being sharpened, and it's the only plan we've got, so if you will excuse me, gentlemen...