Gulf War II? ffs. Roman numerals like it's World War II. Like it's a continuation. Like it fits in to the grand sweep of history. Branded, already. "Gulf War II", not "Gulf War 2". A phrase with a comfortable heft. A memo of the past. Harks back to a quick, painless (for the West) war. Reassuring. Serious. A handy shortcut to talk about it. Dignified. Stops you thinking about what's actually going on. At least Channel 4 news last night had the decency to call it the "war on Iraq".
I'm ambivalent on the subject of war on Iraq. But it's like being rudely told to clean your room when you were going to anyway. If there's any justice, it would've been that the respective governments of the US and the UK didn't get their way, just for treating the people who voted for them with so little respect. But, since we're there, let's do this properly, and with the minimum of pain. And don't be lazy, and don't use words to forget what this really is.