23 November 2009

Tired military cliches, part XCVII...

I have this semi-regular segment here at Wings Over Iraq dedicated to tired military cliches. Today, I was afforded with yet another gem:

We have a number of quick reference guides on various aspects of life in Iraq that we tape to the restroom walls just over the urinals. The theory is that when you go to the restroom, you'll look at the various flyers concerning the pillars of Islam, basic Arabic, or insurgent tactics, and you'll probably learn something. It's a great idea, except for the fact that someone entitled the series "Learn While You Burn". Seriously, burning and urination don't go together.

Anyway, one such poster discusses the latest insurgent IED tactics in Iraq. Now, there are numerous means of employing IEDs: you have the suicide IED (SIED), vehicle-borne IED (VBIED), suicide vehicle-borne IED (SVBIED), you get the picture.

Now, the adaptive Iraqi insurgency wreaks havoc on the American military by creating an IED which defies official description, leading American troops to endure the atrociously-conceived
milspeak term:

"House-borne IED"

I kid you not. It even has the acronym "HBIED".

Doesn't something have to move or carry something else to, well, bear it? How can a house "bear" an IED? Can't we just say that it's a "booby trap"? Wikipedia does list that as an established military term...

Seriously, my head hurts...


Unknown said...

forgive me: i laughed out loud when reading this.

... and, yes - depending on the theater, i guess - 'burning' and urinating DO go together!... at least that was what i learned in a med battalion in 2nd inf div, korea, mid '70s.

Unknown said...

I don't know about "learn while you burn," but the expression "p*ssing and moaning" is said to have entered the GI vocabulary during a VD epidemic in Occupation Germany.