President George Bush said today that he would not allow a civil war in Iraq to erupt on his watch, and said that in order to prevent that from happening the United States would aggressively search for new synonyms for the phrase "civil war."
In order to seek out the most sanitized alternatives to that phrase, the president announced that he was launching an ambitious new mission called Operation Noble Euphemism.
Showing his trademark steely resolve, Bush told reporters at the White House that the United States was prepared to hunt down every last thesaurus on Earth and would not quit until the job was done.
As if to demonstrate the high priority he was placing on finding new synonyms, Bush said that the government would spend $12-billion, most of which had been previously earmarked to find Osama bin Laden.
But critics of Operation Noble Euphemism were skeptical of its outcome, particularly after the White House unsuccessfully launched a slogan contest last month to replace the phrase "stay the course."
That contest, which was announced with much fanfare, was abandoned after a leak revealed that the top contender was "slog through the mire."
White House spokesman Tony Snow attempted to quiet critics today, saying that "the United States is committed to finding a lasting euphemism for civil war in Iraq."
Snow refused to say which if any euphemisms were under consideration, but did say that the White House had already ruled out "Shiapalooza."
Faced with the deteriorating situation, Bush summoned former Baywatch bombshell Pamela Anderson to the White Office to seek her advice about an exit strategy.
Shortly after Bush's meeting with Anderson, the White House issued the following statement: "President Bush is separating from the nation of Iraq. Both he and Iraq hope that the American people will respect their privacy during this difficult time."
Elsewhere, top Chechen rebels turned down Russian President Vladimir Putin's offer to meet with him over sushi.