Word to be Eliminated: "Symbolize"

Several recent events have been described as “just symbolism,” which apparently is a method of dismissing uncomfortable statements of fact, such as ‘Sarah Palin is the nominee for Vice President’ or ‘Rick Warren will give the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration.’ Apparently, these moments are supposed to have a lifespan closer to that of Britney Spears’s first marriage than, say, Britney Spears’ [sic] Guide to Semiconductor Physics.*

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Symbolism Writ Large, in a manner to shame Christo himself:

US opens world’s largest foreign mission in Iraq

The $592 million, 104-acre compound that was dedicated in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone on Monday is meant to symbolize a long-term commitment to Iraq.

That’s a lot of “symbolizing.”

Tell me again why we need to be cautious in investing in domestic infrastructure. (Yes, I get that it’s incrementally larger. So was the Federal-Aid Highway Transportation Act of 1956. Nu?)

*Since Rick Warren was the driving force behind the PEPFAR initiative, discussed by cactus here, response for tens of thousands of African illnesses and deaths, and so discredited that even popular television shows are lambasting it, the idea that he will Just Go Away on 20 January 2009 around 2:00pm is even more absurd than usual.