The whole compass of the language is tried to find sinonimies [synonyms] and circumlocutions for massacres and murder. Things never called by their common names. Massacre is sometimes called agitation, sometimes effervescence, sometimes excess sometimes too continued an exercise of revolutionary power.~ Edmund Burke (1729-01-12 1797-07-09 age:68)
This goes way back. Donald Rumsfeld is a master of military euphemism, but is by no means the first.