A "Chinese fire drill" is an activity that involves a lot of bustle and chaos but achieves nothing. This term could be considered insulting due to its association of Chinese people with unproductive activity. Is there an alternative term without the racial connotations?
Edit: This was flagged as a duplicate of this question, asking about a Japanese proverbial reference to one of Aesop's fables: "The mountains labored and brought forth a mouse". The expression refers to "speech acts which promise much but deliver little".(1) In this case the emphasis is on the chaotic execution of a pointless exercise, not on the difference between promises and results.