March 2010

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Insult Me... Please

By Thomas Vincent

Interested readers are invited to check out Tom's Political Blog "Certain Doubt"

My ego is not terrifically large. I don’t usually get upset and fly off the handle at the slightest slight. In fact, it takes quite a bit to make me feel insulted. However, there is one thing that will push my buttons, light me up, and set me off quicker than you can say “Roman Candle.”

Insult my intelligence.

The recent pronouncement that the War in Iraq is to be changed from “Operation Iraqi Freedom” to “Operation New Dawn” falls squarely under the heading of “You must think I’m an idiot.” I know, the term “military intelligence” is an oxymoron. But really, whom does the Pentagon think they are fooling here? A continuing military occupation that continues to consume our tax dollars at the rate of approximately $7.3 Billion a month, an occupation that shows no signs of abating in my lifetime and they have the gall to re-name it “Operation New Dawn?”

In justifying the change, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been quoted as saying:

“Aligning the name change with the change of mission sends a strong signal that Operation IRAQI FREEDOM has ended and our forces are operating under a new mission… It also presents opportunities to synchronize strategic communications initiatives, reinforce our commitment to honor the Security Agreement, and recognize our evolving relationship with the government of Iraq.”

Like I said, insulting.

At least when the Bush administration rebranded the “War on Terror,” to “The Long War,” it was honest. By contrast, the Obama administration’s renaming of the Long War as “Overseas Contingency Operations,” raises obfuscation to a whole new plateau. As John Oliver of the Daily Show puts it, it seems as if the Obama administration is working to “Literally confuse us into reassurance.”

Me? I’m not reassured. I’m insulted.

Calling the travesty of what we are doing in Iraq “Operation New Dawn,” is worse than putting lipstick on a pig. It’s more like hanging a sign around the poor unfortunate porker’s neck that says: “Look at me. I’m a Duck.”

It’s worse than insulting. It’s pathetic.

“Operation New Dawn.” I mean really. What are they going to call it when we invade Iran? “Operation Wash the Axis of Evil with Concentrated Low Temperature Detergent”… brought to you by Arm(s) and Hammer(s)? This type of idiocy is one more bit of evidence to add to the overwhelming case that no one’s manning the wheelhouse of the ship of state.

Of course, if the White House and Pentagon were to give a truly honest name for what we are doing in the Middle East it might be a little hard to sell, I suppose. After all, who’s going to buy a product called: “Operation, Bankrupt America to Feed a Voracious Industrial War Machine in the Name of Satisfying a Neo-Conservative Wet Dream of Military World Hegemony?”

That would be a little hard to fit on a label.