Washington Times on Obama’s “Kinetic Action” in Libya

From the Washington times:

What if they gave a war and nobody was allowed to say it? The debate over military action in Libya has lately taken an absurd twist, driven by the Obama administration’s bizarre unwillingness to call a war a war.

Everyone knows what is going on in Libya is a war, but the administration has placed a moratorium on plain English. Hence White House press secretary Jay Carney prefers to talk about a “time-limited, scope-limited military action,” which could actually describe most wars. And at a press briefing on Wednesday when Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Gerard Hueber was asked, “Do you consider yourself at war right now?” he said, expressionlessly, “we are carrying out the mission of the United Nations Security [Council] Resolution 1973 and the direction of the president in his speech.” Said one observer, “He has drunk the Kool Aid.”

The favored expressions seem to be variations on “kinetic action,” a term that has been in usage in defense parlance for over 20 years. As jargon it is not new; it was used by George W. Bush and members of his administration. But it was never before deployed to deny reality in the way the Obama administration is doing. The president has transformed “kinetic” from jargon to doublespeak, joining such classics as “man caused disaster” and “overseas contingency operation.”

It says a lot when a president has to hide behind opaque language, or to forbid people from stating the obvious. In 1994 the State Department reportedly banned the use of the word “genocide” to describe the genocide then raging in Rwanda. The thought was that if genocide was in progress the United States might be expected to do something about it, which the Clinton administration was loath to do. This past failure to intervene in Rwanda is supposedly one of the factors that drove the current intervention in Libya. So the genocide that wasn’t a genocide helped cause the war that isn’t a war. It has a certain peculiar symmetry.

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About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

3 Replies to “Washington Times on Obama’s “Kinetic Action” in Libya”

  1. Typical leftist actions, change the language in an attempt to hide what they are doing, or change the meaning of words to make your political enemies look bad.

  2. The west loves to get involved with the brown man. When the black man is in trouble the mullato in the white house is hardl aware of it. Millions have died in the Congo, and in Sudan but one palastinian throws a rock and the world knows about it. Looks like the Arabs are in charge about what we care about. We are to care about the brown man of the desert but not about the black man who suffers most of the calamities of war and drought and famine and genoncide. The west has become corrupted by petro dollars and islam.

  3. This is really nothing new to the US.

    In 1950, the UN convinced the US and other countries to send troops into Korea in what was officially called a “police action”. To this day, over 60 years later, it is still seen by some as a police action, despite the subsequent conflict becoming commonly known as “The Korean War”

    In the early 1960s, the US sent advisors to Vietnam in an effort to control the North Vietnamese and prevent their forces from taking out the south. The advisors soon became entire plane loads of troops before too long.

    When the US “liberated” Grenada to take some of the stigma away from their defeat in Vietnam, it wasn’t called a war at all, despite the fact that troops were sent in to halt the construction of a runway that was being built with Cuban help. Shots were fired and people died.

    And even the Gulf War, called Operation Desert Storm, wasn’t really officially declared in the same way as the US declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy during WWII.

    No. This isn’t really new.

    But the fact that he sent forces to Libya without Congressional approval beforehand most certainly is.

    Is Obama’s strategy to pave the way for democracy in the region? Or is it to pave the way for more hard-line Islamic governments? We won’t really know until the dust settles and Qadaffi is gone.

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