The Left

Who Picks Military Names?

Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
The man they called “The Butcher of Baghdad,” shortly after U.S. soldiers pulled him from his so-called spider hole in Iraq. | Saddam Hussein, Iraq, Terror,

We Have a Right to Know Who is Picking These Names

Okay, who is it?

Who is it at the Pentagon who picks the titles of U.S. military operations?

An action in 2011 in Libya was called "Odyssey Dawn," establishing a no-fly zone during the Libyan Civil War to prevent the late dictator Muammar Gaddafi from attacking anti-Gaddafi forces.

Odyssey Dawn?
The dictionary definition for Odyssey is a "long eventful journey."

Couldn't the Pentagon author of the title instead have labeled it "Blink-of-an-Eye Dawn," so at least we could have hoped the military action would be a short one? (All-out war was narrowly averted that time).

And what's with use of the word Dawn? Are we to assume the missile strikes on Libya made at the time would only be held at dawn? I saw pictures of cruise missiles sailing off toward Libya launched at night. Maybe they mean it's the dawn of a new day. But that happens every day anyway, war or not.

The war in Iraq was called "Operation Iraqi Freedom." This was freedom imposed by force, so it wasn't really freedom---not of choice that is. The war killed a million Iraqis. So it set many Iraqis free from life you might say.

The war in Afghanistan still going on has been titled "Enduring Freedom." Since we haven't won the war, and since the Afghans over the centuries have outlasted invaders including the Roman Mark Antony, the British of the 19th century, the Russians 30 years ago and now the United States, the notion of "Enduring Freedom" must be seen at this point as a potential gross exaggeration.

Maybe the Afghan War should have been titled, "Iffy, Possible Freedom 70 Years from Now if Everything Goes According to Plan."

Okay. Who at the Pentagon picks the titles for war? I think it's probably a bureaucrat who has a nice secure tax-payer-supported salary and who has excellent government-paid insurance who sits in a little office and is a frustrated writer who has the dream job of thinking up titles that all-too-often not only do not make sense, but fly in the face of both intelligence and propriety.

Nevertheless, whoever this person is, and I think we have a right to know who he is (it must be a guy), he's had his two seconds of immortality.

For example, instead of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Iraq War would have more appropriately and honestly been called "Operation Killing a Million Iraqis Including a Small Smattering of Terrorists to Topple Former Ally Saddam by Using False Weapons of Mass Destruction as a Scam to Fool the American People."

That's too long a title, isn't it?
We could use the above title as an acronym instead. It would be OKMIISSTTFASUFWMDRFAP. This would be fitting, because you know how the military loves to label everything with nonsensical letters including even the peanut butter in the mess hall. They call it the X101A1Z110-2-5C3A Peanut Butter.
Everything in the army including the peanut butter is colored green.

I've come up with a few suggested titles for future wars of my own. As taxpayers who have no rights to decide wars, or end them, we should at least have the miniscule privilege to hold an election to title them.
  1. Operation Love Me, Suck My Gun (the substitution of gun for penis as a power force would be loved by the extreme right wing in this country).
  2. Operation Flying Turbans and Sandals (refers to what happens to impoverished natives of the kind we always fight after we drop drone bombs on them).
  3. Operation Enduring, Endless, Ecstasy of Excitement in Executing Energizing Enforcement of American Values.
  4. Operation Heads You Die, Tails I Kill You (named after a violent Italian Spaghetti Western movie of 1971). . I like it because our enemies will be unsure of the implied outcome of the coin toss.
  5. Operation Grind Up Your Guts Into Foul Smelling Bits and Then Shove Them Up Your A.. (this one really captures the spirit and intent of a military action).
  6. Operation I Never Saw a War I Didn't Love (this will appeal to Republicans, most of whom love war but never served in the military, as well as careerist U.S. Army officers).
  7. Operation Vaporize Not Nice Sand Towel-Heads (this appeals to extremists who blame the Muslim religion for all of America's troubles).
  8. Let me know what your suggestions for other titles are.

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Updated Aug 12, 2017 12:13 PM EDT | More details

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