THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR . . . . . . THE WHISKEY REBELLION . . .
. . . THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR . . . . . . THE BOXER REBELLION . . . . . .
Somewhere between World War II (a.k.a. THE BIG ONE) and Vietnam I guess we just ran out of names, sort of like modern car companies with their meaningless Prius and Altimas.
Back when everything was real.
There was a bit of hope there for awhile when they called my generation's Big One THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR but that was too cool for the current Occupier of the Whitehouse - in one of his first official acts Barry Soetero downgraded our Great and Glorious Patriotic War to the pragmatic "Overseas Contingency Operations" . . .
. . . how Zen-like . . . how PC . . . how lacking in macho and crotch-o . . . the antithesis of everything a war is supposed to be all about.
Somewhere along the line, even cool names for campaigns - OPERATION OVERLORD - the Allied invasion of Normandy in World War II . . . OPERATION POWER PACK - the U.S. invasion and occupation of Dominican Republic 1965-66. . . OPERATION URGENT FURY the United States intervention in Grenada, 1983 . . . political correctness took over and the Panama Invasion of 1989- the largest Airborne invasion in history was dubbed OPERATION JUST CAUSE - and just as quickly re-named "OPERATION JUST BECAUSE" by the sarcastic G.I.'s who participated in the combat jump.
Eighty-Deuce Bustin' Loose!
For a brief moment of time there OPERATION ODYSSEY DAWN had some promise . . . the name ain't so bad; a cross between Homer's great adventures of Ulysses and ZULU DAWN. Of course that was too heroic, it could never last. How intriguing that the minute the Canadians are nominally put in charge its re-flagged OPERATION UNIFIED PROTECTOR . . . sounds like some kind of United Nations birth control campaign . . .
Of course I say "nominally" because everybody knows NATO is an American club; if it wasn't for the United States, the Soviet Union would still be going strong and the F-4 Phantom would be the state-of-the-art European fighter.
Never mind the name, this thing has been wrong and disingenuous from the start. Under the Constitution, the President of the United States has the power to commit U.S. military forces - but only when U.S. national interests are threatened.
THIS is how a President sends Americans into harms way.
For this Libya business, Obama should have gone to Congress . . . instead he went to the United Nations . . . doesn't pass the smell test and worse - a dangerous move toward downgrading United States sovereignty and prestige on the world stage.
Hello, Rio! Alô, Cidade Maravilhosa!
From lack of threat to our national interest it was a quick step to total lack of anything resembling a plan, let alone an overall objective - this led me to exclaim that what we have here is not a war; it is a series of war-like actions.
Certainly it has the parts and pieces of a war - things are being broken and people are being killed - but to what end? What is our over-arching national strategic objective? Well . . . lemme see here . . . we don't have one ! ! !
THIS IS NOT A WAR . . .
. . . we haven't had one since 1945. A war is more than just killing things and breaking people . . . in war the theoretical objective is to defeat the enemy population's will to wage war - Clauswitz. The concept of War is naturally associated with words like "Capture the Flag," "Victory" and "Unconditional Surrender."
What are we doing in Libya? Somebody? Anybody?
OK it's for oil - I'm okay with that.
"Oil is the lifeblood of Democracy" - Churchill. Or are we there because France can't handle any more Muslims? TO HELL WITH THAT - let the Froggies deal with their matters themselves; we could use a couple fighter wings of F-18s down on the Arizona border to deal with our own illegal immigrant situation.
OK let's back up and throw some analysis on this thing because we've been at it for a couple weeks now and people are getting hurt . . . this one-man state ("L'etat c'est moi!") Gadhafi is an international bad guy and an overall pig . . . not that we have any shortage of THOSE these days . . . Kim Jong Il anybody? Hugo Chavez? Achmedinnijad? These are the shitheads, the haters, guys who wouldn't stand a snowball's chance in Hell if you put them in the dock at the Hague . . . never mind THOSE pigs - right now the Libyan rebels won the PR war; they are the cause celebre du jour ergo Barack appeases his social conscience and enhances his stature with the amongst nations of the Third World at the same time.
We don't have a plan and we don't have a stated objective but what's that to stop us? We've got . . . MISSION CREEP! "No boots on the ground" quickly morphed in to Special Operations painting targets with lasers, staging assets for CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue), and providing support to the CIA in their mission borrowed from NASA; "Muslim Outreach."
This is doctrinal, of course, and totally predictable. It's also mission creep; does OPERATION RESTORE HOPE ring any bells? This was the yawn-fest code-name for the U.S. food-parcel handout mission into Somalia - which quickly evolved into the heaviest combat operations for U.S. forces since Vietnam, some twenty-odd years earlier.
By conveniently announcing to the world that our mission does not involve regime-change, this telegraphs to Muamar the Mad that all he has to do is hang in there and take the punishment from the sky - sooner or later the round-eyes will exit stage left and anyway, surrender is not an option; he saw what happened to his buddy Saddam.
POLITICS ENDS AT THE WATERS EDGE DEPT.
Linnane's First Principle of Warfare states: "When you find yourself involved in a war, you must commit to certain victory in as short a time as possible with every resource available; to do anything else equals criminal negligence."
We de-humanize our enemies; it makes them easier to kill.
Americans are in harms way - we pray for them, we wish them Godspeed in this honorable fight against a bona-fide bad guy, Gadhafi Duck, and we certainly hope this thing ends quickly, and honorably.
And it must; "We will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground," the president said, and called the strikes "limited military" intervention.
Pronouncements like these are from the "We'll bring the boys home by Christmas" genre -
. . . and we all know how THAT worked out in 1914.
. . . SEAN LINNANE SENDS
Today's bird HERE