Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Hate The War

Tonight Jake Tapper (ABC News) broke the story that the Iraq War will drop Operation Iraqi Freedom and go by the name Operation New Dawn. US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wrote a memo to CENTCOM's Gen David Petraeus and copied it to Adm Mike Mullen, the Chair of the Joint-Chiefs. [PDF format warning] ABC has posted the memo:


SUBJECT: Request to Change the Name of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM to Operation NEW DAWN

The requested operation name change is approved to take effect 1 September 2010, coinciding with the change of mission for U.S. forces in Iraq. 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 communication initiatives, reinforce our commitment to honor the Security Agreement, and recognize our evolving relationship with the Government of Iraq.

What this reminds me of is a very basic legal move. A client and an attorney appear before a judge so the client can change his or her name. The judge asks if the client is attempting to escape accountability, debts or hide out by changing his/her name? When the answer "no" is given, the judge okays the name change.

Only here, it is to escape accountability and it is to hide out. And, no doubt like many changing their names, the US government wants to pretend it's something else.

Jake Tapper notes objection to the name change (or the attempt to pretend something's changed) by Brian Wise speaking on behalf of Military Families United. He also notes that "Operation New Dawn" was used for the fall 2004 assault on Falluja. Greg Jaffe (Washington Post) adds, "Since U.S. forces charged across the Kuwaiti border toward Baghdad in 2003, the war has been known as Operation Iraqi Freedom. The new name is scheduled to take effect in September, when U.S. troop levels are supposed to drop to about 50,000." But that wasn't always it's name, now was it? It was Operation Iraqi Liberation at first. Then it became a joke on the White House because the acronym for Operation Iraqi Liberation is "OIL."

That name was used. For those who doubt it, here's the opening statement of the White House press briefing on March 23, 2003 by Ari Fleischer.

MR. FLEISCHER: Good afternoon. Let me give you a report on the President's day. The President this morning has spoken with three foreign leaders. He began with Prime Minister Blair, where the two discussed the ongoing aspects of Operation Iraqi liberation. The President also spoke with President Putin to discuss the situation involving Iraq. They discussed cooperation on humanitarian issues. They both reiterated their strong support for the U.S.-Russia partnership, and agreed to continue, despite the differences that the two have over Iraq. And the two also discussed the United States' concerns, which President Bush discussed, involving prohibited hardware that has been transferred from Russian companies to Iraq. Following the call, the President also spoke with Prime Minister Aznar of Spain.

All the name change is another wave of Operation Happy Talk. Since the illegal war began, the ones running it have tried to trick you -- usually with the help of a very compliant press.

They can give it all the extreme make overs they want, they can slap as much plaster and paint on it, it's still an illegal war and will still be one even after the "combat" troops leave -- at which point, apparently, Iraq will be populated with the US military's arts & crafts troops. I understand they'll make powdered beverages for snack time and teach how to cut with big kid scissors and how to color within the lines, right?

The US military is combat. That's what the troops are trained in. The administration can keep lying and some will buy it but the Iraq War doesn't end until the US troops are out of Iraq and that's all the troops.

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4376. Tonight? 4376.

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