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Saturday, March 26, 2011

We Have to Change Our Definition of a Warrior

“I've never been to New Zealand before. But one of my role models, Xenia, the warrior princess, comes from there.” — Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State.

President Obama’s deputy national security advisor has assured us that it’s not a war we're fighting in Libya; it's a kinetic military action. With Rhodes’ definition in mind Ms. Albright will have to change the name of her role model to “Xenia the kinetian princess. Oh, how the left tries to deceive through the use of euphemisms.

The war on terror became a “man-made disaster” and our military actions in Afghanistan became and “oversees contingency operation.” Why we can’t we call a spade and spade, or to be more politically correct a shovel a shovel?

According to my high school physics class the kinetic energy of an object is the energy which it possesses due to its motion. It is defined as the work needed to accelerate a body of a given mass from rest to its stated velocity. Having gained this energy during its acceleration, the body maintains this kinetic energy unless its speed changes. The same amount of work is done by the body in decelerating from its current speed to a state of rest. WouldLibyan Kinetians someone please tell me what convoluted thinking could possibly translate this definition into fighting a war? Is it the part about accelerating and decelerating that caught Mr. Rhodes’ fancy? Or is it the velocity part that prompted him to make such a stupid statement? After all jet fighters are fast while boots on the ground are slow — unless it’s the Italian Army running from Montgomery in Libya in 1942. Now that was some kinetic action. (The photo shows Libyan Kinetians)

Even the name of the Libyan operation has come under scorn and criticism. Judson Berger writes for Fox News: “In Homer's Odyssey, protagonist Odysseus spends 10 years trying to reach Ithaca, encountering sirens and a Cyclops along the way.”

“In President Obama's "odyssey," the U.S. military gets involved in a limited engagement against the "mad dog" of the Middle East — only one that's supposed to settle down in a matter of days. As the U.S. military now concedes, perhaps "Operation Odyssey Dawn" wasn't the best name for this supposedly in-and-out mission.”

"We probably should have chosen something else, because people have read into that -- some type of long, enduring voyage," Eric Elliott, spokesman for U.S. Africa Command, told”

“It's anything but, the administration insists. With NATO taking partial control, U.S. officials claim the United States will soon be flying shotgun despite myriad concerns about Muammar al-Gaddafi's staying power and the extent to which America would use force to unseat him. But with a name like "odyssey," it's hard to make that case.”

In a recent poll 31.5% of those polled thought “Odyssey Dawn” was the name of a new cruise ship (Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas), 15% thought it was an 80’s rock band and 14% thought it was the name of Steven Segal action flick.

Choosing these names, though, is a half-random, half-calculated science, with varying results. In this case, a panel of representatives from different branches of the U.S. military was given a set of letters and told to craft a two-word mission.

In the first word, the first letters had to either be between JS and JZ; NS and NZ; or OA and OF. The second word could be practically anything, provided it wasn't offensive. Elliott said the panel ended up with a list of about 100 words, and then narrowed that down to about 60 by weeding out the plainly inappropriate titles.

As Elliott's alternate titles proved, they could have done worse. After all, there have been some random mission names in the past, like Golden Pheasant in Central America in 1988 and Eldorado Canyon in Libya two years before that. Other titles went a bit too far, like Urgent Fury in Grenada or Operation Killer during the Korean War.

At the end of the Vietnam War, the military drafted specific guidelines for naming military operations. Followed in the case of the Libyan conflict, those guidelines give the name-makers a block of letters to choose from for the first word, but rule out "exotic words," commercial trademarks and anything that would "express a degree of aggression inconsistent with traditional American ideals or current foreign policy."

Political and military leaders, though, do have leeway, as Gregory Sieminski wrote in his 1995 essay "The Art of Naming Operations." He wrote that since the late '80s, operations have been named "with an eye toward shaping domestic and international perceptions." That's how we ended up with "Just Cause" in Panama and "Desert Storm" in Iraq.

I digress, so now back to the issue of kinetic military action. I was afraid they were going to call it a "police action." That's what Harry Truman called Korea. But we know what President Obama thinks of police actions. They are "stupid," even if they are run by Cambridge cops who've been to Harvard sensitivity training sessions. We wouldn't want our commander-in-chief to have to resort to a beer summit with Gaddafi.

It's about time those Kinetians stepped up to the plate. They haven't really had an all-out military action since World War II. They've been sitting up there, looking down on us, sniping at our fixation with guns and, even worse, our Yankee determination to keep and bear arms without a national health care scheme.

The Kinetians should make short work of Gaddafi's military. After all, Gaddafi hasn't had the chance yet to spend that money from the Obama budget--$2 million at last count -- that was to going to train his generals in "counter terrorism." Why a guy who has $29 billion in Swiss bank accounts needs foreign aid from the United States is another question.

Samantha PowerNow, this administration wants no part of leading the military action in Libya. That would be too arrogant, too much like a certain cowboy. We know that the only proper way to get into action is if the administration's cowgirls call all the shots. Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power (the wife of Cass Sunstein and protégé of George Soros) and Susan Rice have been credited with being the true powers behind the throne on this one.

Susan Rice reportedly sees in Libya a new Rwanda. Samantha Power sees in Libya a new Bosnia. And Hillary, of course, sees in Libya the Iowa Caucuses. So that now— famous 3 a.m. phone call will be a conference call, and it will sound like The View. These "Valkyries," as warrior women are called, want President Obama to man up.

Mr. Obama was hesitant to get involved in the first place. He didn't want to interrupt spring break on the beach at Ipanema (who would). He had promised his lovely wife, his darling daughters, and his mother-in-law that nothing would delay his Latin American trip. Too bad he missed Iguaçu Falls, they’re fantastic.

He might have blown off wife and daughters, but his mother-in-law is reputed to be formidable. Hey, maybe he should send her to Libya to read Gaddafi the riot act. It's clear he won't be sending the Marines "to the shores of Tripoli."

President Obama wants to lowball expectations for this one. Last year this time, he was in the final stretch in the battle for health care. He twice postponed his presidential victory lap around Indonesia, his boyhood home. He was positively bellicose as he put first things first. "Get in their face," he told rallies of supporters, "if they bring a knife, bring a gun." He urged Hispanic Americans to take it out on their "enemies."

Fortunately, he was only talking about congressional Republicans then. If he spoke that way about America's enemies abroad, the Norwegians might have revoked his Nobel Peace Prize.

To make sure that nobody accuses him of the dread sin of unilateralism, it's better to send in the Kinetians. The Kinetians don't have any aircraft carriers, it's true. So it's harder to outsource our overseas contingency operations to folks like that. But they do have all the right attitudes.

For one thing, they're bilingual. They have to be. It's like a law. And they have plenty of "boots on the ground." They have tongue troopers to make sure that Kentucky Fried Chicken signs are posted in two languages. That is, unless the KFC in question happens to be in a majority francophone area. Then, one language, provided it's French, will suffice. All languages are equal, but with the Kinetians, some are more equal than others.

Those bilingual Kinetians are the perfect folks to interface with France's Nicolas Sarkozy, who seems to be leading the effort in Libya — as much as anybody is. Sarkozy has been beating the overseas contingency operation drums for this action against Libya. Too bad his predecessors did not have any Kinetians in 1941.

The Germans are less supportive. They haven't moved this fast to depart the trackless North African sands since that desert fox Rommel got kicked out of there in 1942. And the Italian leader, Berlusconi, is only willing to fight Gaddafi if it looks like he might get phone numbers for some of those blond Ukrainian nurses who always accompany the Libyan colonel.

Some liberals are complaining there is no exit strategy. They're forever looking for the exit signs. Of course the president had an exit strategy: Wait until Congress exits the capital. And this all shows how consistent this administration is: they didn't have an entry strategy either. As for the middle, it's a muddle. It's as they say—kinetic.

My final question is, will we now have to change the lyrics of the final verse of the Marine Hymn to: (Click here so you can sing along)

Here's health to you and to our Corps

Which we are proud to serve;

In many a strife we've fought for life

And never lost our nerve;

If the Army and the Navy

Ever look on Heaven’s scenes;

They will find the streets are guarded

By United States Kinetians.

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