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Now it's 'Operation New Dawn' in Iraq

Do they have a Ministry of Silly Names at the Defense Department? The war in Iraq, in case you missed it, will get a new name as of Sept. 1, when troop levels are to be reduced to 50,000. Operation Iraqi Freedom will be replaced by Operation New Dawn. This is unsettling on several levels. First, the new name bears an unfortunate resemblance to a commercial for dishwashing liquid, or maybe the latest in a vampire novel series. Second, they don’t have anything better to do with their time at the Pentagon? Third, Iraqi Freedom had admirable precision. You understood the goal. New Dawn, by contrast, is disturbingly -- and, I suspect, deliberately -- hazy. Dawn of what, exactly?

“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,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates writes in a masterpiece of bureaucratic obscurantism approving the name change. “It also presents opportunities to synchronize strategic communications initiatives, reinforce our commitment to honor the Security Agreement, and recognize our evolving relationship with the government of Iraq.”

I have no idea what this means -- “synchronize strategic communications”? -- and I don’t think that’s an accident. “The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism,” George Orwell wrote. “A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details.”

What was wrong with freedom?

By Ruth Marcus  | February 19, 2010; 5:13 PM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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Freedom, democracy, human rights... all words that seem to be well so Bush era. If you know what I mean.

This is a new era... outreach, apologia, tolerance, equality of nations, blather blather blather...

For liberals in the Middle East (think Iran and Lebanon) and the Far East (think China)... you have been abandoned by America. You are on your own.

Posted by: pvilso24 | February 19, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

NEW DAWN? Like Obama's political emblem of the rising sun? Trying to make a complete take over of the Bush Iraq legacy. Some people have a LOT of nerve.

This writer doesn’t see the troubling subliminal message I detect?

Posted by: ntomlin | February 19, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

“synchronize strategic communications”. Doesn't that require the President to actually meet with high level administrators of the Iraqi elected government, something that has yet to happen during his term?

History will observe that changing the focus of our resources from Iraq, with the power to transform the Arab-Muslim world to Afghanistan, an unwinnable backwater, is one of the biggest foreign relation gaffes in living memory.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 19, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with dropping hokey code names altogether? It seems to me that in WWII, the "freedom" part was understood--we didn't have to be reminded of it in a name. I think "Overlord, Torch, and Market Garden" worked very well!

Posted by: Cooper5 | February 20, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Never mind the 'silly names', Ruth. Whatever you wanna call it, it's another GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT for GOD. (I say that for Johnathan Alters' sake) For GOD loved the Earth so much, that he sent a SECOND SON. A second MESSIAH. He's brought Peace to the land. And he has a Plaque to prove it. He's stopped Global Warming, and, I believe that the Sea Levels are falling. It's nice to see that our troops have a NEW MISSION, in Iraq. Operation: 'Stay On The Base And Watch The T.V.' And there's nothing silly about that. I think it coincides perfectly, with the Mission in Afghanistan. Operation: 'Don't Shoot The Enemy, Until They Shoot You First. A Couple Of Times, Just To Be Sure. We Don't Want To Make Anyone Mad At Us'.

Posted by: GoomyGommy | February 20, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

From the beginning the name should have been "Operation Neocon-Israeli Lobby."

Posted by: jdave | February 20, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I sort of figure that the campaign designator I always hated was "Operation Iraqi Freedom" coined by some Bush apparatchik, since the whole operation was never about anything but Bush's oil grab for Haliburton and friends.

Since the operational phase of OIF is obviously winding down, it is time to designate a new campaign, (Like Tet counter offensive I, II, and II, and the other fourteen campaigns in the Viet Nam War) and New Dawn is as bland and non descriptive as you can get, it will certainly do.

It will especially do since it bears no remnant of any of Bush's delusional machoism's, like "Bring "Em ON!" and "Mission Accomplished"

Mission accomplished was actually quite descriptive of George's real intent, though. It said that George had managed to get his war of personal satisfaction, having committed the U. S. Military in a quagmire it would be years getting itself extracted from.

Down to 50k troops by 1 September? Let's get it down below 5k troops by 1 September 2011.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 20, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that what presidents usually do- package their actions so they hopefully can sell it to the public? I heard someone critisize Obama for not having a theme or themes to his Presidency. Perhaps this is one response. Presidents always think that if you put enough lipstick on it you can sell anything.

Posted by: digby2 | February 20, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

It is a lot better than "let's all watch the fireworks in Iraq" of the Bush Adm. or was it "slam, bang, die you suckers, ha, ha." Oh, now I remember "shock and awe", very clever indeed.

Posted by: digby2 | February 20, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

New Dawn makes 50% more suds than other dishwashing liquids.

Posted by: jcp370 | February 21, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

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