A critique of Operation Pretentious Platitude
March 22, 2003 5:50 PM   Subscribe

Operation Pretentious Platitude One of the awful aspects of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" is having to listen to this name used without irony.

"It all comes down to branding" ... "Don't waste a public relations opportunity -- remember that the operation name is the first bullet in the war of images." "Churchill ... warned specifically against using words that imply an "overconfident sentiment." He knew as well as anyone how history delights in throwing unforeseen ironies our way." Here's a list of mostly recent real names.

But how about "Operation Rouge-wearing Caliph"? "Operation Evangelical Fatwa"? "Operation Expect No Mercy From Our Privet Bush"? "Operation Overpriced Cannon"? "Operation Irate Economy"? "Operation International-law-ignoring Manticore"?. Try for yourself. (Here's how it's done).
posted by lathrop (34 comments total)
 
I've been calling it "Operation Win in 2004."
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 5:56 PM on March 22, 2003


Operation Whitespace.





Heh.
posted by namespan at 5:59 PM on March 22, 2003


Operation Bully Initiating A Bar-Brawl
Operation Welcoming Armageddon
Operation Enduring Poland 2003
posted by bunnytricks at 6:09 PM on March 22, 2003


How about Operation Ranger Stadium?
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:10 PM on March 22, 2003


Operation IraqFilter
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 6:32 PM on March 22, 2003




Operation Pearl Harbor
posted by kirkaracha at 6:48 PM on March 22, 2003


operation kick saddam's motherfucking ass because he is a motherfucking despotic cunt and the iraqi people welcome the troops who are liberating them from his deadly totalitarian motherfucking disgusting regime, which you obviously support wholeheartedly, and you want saddam to continue to kill, maim, torture and exile these people. yeah yeah yeah, whose side are you on, fuckface? we have got a chance to get rid of the most evil motherfucking regime in the motherfucking world, but you are like, oh no, don't kill saddam, i love him, you stupid motherfucking idiot.
posted by mokey at 6:54 PM on March 22, 2003


Wow.

I just thought it was a nifty set of articles about the use of words in operations, but evidently it is some kind of validation for the Iraqi regime. Okay.

On the plus side, I wouldn't mind telling my kids that I served in Operation Blue Spoon.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:09 PM on March 22, 2003


One of the awful aspects of "Operation Iraqi Freedom" is having to listen to this name used without irony.

How about:

Operation no matter how evil Saddam Hussein is, there is no way that a Republican President can ever be in the right, so I'm going to bitch about the war, even though 99 percent of the people suffering under Saddam will think I'm on crack.

Iraqfilter
posted by Beholder at 7:16 PM on March 22, 2003


I served proudly in Operation Dangerous Marsupial. I can't talk about it.
posted by birdherder at 7:20 PM on March 22, 2003


Operation Overlord? No...sounds too made up.
posted by iconomy at 7:29 PM on March 22, 2003


Operation White Whale
posted by homunculus at 7:34 PM on March 22, 2003


Operation Chain Breaker. Operation Shackle-Shear.

Operation Expedited Manumission.

We be freein' the slaves, after all.

(Unless you think they WANT to be left under Saddam...)

JB
posted by JB71 at 7:49 PM on March 22, 2003


Beholder, JB, and mokey- you mean Operation we all suddenly care about the Iraqi people and have for so many years but it's just a coincidence we never talked about it until a Republican became president and even more of a coincidence we only started talking about it because we couldn't link Saddam to any weapons of mass destruction and we expect all of you to believe that because we have never switched our means to justify the ends in the history of this administration I mean just because there's not a trace of any of us having a remote fraction of a concern about the Iraqi people in the archives of this site until oh say six months ago doesn't mean its just a copout to justify this war I mean how dare you disagree with anything Bush says its so obvious you just want him to be wrong when the truth is like the facetious prick I am I just need to be right myself and that's why six months ago I suddenly started to concern deeply for a people I didn't given a flying fuck about for twelve years because every other ridiculous partisan excuse I've barnacled onto as an excuse to slaughter people to make the president look better fell flat? Oh, right. That doesn't fit on the news scroll. Iraqi Freedom it is.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:11 PM on March 22, 2003


What beholder said was so right that it's worth repeating:

How about:

Operation no matter how evil Saddam Hussein is, there is no way that a Republican President can ever be in the right, so I'm going to bitch about the war, even though 99 percent of the people suffering under Saddam will think I'm on crack.


It's amazing -- sad, but amazing -- how many otherwise (reasonably) rational people DON'T believe that Iraqi freedom is (a) a good thing, and (b) one of our true objectives.
posted by davidmsc at 8:32 PM on March 22, 2003


I think I'm starting to get it, actually.

Operation we thought we had the situation under control but made some bad concessions to the Iraqis at the end of the last war which they took advantage of and we tried to use the international community to reign things in but politics presented a more and more formidable obstacle especially when dealing with a wily dictator and besides we had this neo-sovereignty doctrine and so we said screw it and we're intervening, acting directly for better or for worse and we'll probably be much more effective than the last 12 years but also tread on arabs who don't trust us or might like to solve their own problems but probably won't and spend more goodwill capital than we have with some of our longtime allies even if our intentions are honorable if not perfect and yes there could be unforseen consequences and it's actually a big mess with no really easy solution.

Operation not-whitespace, as it were.
posted by namespan at 8:41 PM on March 22, 2003


What davidsmc said was so misinformed it's worth repeating:

It's amazing -- sad, but amazing -- how many otherwise (reasonably) rational people DON'T believe that Iraqi freedom is (a) a good thing, and (b) one of our true objectives.

It's amazing- sad, but amazing- how people like you can tell people like me, who have expressed concern for the people of Iraq, Serbia, and Iraq again, for years on end, that I should be ashamed of myself for not toeing the line of those who picked up the idea of caring about the Iraqi people six months ago.

The spin of the accusation that "I just don't want Bush to be right" is not only staggering but downright offensive. It's the pro-war crowd and its rabid need to find ANY excuse for this invasion that has led to its mysterious change of reason every few weeks for the last year. I thought this was because Saddam had nukes. Oh, now its because he's defying inspectors. Oh, it's because he's got aluminum tubes. Oh, it's because he's got a chemical-spraying plane. Oh, it's because he kicked the inspectors out- what's that? That's bullshit too? Okay.... umm... I've got it! It's about the Iraqi people! That'll shut those lefties up, won't it?

Spare me your condescending and laughably pathetic claim that you always were in for this because of the Iraqi people, and spare me your hypocritical attempts to tell me that I'M the one who just needs to be proven right at any cost.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:54 PM on March 22, 2003


davidmsc: I believe that Iraqi freedom would be a good thing, but I'm not convinced a U.S. military invasion will give it to them. The U.S. has a bad habit of supporting nasty dictators when it suits their purposes, Saddam Hussein being only one of them. Furthermore, I don't know what "our" objectives are, because I'm not part of this "us" that's doing the invading; I'm just part of the "us" that's going to have to pay for it. But the justifications I've heard coming out of Washington are so incoherent that I have to believe the Bush administration simply doesn't want to talk about their true motivations. Yes, I'm sure plenty of Americans are stupid enough to believe the public explanations, but I know Bush and his advisors are not. I don't know what the point of this whole adventure really is, but I'm not about to trust someone who won't tell me what he's really thinking.
posted by Mars Saxman at 8:57 PM on March 22, 2003


Or how about,

Operation many people seem to like war too much.

Or,

Operation Iraq women and children waiting for liberation to come falling from the sky like it has for their next door neighbour.

Or,

Operation the only reason France and Russia opose the war is because they weren't offered as generous a spoils of war package as Britain.
posted by cmacleod at 9:06 PM on March 22, 2003


Nailed it nicely, XQUZYPHYR. Thank you.

I like this idea that encapsulating the essence of the Operation requires a paragraph instead of a two-word Uplifting Phrase (who could oppose Operation Freedom for All?).

Oh yeah, John Ashcroft (heheh)

p.s. sorry about that whitespace
posted by lathrop at 9:14 PM on March 22, 2003


Operation Unnecessary Roughness
Operation Stop Hitting Yourself! Stop Hitting Yourself!
posted by emelenjr at 9:23 PM on March 22, 2003


Operation Burning Bush.
posted by Rebis at 9:30 PM on March 22, 2003


"Operation Who's Your Daddy?"
posted by homunculus at 10:31 PM on March 22, 2003


Operation Flood The Weblogs
posted by Big_B at 10:32 PM on March 22, 2003


Operation we care about the Iraqi people the way we cared about the Afghani women....yeah when it suddenly became
politically advantageous to do so.

Meanwhile these same Republicans who care so much about all the "downtrodden people of the world" are cutting programs left and right, for the less advantaged in their own country including their own veterans!

Can you say disingenuous?

Give me a break ...it literally makes me sick to my stomach.
posted by SweetIceT at 11:35 PM on March 22, 2003


Operation Milton Bradley
posted by wendell at 11:59 PM on March 22, 2003


But seriously (well, slightly more):
Operation: To Iraq and I-ruin
posted by wendell at 12:06 AM on March 23, 2003


Operation Just Because
posted by whirlwind29 at 1:35 AM on March 23, 2003


ps i apologise for my earlier nasty comment, it wasn't really warranted.
posted by mokey at 4:30 AM on March 23, 2003


operation ingrowing toenail.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:00 AM on March 23, 2003


Operation Culturally Imperialist Squirrel

Totally random...swear to God.
posted by jaronson at 7:15 AM on March 23, 2003


Operation Pyongyang, You're Next.

Operation Distraction from Domestic Problems.

Operation Nonexistent Mandate.
posted by Vidiot at 9:42 PM on March 23, 2003




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