The “Thirty Year War” or, “Operation Hey That’s My Humvee”

“If you name it, you own it. And they don’t want to own it.” 

By JC

Well, it was just a matter of time until people started talking about “The War Which Must Not be Named.” I suppose if a war doesn’t have a name, it can’t realistically be  called a “war,” right?

There is an interesting dimension to the ongoing circumvention of the Constitution over our latest undeclared war. While some Administration officials are finally calling our attacks in Syria as a “war,” the discomfort over defining this indefinite campaign has led to equal discomfort over naming it. After two months of airstrikes and statements that the campaign will likely go on for years, the Administration still have not named this war. The choice would now seem obvious: Operation Voldemort, the war which must not be named.

Usually, the military loves to give inspiring names to its campaigns, though sometimes the name can reveal a bit of insecurity like “Operation Just Cause” in Panama — a name that only seemed to amplify the questions of the legality or legitimacy of the invasion. Once coined, the name then appears on everything from government contracts to legislation to service medals. 

However, the Administration has been in a not-so-private internal debate over what to call the campaign against Islamic State. Like naming a puppy, the naming of a war can create a dangerous achievement to those with commitment issues. As one defense official was quoted as saying “If you name it, you own it. And they don’t want to own it.” 

For the moment, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby says that the Administration currently has “no plans to name the operation”…

The Pentagon, in trying to come up with an internal name for the war, came up with a tongue-in-cheek name that really isn’t so far from the truth:

In the absence of an official name, alternatives are bouncing around the halls of the Pentagon. One top suggestion takes note of how U.S. bombing raids are targeting U.S.-made equipment nabbed by Islamic State fighters. The suggestion: Operation Hey That’s My Humvee.

Thankfully, President Obama’s ex-CIA Director and ex-Pentagon head Leon Panetta has no qualms giving the latest extra-Constitutional imperial incursion into the middle east a name that will resonate through the history books: the “Thirty Year War.”

Americans should be braced for a long battle against the brutal terrorist group Islamic State that will test U.S. resolve — and the leadership of the commander in chief, says Leon Panetta, who headed the CIA and then the Pentagon as Al Qaeda was weakened and Osama bin Laden killed.

“I think we’re looking at kind of a 30-year war,” he says, one that will have to extend beyond Islamic State to include emerging threats in Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere.

So, as you get ready to head to the polls, and endorse the current crop of candidates, you can rest assured that Democrats, in all their infinite wisdom, have chosen to hunker down to endure war for the long term.

Remember, as you pencil in your absentee ballot or pull the lever on your electronic voting machine, that the stage has been set for indefinite warfare, and your vote for candidates who refuse to take anti-war stances endorses the status quo.

“Look, I’ve been a guy who’s always been honest,” Panetta says. “I’ve been honest in politics, honest with the people that I deal with. I’ve been a straight talker…

Panetta also argues that there is time for Obama to change tactics and recover — and that it is imperative he do so…

“My hope is that the president, recognizing that we are at a kind of critical point in his administration, will take the bit in his teeth and will say, ‘We have got to solve these problems.'”

And Barack Obama’s legacy?

“For the first four years, and the time I spent there, I thought he was a strong leader on security issues… But these last two years I think he kind of lost his way. You know, it’s been a mixed message, a little ambivalence in trying to approach these issues and try to clarify what the role of this country is all about.

“He may have found himself again with regards to this ISIS crisis. I hope that’s the case.

“Kind of lost his way.” Uh huh. I suppose you could say that if you ever believed that he had “his way” in the first place. Nice of the ex-CIA director to feel that our President may have found his way by submerging our country into the “Thirty Year War.” Not to mention the self-delusion about thinking he is honest (“honest CIA Director” is an oxymoron if I ever did hear one).

Must be time to renew my passport (this thought keeps arising)…


  1. steve kelly

    What president wants his legacy to be “The Endless War?” No, this is Bush’s (tar) baby.

    Great fodder for a national online contest if there was a sponsor with a grand prize for the winner. Fits nicely into our game-show unreality, and may be one of the only ways to engage a broad swath of Americans.

    • John Cunningham

      I think you erroneously are claiming to see a Caucasian in the kindling. your ignorance of recent history shows, as you fail to recall that the Sainted Boy Clinton established the policy of overthrowing Saddam Hussein. the majority of DemonRATs in Congress voted in favor of the Iraq invasion, only turning traitor when

      • JC

        For someone who claims to know enough about “recent history” to castigate another, you sure have a loose understanding of the relationship between the Bushes and Saddam Hussein.

        Hussein attempted to assassinate George HW Bush in ’93, which is why his boy took it upon himself to take out Hussein under false pretenses after 8 years of Clinton failed to do so.

        I think you need a remedial course in middle east history.

  2. Eric

    Operation October Surprise? Operation Obama Legacy? I can come up with a few good names – LOL

  1. 1 Foreign Policy Poem | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] of songs has mostly run its course. I wrote the following poem almost immediately after reading JC’s post about the new American war without a name. It’s the kind of political poem that is too […]




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