Back when George W. Bush was President the word “war” was thrown around a lot. George liked to talk about the “war on terror”. His critics were always deriding him for having a cavalierly cowboy attitude about getting us into wars. The internet buzzed with debates about what was and was not a “just war” or whether or not Iraq was a “war of choice”..etc..
Now that President Obama finally has a war of his own in Libya, we are being introduced to a new vocabulary by the bright lights of his administration. When asked by a reporter aboard Air Force One whether or not we were in fact “at war,”one of the President’s speech writers took a deep breath and unloaded a paragraph of double-speak which ended with the wonderful new phrase…”kinetic military action”.
I’m sure that in time this will catch on and become part of the lexicon in the great halls of power in Washington in much the same way as “differently-abled” has replaced “disabled” and “draconian spending cuts” has replaced “slow the rate of growth for government spending”. Still, I worry that future generations will not fully understand some of our most time honored expressions such as:
“Kinetic military action is hell”
William T. Sherman
“If we do not end kinetic military action, it will end us”
H. G. Wells
“In kinetic military action, truth is the first casualty”
“Only the dead have seen the end of kinetic military action”
“It is a good thing that kinetic military action is so terrible,or we should grow too fond of it”
Robert E. Lee
“KINETIC MILITARY ACTION!! , HHUHHUU, Good God Yaull, What is it good for..absolutely nuthin”