Oh my dear sweet lubricated Lord. This ever-so-elegant turn of phrase is the Bush Administration and associated military's idea of a 'code name' for the current and imminent deployment of combat aircraft to the Middle East by the U.S.

I can only assume they let the Toddler made up the name himself. Even one of our most gifted satirists of bon mots federal, Garry Trudeau, couldn't top this one. He tried; back in the Nixon years, when Raoul Duke had been made American Governor of Samoa, a misunderstanding over a cruise ship led to the White House (literally; if you know your Doonesbury, you know what I mean) declaring happily: "Jim? This is Henry! Get me Defense!" ...while the President muses .oO ("Tall in the saddle...") Next panel: "Phil? Henry! Begin Operation FREQUENT MANHOOD!" .oO ("...we ride again!")

I mean, please.

We recently had a nice node whose name I cannot now remember on how code words used to work, and why. Random words to avoid implications or the passing of information. Now, however, operation names are apparently naught more than PR banners with which to gift CNN and other large news organizations in the form of Powerpoint logos and clip art.

So now we have operation Infinite Justice. It even sounds like a parody, playing on the impossible notion of infinity. It's such a stupid one, though, it makes it look like they didn't even stop to think about the ramifications of the name. "Infinite? You mean this op is never going to end?"

"Well, no..."

"Oh, it's gonna cost us infinitely much?"


General Wesc chimes in to quote Cicero, who points out that extreme justice equals extreme injustice. What this means for infinite justice is left as an exercise for the reader.

...I'll leave it there. I also find it hilarious that the plane CNN chose to exemplify this new allusive catastrophe is a B-1B Lancer. This plane, one of the most reviled in the U.S. inventory for its legendary development troubles and costs, is also known as (of course) The BONE. So we have a cover story with a big airborne BONE labelled INFINITE JUSTICE!

I mean, Mr. Bush, if that's how you feel, you could have just saved us all the time and named it Operation Bend Over and be done with it. ("Why should I bend over?" "So that we may apply the BONE of INFINITE JUSTICE!" -pause- "...I don't think so.")

Update: Apparently some mucky-mucks are claiming that the name arose from the Clinton Tomahawk attack on the camps, which was named 'Infinite Reach.' This makes it even stupider. First of all, I had thought they were disassociating themselves with that one because of the Sudan pharmaceutical factory whoopsie, and two, the two aren't CONNECTED AT ALL! Shee.

Update2: This just in...apparently the name might be changed, but not 'cuz it's stupid, because it may offend some folks. I quote from the Washington Post:

2:14 p.m. – The code name for the Pentagon's response to
last week's attacks on the United States, Operation
Infinite Justice, will likely be changed to avoid
offending Muslims, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said.
The issue arose at a Pentagon briefing when a reporter
told Rumsfeld that several Islamic scholars had
objected to the name on the grounds that only God, or
Allah, can mete out infinite justice in their view.

Sigh. Nary a mention of the fact that it really displays even less intelligence than Bush did when referring to the op as a 'crusade.' Damn, this guy's a winner...where's Quayle when you need him? What a pair they'd make.

Update3: It keeps on getting better. The whole anti-terrorist op (according to Donald Rumsfeld) is now monikered Operation Enduring Freedom. Ooooh, yeah, let's have a contest to pick an even vaguer and more obviously PR-based name!

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