There are a lot of names for war. And it's certainly helpful to the initiation of war to use a different name. "No-fly zone" is one -- sounds neat and tidy -- ignore the constant bombing and patrols by fighter aircraft that are necessary to enforce the zone. Check out this report from NPR (7/23/13):
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says in a letter to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) that:$1 billion a month sounds like real money. Lost aircraft -- maybe captured pilots. Starting to sound like a big commitment to me. But predictably various advocates of the no fly zone are starting to emerge, and of course they use that handy euphemism.
— Establishing a no-fly zone over Syria to "prevent the regime from using its military aircraft to bomb and resupply" would cost "$500 million initially ... [and] as much as a billion dollars per month over the course of a year."
Dempsey says a no-fly zone could eliminate the Assad regime's "ability to bomb opposition strongholds and sustain its forces by air." But the risks, he writes, "include the loss of U.S. aircraft, which would require us to insert personnel recovery forces. It may also fail to reduce the violence or shift the momentum because the regime relies overwhelmingly on surface fires — mortars, artillery, and missiles."
The latest phrase is intervention. What a crisp neat turn of phrase. Has a sort of referee-at-a-cricket-match sound to it. Hey you kids, don't make me stop this car.
Once we called the Korean War the "Korean War". Now it's called the Korean Conflict. Note the use of quasi-psychological terms -- intervention, conflict. And the draft resolution sent up to Congress has more of the same (text). Section 2 is the important part:
AUTHORIZATION-The President is authorized, subject to subsection (b), to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in a limited and tailored manner against legitimate military targets in Syria, only to: (1) respond to the use of weapons of mass destruction by the Syrian government in the conflict in Syria;"Limited and tailored manner" -- what's this, the myth of "precision bombing" all over again? That never gets old.
(2) deter Syria’s use of such weapons in order to protect the national security interests of the United States and to protect our allies and partners against the use of such weapons; and
(3) degrade Syria’s capacity to use such weapons in the future.
"Degrade Syria's capacity to use such weapons in the future" -- what could Prime Minister Cheney do with that one? Sounds like carte blanche to me, and who's going to say "no more" when the bombing starts?
Everybody knows this, so the draft resolution has a Super Pinky Swear clause (section 7) which says:
SECTION 7. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION. The authority set forth in Section 2 of this resolution shall not constitute an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war except to the extent that it authorizes military action under the conditions, for the specific purposes, and for the limited period of time set forth in this resolution.Translation: Please, please believe us. This isn't going to be another one in the Quagmire movie franchise. (Rent them at your video store now: Quagmire I: Iraq, Quagmire II: Afghanistan, Quagmire III: Drones over Yemen, Quagmire IV: Drones over Waziristan Quagmire V: Where the Hell is Waziristan etc.).
Of course the ultimate obscenity here is that the proposed war is not accompanied by any plan on how to finance it, such as increased taxes. What kind of message (another euphemism: bombing = message) is sent by a country which refuses to tax itself to pay for its wars?
I would bet the war ... er ... intervention won't be one day old before it's used as an excuse to lift the sequester, but only on the military. And that's already being done or so it appears. War does solve problems!