Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 15, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

PAYING FOR THE WAR....Nicholas von Hoffman, in passing, reports something I didn't know: at some point during the Iraq War the military named one of its sweeps through Mosul "Operation Giuliani."

Why there should be an Operation Giuliani but not one named after other noncombatant, civilian heroes is a puzzle. Perhaps with the new, contemplated "surge" there may be an Operation Iron Rumsfeld, Operation Rifle Rice or an Operation Cheney Sweep.

Actually, if the military is willing to name their operations after actual living people, I'm surprised they haven't offered up sponsorships as a way of defraying the cost of the war. Maybe it could be the next step up after becoming a Bush Super Ranger. I'll bet the Wyly brothers would pony up.

Kevin Drum 12:50 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (52)

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They have enough non-combatants* in the administration; they don't need to go to donors.

*Excluding Cheney, who has shot a man.

Posted by: Max Power on January 15, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

LOL. Great idea!

Posted by: ml on January 15, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Business, always more far-sighted than politicians, looks down the road and wonders how it's marketing efforts will go after, say, "Operation Coca Cola" rounds, up, detains, tortures, and kills a few hundred Iraqis. So I don't think "sponsorship" would really work out too well.

On the other hand, I am waiting for "Operation AssRocket" to take to the streets of Bagdad.

Posted by: Derelict on January 15, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Operation Robertson Rapture

Posted by: mr. irony on January 15, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Operation Giuliani = pump innocent dark folks full of bullets, say it was their fault.

Posted by: Keith G on January 15, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Operation Rove's Real Numbers.

Posted by: cld on January 15, 2007 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

how bout corporate sponsorships? like maybe operation halliburton, squeezing iraqis in the name of profits!

Posted by: mudwall jackson on January 15, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

The Crusader in Chief is what george implied

Posted by: apeman on January 15, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

'Bush is likely to ask Congress next month for $100 billion more in emergency war spending this year. That would bring fiscal 2007 spending on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan to $170 billion, and push spending on the war on terror to more than $600 billion. The federal debt increased by $2.8 trillion from 2001 to 2006.' - Brian Faler_Bloomberg

"You're probably talking about around $750 billion that is going to be spent on this war that will end up not being funded." Judd Gregg, (R) Senate Budget Committee

"Some way has got to be found to pay for this war," said Senator Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat who heads the budget committee. "The president's plan is to continue to put it on the charge card. That's no longer a viable strategy."

$5 Billion a week now, folks.

Posted by: MsNThrope on January 15, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Hmm... subway's cost about 200m/mile. So instead of Bush's war to keep pissing off everyone in the middle east we could have built 2500 miles of subways under americas cities to reduce oil depenency, so far. More by the time we give up.

Posted by: jefff on January 15, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Wow! a Bush Super Ranger? Do you get, like, free martial arts lessons and a spandex hero suit with that?

Posted by: j swift on January 15, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

I guess David Foster Wallace was right in his near-future dystopia Infinite Jest.

It really *is* the Year of the Depends Adult Undergarment.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 15, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Everytime the Generals come up with one of these operational names, the troops quickly come up with a nickname for it. "Operation Just Cause" (Panama invasion) quickly turned into "Operation Just Because". I'm sure they came up with a clever name for Opertion Giuliani...

Posted by: Robert on January 15, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

What would you prefer? Operation Perspiring Pelosi? Operation Terrorist Appeaser Billary? Operation Algore the Robot?

You guys are funny.

Posted by: egbert on January 15, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert attempted to frame it: The DFL would not be able to resist wacky operation names either, but would do a much worse job of it. See?

Next Egbert: rather we name operations over there than over here.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on January 15, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraqis owe us bigtime, and I think the majority of them realize that.

I have a great idea! Lets give eggie a video camera and a plane ticket and send him to Baghdad to record the Iraqis "thanking" us! If he displays his usual level of cultural understanding, he'll be a big hit. Maybe they will build a statue of him.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 15, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps the operation was designed to go after Iraqi squeegee guys.

Posted by: rege on January 15, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK
Operation Giuliani = pump innocent dark folks full of bullets, say it was their fault.

Posted by: Keith G on January 15, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK


Yeah, ask someone for their ID, then start shooting because they started "reaching for something." Sounds like the typoe of thing that has helped make the US so popular over there, just like Negroponte's "Salvador Option." Remember when death squads were supposed to be a winning strategy? Posted by: Repubanon on January 15, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Operation Gulliblani

Posted by: gregor on January 15, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Operation Cheney Sweep might result in friendly fire, I wouldn't recommend it.

Posted by: Fred F. on January 15, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Google "It's Giuliani Time" to see what was meant.

[Footnote: The fact that the police didn't actually say it doesn't signify. Holmes never said "Elementary, my dear Watson" and Kirk never said "Bean me up, Scotty", but we know what those signify.]

Posted by: Conrad (Con) Sordino on January 15, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

It's been Operation Haliburton from the get go...

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on January 15, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Ignore egbert. He's not an American.

Posted by: CN on January 15, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

It would actually make some sense if the sweep targeted homeless people.

Posted by: B on January 15, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Paul Krugman's NYT column today (Global can post a link to it), compares Bush to another right-wing criminal, Charles Keating. I think the comparison is exactly on point. Bush wants to steal from our children and grandchildren to pay for his failed war. Just like Keating left the middle class holding the bag to pay for his misdeeds, Bush will do the same. Bush's own worthless children won't have to pay anything to support this war, since they are like their worthless dad and don't work. Condi, being a closeted lesbian, will never have chldren who will have to pay for it and Cheney's daughter, well, you know about her.

Bloomberg.com has a good editorial today by Brian Faler, pointing out that this is the first war in 150 years where taxes have not been raised to pay for it. Bush needs to spend the rest of his life in prison, just like Keating.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 15, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Have a link on me

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on January 15, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

In honor of the Veep they'd have to call it operation quail shoot, but only after stopping for lunch and a few beers...

Posted by: Alagator on January 15, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Kenneth, wetting the bed again? The Sunni pickup is going to happen sooner that, you nincompoop.

Personally, I'm waiting for Operation Wal-Mart.

Posted by: Kenji on January 15, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I think Operation Giuliani -- a sweep through Mosul -- was probably named in the spirit of Samuel L. Jackson's shout of "Giuliani Time" in Shaft before heading out to engage in some police brutality.

Posted by: pj on January 15, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Global. I am posting from a Treo and can't do links. I loved Krugman's column, by the way.

TCD

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 15, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Jeez, can we stop referring to Rudy as a "hero"? What in the world did he do that any other mayor wouldn't have done ( besides building his terrorism control center above ground on the site of the biggest known terrorist target)?

Posted by: woodynyc on January 15, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

I think it was called Operation Giuliani because it did to Iraqis what Giuliani did to his wives.

Maybe operations in Iraq are named after noncombatants because a real combatant, who knows what happens during the operations, would not want one of them named after him/her.

Posted by: reino on January 15, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Bloomberg.com has a good editorial today by Brian Faler, pointing out that this is the first war in 150 years where taxes have not been raised to pay for it.

I've been saying since before this debacle got started that the fact that Bush insisted on maying for this war with a tax cut -- much less a tax increase, regardless of whether oil revenues would eventually pay for it -- showed how fundamentally unserious Bush was.

Posted by: Gregory on January 15, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Hell, why hold back, they should just sell ad space on the the sides of the Styrkers. You know like on buses. Pleasant and tasteful signage on all the vehicles in a convoy.

Posted by: j swift on January 15, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

They should also sell branding of the policy. Eg, we could finance many of the troops needed for "the surge", if admin officials would consistently refer to it as "the Viagra surge".

Posted by: Disputo on January 15, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

the Viagra surge

Yeah, but if the troops stay up for more than 6 hours, ya got a problem.

Posted by: Keith G on January 15, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that no never mind is paid to the cost$s of this war is the real crime.

My 5th graders calculated that the time it takes to snap your fingers equates to $2,000.00 spent on the Iraq war.

Think about it.

Bush has threatened to keep the war going even if Congress pulls funds.

He has no fiscal credibility. And this is the man who's calling for a balanced budget by 2012?

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on January 15, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

I like the idea of selling naming rights. Lets get corporate America involved with the war. The "Viagra Surge" (mentioned by Disputo) could be followed by the "Cialis Sustain."

Sponsorships are also a great idea to bring down the costs of the war. The A-1 Abrams tank could be renamed the "Allstate Abrams Tank." The motto "Your in Good Hands in an Allstate Abrams" would be painted on the side. Space on F-16s could be sold like sponsor space on the sides of NASCAR racers. The same for smart bombs. And don't forget about uniforms. The Sprint regiment, or the Coca-Cola platoon sound great. Just a slight change and the names of the corporate sponsors could be embossed right over the camouflage. Sorry Target, for the safety of the troops, you wouldn't be allowed to put your logo on the uniform. Maybe something else. Walmart water bottles.

Now that I think about it we could sell space on the side and wings of Air Force One to corporate sponsors willing to pony up real jack.

Every broadcast from the Baghdad would be required to display at least 10 different logos before the announcers would be permitted to interview a public affairs officer.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 15, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

It simply refers to Giuliani plan that "cleaned up" NYC. Nothing funny there, or interestinng. Wait until Operation Little Bighorn....

Posted by: buddy66 on January 15, 2007 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Hell, why hold back, they should just sell ad space on the the sides of the Styrkers. You know like on buses. Pleasant and tasteful signage on all the vehicles in a convoy.

OK, but I draw the line at selling ad space to Target, Lucent, or other companies with bullseye logos.

Posted by: B on January 15, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Somehow, there's something about the Chick Fil-A Green Zone that just doesn't resonate well -- But then again, neither does the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, punctuated as it is by memorable Built Ford Tough highlights.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 15, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

You can call it Operation "Whatever in the fuck you want"

Just don't ask us to go there...

Posted by: The Bush twins on January 15, 2007 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

I guess the focus group didn't go for Operation Limp Dick because it sounded too Nixonian.

Posted by: horatio on January 15, 2007 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

When the Administration finally comes to their senses and realizes a surge isn't the solution to sectarian violence, can we call their change of heart Operation Converted Rice?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on January 15, 2007 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. 2500 miles of subway. Or 15,000 miles of Light Rail (at $32-$33M per mile or so).

Posted by: Model 62 on January 15, 2007 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

No, it should be Operation Egbert, because it was planned with all the intelligence of a retarded two-year-old.

Posted by: Kenji on January 16, 2007 at 3:53 AM | PERMALINK

In honor of those stalwart souls who brave the flames of caustic wit and utter dismissal to nobly stand vigil on the home front:

Operation Al.
Operation Frequency Kenneth.
Operation Ex-Liberal.
Operation Jay.
Operation Minion of Rove.
Operation Steve White.
Operation Mike K.
Operation Chicounsel.

101st Fighting Keyboards logo pasted on all armored vehicles. What a boost to troop morale, eh?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 16, 2007 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

This actually pisses me off. Sure it's idiotic, but it's idiocy with a political/propaganda purpose. More official conflation of Iraq with 9/11, like the murals in the Green Zone cafeteria and the Twin Towers on the camp flag of one of the Infantry divisions.

These fucking people will go to their graves lying, to the military they claim to respect first and foremost.

Posted by: Jim on January 16, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

I think they called it Op Giuliani because the troops were instructed to treat Iraqis as if they were African-Americans living in NYC. Fifty bullets per.

Posted by: Brojo on January 16, 2007 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Brojo:

Well, that's for Amadou Diallo. But don't forget the plunger handle sodomy on behalf of Abner Louima.

Ahh, Rudy. The whole world knew you to be an irascible fascist wannabe on 9/10/02 ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 16, 2007 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

9/10/02 = 9/10/01

Posted by: rmck1 on January 16, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

I personally look forward to our brave soldiers advancing forward in Operation Rice Pilaf.

Posted by: tomeck on January 16, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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