Orwellian Phrase of the Day: War Becomes "Kinetic Military Action"

by the Left Coast Rebel

Change the language, change the dialogue, change the facts. Wave a wand over the American people and the world and "war" becomes "kinetic military action":

In the last few days, Obama administration officials have frequently faced the question: Is the fighting in Libya a war? From military officers to White House spokesmen up to the president himself, the answer is no. But that leaves the question: What is it?

In a briefing on board Air Force One Wednesday, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes took a crack at an answer. “I think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution that has a very clear set of goals, which is protecting the Libyan people, averting a humanitarian crisis, and setting up a no-fly zone,” Rhodes said. “Obviously that involves kinetic military action, particularly on the front end.”

Rhodes’ words echoed a description by national security adviser Tom Donilon in a briefing with reporters two weeks ago as the administration contemplated action in Libya. “Military steps — and they can be kinetic and non-kinetic, obviously the full range — are not the only method by which we and the international community are pressuring Gadhafi,” Donilon said.

Rhodes and Donilon are by no means alone. “Kinetic” is heard in a lot of descriptions of what’s going on in Libya….

I feel so much better knowing that we are engaging in combat against a civil war-gripped nation that poses absolutely no threat to the United States knowing that it is a "kinetic" effort. Newspeak, of course, makes me think of George Orwell. I found this quote from Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," 1946:

Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.
Via Memeorandum


  1. kinetic
    1.pertaining to motion
    2.caused by motion

    So we are participating in an in motion military action. That's a relief, I thought we were bombing a country engulfed in a civil war where we had no business being involved.

    Thanks for explaining it, I feel so much better.

  2. Chris - Didn't you know, An "in-motion military action" compared to a "stationary military action" are completely different!

    Of course, the shocking thing is that these fools think that the American people are truly this stupid. Thanks to public education, too many actually are.

  3. So this is what Michelle meant by "Let's Move."

  4. We all forget that Obama is the One we have been waiting for! I mean, He can do what he wants! He can go to war or kinetic military action when he wants! Forget asking Congress or VP Biden. And just to make you feel safer our states are preparing for a terror threat from white supremacists instead of radical Islam!

  5. I do find it somewhat interesting how most corporate liberals have chosen to ignore Obama's war-like behavior, that is, "kinetic military action". There's actually very little discussion of it--say on d-Kos. It's obviously a difficult situation but had that been a GOP decision the Demo sob sisters would be...sobbing.

    Sob sisters may be found on the Bay area's New Worlds: http://new-worlds.org/blog/?p=10286

    Here's one "Begemotya" (actually a russian immigrant)

    ....The Bush Era was a beautiful thing for the wealthiest half-percent of US public plus oil and pharma companies plus financial banditos like Goldman Sachs, plus military contractors and double-dipping parasitical retired Pentagon whores, plus AM radio talk-show slobbering orifices like Sean and Rush; plus the new cohort of dogma-blinded T-Bagger neophyte retards who surfed into Congress on the wave of public know-nothingism "....yada yada yada.

    That's not English--it's ebonics Kazoo quacking. "Motya" and the rest are whining about the bipartisan-supported Iraqi war again, making the same error they did back when all the leading Demos (and 70% of the House Dems or so) supported Bush, PatAct, FISA, etc. California Senator Feinstein often sounded a bit to the right of Bush (in fact argued for checkpoints at one point), but she's "PC", supposedly, not to say a AIPAC queen so no need to mention her or the other pro-war Demos (Hillary, Pelosi, Kerry, Reid etc).

    DoubleSpeak belches on

  6. "kinetic military action" KMA also stands for "Kiss My Ass". (Just in case you weren't sure what the White House thinks of your opinion.)


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