Thursday, 10 March 2005

NEXT POST
US Military Operation Code Names, Organized by War and/or Conflict Descriptions of these operations available at the Army's official "Index of Operational and Code Names." World War II Operation Argument Operation Backhander Operation Blackcock Operation Boston (constructed an airfield in, you guessed it, the Abau-Mullins region of New Guinea) Operation Carpetbagger Operation Casanova (a "diversionary" operation) Operation Clean Slate Operation Fivesome Operation Frantic Operation Huddle ("a sub-task of PESTILENCE") Operation Kaput Operation Magneto Operation Pig Stick Operation Plunder Operation Providence Operation Super-Gymnast Operation Toenails The Korean War Operation Big Switch (a.k.a. "The Korean War") Miscellaneous Military Disasters Operation Blue Spoon Operation Continue Hope (Somalia) Operation Eastern Exit (because Hope didn't Continue all that long in Somalia) Operation Fiery Vigil Operation Golden Pheasant Operation Hawkeye XVIII (followed smashing success of Operation Hawkeye XVII) Operation Nimrod Dancer ("Operation Nimrod Dancer?" "OPERATION NIMROD DANCER!") Operation Productive Effot Operation Provide Promise Operation Purple Storm Operation Sand Flea Operation Sharp Edge Gulf War I Operation Bump Operation Desert Calm (a.k.a. "The Gulf War") Operation Desert Shield (a.k.a. "The Gulf War") Operation Desert Storm (a.k.a. "The Gulf War") Operation Desert Sword (code named used in early phases of "The Gulf War") Operation Friction (Canadian code name for its naval contribution) Operation Larry Various Operations and Projects Whose War and Point Escape Me* Operation Brown Bag Operation Bad Gas Operation Electric Avenue Operation Wingit Operation ProFraud Operation Baited Hook Operation Bad Back Project Can't Be Operation Shrinkwrap Operation Barndoor Project Broken Rule Operation Blood Money Operation PC Scam Operation Busted Dreams Project Forgery Operation Treasure Trolls Operation Barrel Roll Project Excess Project Crank Call Project Makeover Project Easy Pickings Project Oil Slick Project Bad Lab Project Stolen Secrets Operation Fake Fuel Project Back Orifice Operation Wise Cracker Operation Head Game Project Kickback Operation Rhumba Operation Kill-Dare Operation Kick the Can Project Core Values Project Hot Dog Operation Fatcat Operation Hands Off Project Walk Along Operation Chosen Path Project Dropbox Project Blue Lagoon Operation Deception Project X-Files Operation Hack in the Box Operation Sign-Off Operation Kaboom *Courtesy of Michael Ravnitzky, a freelance journalist, who took them from a list of closed investigations provided by the office of the inspector general of the U.S. Defense Department.
PREVIOUS POST
"It's Savory Scholar-Squirrel Stew Time Again!" I've appropriated that title from Gore Vidal's defense of Lincoln in The New York Review of Books, in which he defends his reconstruction of Lincoln's life from those academic biographers--in particular, Richard N. Current--who insist that Lincoln, his life, and his legacy belong to them. Vidal explains: How does a scholar differ from a scholar-squirrel? The squirrel is a careerist who mindlessly gathers little facts for professional reasons. I don't in the least mind this sort of welfare for the "educated" middle class. They must live, too. But when they start working in concert to revise history to suit new political necessities, I reach for my ancient Winchester...Current tells us that "[Vidal] implied that he was a greater Lincoln authority than Stephen B. Oates or any other academic historian except David Herbert Donald." As I pointed out in the last exchange, it was Newsweek that found me to be (in reference to Lincoln's alleged syphilis) a better historian than Mr. Oates, whom I have never read. I do not "imply" (Current has a guardhouse lawyer's way with weasel-words) that I am a better historian than anyone. This is the sort of thing that obsesses academic careerists. Scholar-squirrels spend their lives trying to be noted and listed and graded and seeded because such rankings determine their careers. Those of us engaged in literature and, perhaps, in history as well don't think in such terms. We also don't go on Pulitzer Prize committees to give a friend a prize which, in due course, when he is on the committee, he will give us for our squirrelings. Despite his mixed anthropomoprhisms--"scholar-squirrels" have "a guardhouse lawyer's ways with weasel-words"--Vidal's point is sound: Academics often tussle over the scraps because they're trained to avoid the Big Picture. They prize their "squirrelings" because they can't, to slip into the most apt of cliches, see the forest for the trees. In which, I presume, the squirrel away their squirrelings. Vidal continues as only he can: But note the Current technique throughtout this supremely unimportant business. One of the signs of obsession is the inability to tell the difference between what mattters and what does not. The obsessed gives everything the same weight. Current juggles words this way and that to try to "prove" what is often pointless and unprovable. Not that Vidal is immune to criticism. To paraphrase someone who will find a response to his earnest and appreciated post to me in another forum, Alistair Alexi and Andy Appleton of the Alliteration Agency would like to speak to him about the following sentence: It's savory scholar-squirrel stew time again! Or, to be precise, one scholar-squirrel and one plump publicist pigeon for the pot. So no one's perfect. Tomorrow (or possibly even later this afternoon) will witness some brilliant thinkings about how painfully out-of-touch Tom Wolfe is and why that's related to the history of the shoe-fastening technology...

Become a Fan

Recent Comments