In the language arts curriculum of major universities, there is a branch of study called cognitive linguistics.
This is the field of language that trains students to transform common terms into euphemisms. All of us first became aware of this branch of learning as children when janitors became “maintenance engineers.”
Politicians love this discipline. Terrorism attacks can become “manmade emergencies” and war or combat operations can become “kinetic military events.”
When faced with this obvious duplicity, military personnel will react in predictable ways depending on their particular rank.
Commissioned officers for instance will proclaim “kinetic military event” to be “balderdash” or “Tommyrot.” Senior non-commissioned officers will state, “Kinetic military event? That has a whiff of bovine excrement.” And junior enlisted personnel, God bless ‘em will pack their gear, prepare for another extended deployment, and call it what it is, “bull(crap).”
Politicians owe the men and women who they send into harm’s way a clear explanation as to why their services will be needed and what will constitute a satisfactory completion of the deployment.
The current Libyan kinetic military event has the White House, the secretary of state and the secretary of defense all saying different things. Flag officers appear on television trying to explain the inexplicable. The troops have a word for this set of circumstances also, but this is a family newspaper.