DAVIES | This Week in Lies and Idiocy

Last week, I heard a couple of news items that caught my ears. First was the announcement by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter that the United States would not “hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL.” Besides sending the pitch of Lindsay Graham’s voice above the human aural register, Secretary Carter’s statement was interesting for its word choice. Specifically, ‘opportunistic’ struck me as a rather poor selection. Defined as “exploiting chances offered by immediate circumstances without reference to a general plan or moral principle,” ‘opportunistic’ embodies precisely the opposite of what most would argue a military intervention requires. Considering Secretary Carter uttered it in the same breath as he promised American boots on the ground, one has to question how such disastrous diction came to pass.