Odyssey Dawn?

One interpretation of Operation Odyssey Dawn is a ten year struggle to get home. Instead of ten years, I think it refers to a single day.

The Odyssey is a Greek epic poem by Homer describing the ten year adventure of the craftiest Greek general attempting to return home from the Trojan War. Odysseus wandered the Adriatic Sea and Mediterranean Sea for ten years. One place he briefly stayed was Libya:

Across the fishy deep for nine whole days,
On the tenth day we reached the land where dwell
The Lotus-eaters, men whose food is flowers.
We landed on the mainland, and our crews
Near the fleet galleys took their evening meal.
And when we all had eaten and had drunk
I sent explorers forth — two chosen men,
A herald was the third — to learn what race
Of mortals nourished by the fruits of earth
Possessed the land. They went and found themselves
Among the Lotus-eaters soon, who used
No violence against their lives, but gave
Into their hands the lotus plant to taste.
Whoever tasted once of that sweet food
Wished not to see his native country more,
Nor give his friends the knowledge of his fate.
And then my messengers desired to dwell
Among the Lotus-eaters, and to feed
Upon the lotus, never to return.
By force I led them weeping to the fleet,
And bound them in the hollow ships beneath
The benches. Then I ordered all the rest
Of my beloved comrades to embark
In haste, lest, tasting of the lotus, they
Should think no more of home. All straightway went
On board, and on the benches took their place,
And smote the hoary ocean with their oars.

Odysseus’ men consumed the lotus narcotic and would have stayed forever. Only by quickly extricating themselves before more men consumed it, aka cut their losses, could they return home. Maybe that is the intent for the operation name. Do what they need to do quickly and get out before they get mired in yet another quagmire. Of course, that was the intent of Afghanistan and Iraq.

As a child reading the Odyssey for the first time, I thought better to under the influence of the lotus than Circe. Dunno that is still the case.


2 responses to “Odyssey Dawn?”

  1. David Avatar

    Okaaaaay…so basically the name implies that our soldiers will begin marching into unknown country, be lost for 10 years, wandering the deserts, fighting with monsters and finally coming home at last, just to see their wives with some other man? Hooray for Mr.Odysseus!


  2. Ezra S F Avatar

    Only if you ignore Odysseus went to Libya.

    Or… The name really is meaningless.

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