It's Official: "War On Terror" Name Stays
I applauded the Administration for trying to change the terminology in an early post about the War On Terror, but the President doesn’t want it that way. I realize this may seem like a small deal to a lot of people, but in this specific case I really thinks the semantics of the situation matter. Declaring war on a tactic doesn’t not help our cause, and especially when it seems like many within the administration want to change it.
And given recent comments in the media about the religion of Islam being a terrorist organization, I can’t help but think that this War On Terror is continually seen by people in the Middle East (and around the world, for that matter) as a thinly veiled way to say a War On Islam.
In any event, from the NY Times comes more on the War On Terror:
GRAPEVINE, Tex., Aug. 3 – President Bush publicly overruled some of his top advisers on Wednesday in a debate about what to call the conflict with Islamic extremists, saying, “Make no mistake about it, we are at war.”
In a speech here, Mr. Bush used the phrase “war on terror” no less than five times. Not once did he refer to the “global struggle against violent extremism,” the wording consciously adopted by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other officials in recent weeks after internal deliberations about the best way to communicate how the United States views the challenge it is facing.
In recent public appearances, Mr. Rumsfeld and senior military officers have avoided formulations using the word “war,” and some of Mr. Bush’s top advisers have suggested that the administration wanted to jettison what had been its semiofficial wording of choice, “the global war on terror.”
In an interview last week about the new wording, Stephen J. Hadley, Mr. Bush’s national security adviser, said that the conflict was “more than just a military war on terror” and that the United States needed to counter “the gloomy vision” of the extremists and “offer a positive alternative.”
So why did this happen?
In introducing the new language, administration officials had suggested that the change reflected an evolution in the president’s thinking nearly four years after the Sept. 11 attacks and had been adopted after discussions among Mr. Bush’s senior advisers that began in January.
The new slogan quickly become grist for late-night comics and drew news coverage that linked it with the emergence of a broad new approach to defining and attacking the problem of Islamic extremism through diplomacy and efforts to build closer ties to moderate Muslims, as well as through military action.
Again, I think this is an important issue, and so did the Administration.
What do you think?
UPDATE: 6:27 p.m.
The Moderate Voice has another opinion:
When you see the phrase “Pre Owned Cars” you know what they really are. But there’s a reason why advertisers and car dealerships use that instead of the phrase “used cars.” Ditto with the war on terror (war on violent extremism), creationism (intelligent design), liberal (progressive), constitutional option (to hide phrase REPUBLICANS originally used to journalists “nuclear option”) etc. Why not use the original phrases and stand by them? They are all valid and defensible?