A war, indeed

I was not comfortable with apparent attempts to back away from the words “war on terror” to say we were in a struggle against violent extremism (without saying exactly which kind of extremism that is). I didn’t get the shift and didn’t buy the argument that the Pentagon changed the wording because they didn’t want us to think that soldiers are the solution. It is a war. And terrorists are the enemy.

Now it seems that Bush, too, didn’t like this odd Republican attempt at PC.

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.

  • Mike NYC

    Well, thank goodness that’s settled. I feel safer.

  • Jeff, the problem is that if you call it a War, that glorifies the terrorists and gives them legitimacy. It makes it easier for them to recruit.

    They are criminals. Criminals belong in gaol, not in heaven with all those virgins.

  • Hugh,

    The problem is that they are NOT criminals, they are terrorists.

    Their only goal is the destruction of our form of government; so that they can impose their own form … Sharia.

    Terrorists are political creatures.

    Criminals do not have politics as their goal; criminals have their own enrichment as their goal.

    That’s why we put criminals in the gaol; and we put terrorists in “heaven.”

  • It’s not an attempt at PC, it’s an acknowledgement that the war metaphor was never a good fit to begin with. Jeff’s favorite professor in the whole world puts it best:

    I take it this is because they have finally realized that if they are fighting a war on terror, the enemy is four guys in a gym in Leeds. It isn’t going to take very long for people to realize that a) you don’t actually need to pay the Pentagon $400 billion a year if that is the problem and b) whoever is in charge of such a war isn’t actually doing a very good job at stopping the bombs from going off.

    The Dauphin can say whatever he wants because apparently he enjoys living in a fantasy world where dinosaur bones were put in the ground as a test our of Christian faith. But if the actual grownups beneath him are shrinking away calling this godawful response to 9/11 a war, the sea-change has already occurred.

    Make no mistake about it, the GOP is looking forward to the 2006 and 2008 elections with an increasing amount of queasiness in its collective belly. “Another five years of war” won’t win them any votes at the ballot box this time around, and they know it…

  • There will always be terrorism.

    Do we want to consider ourselves at-war forever?

    We are at war in Afghanistana and Iraq.

    The question is whether we want to regard ourselves as being at-war everywhere in the world, against anyone who engages in terrorism, forever.

  • W.J. Jones

    If Republican leaders are such spineless wimps that they’re afraid to admit to “five more years of war,” then the don’t deserve to lead the “war on terror” and they don’t deserve my vote.

    The truth is that we are at war and will be for a long time, and any spineless politician who says otherwise — and votes otherwise — doesn’t deserve to be re-elected to office.

    Their main goal in the near future should be to budget more monies toward fighting terrorism, strenghtening the borders and reforming our intellience, not passing highway bills filled with pork.

    We’re probably doomed to destruction thanks to these selfish, wimpy political fools — and thanks also to selfish, wimpy voters who want to ignore the obvious, even after 9/11 and 7/7.

  • Yer Neighbor

    I’m not sure who tried to change the label. The Pentagon contains folks of all political persuasion, and they don’t all agree. Whatever.

    Since words have meaning, lets be clear: it’s a war. The Islamists have told us so, and delivered on their threats more than a few times. I say, take ’em at their words and let’s don’t hold back: they must be completely and violently defeated.

  • owl

    Yep to RightNumberOne’s explanation. They intend to rule not just their world but ours with Sharia. Only look at Canada, already there. Invade with slow immigration, quietly, as with Europe. It is political. It is a WAR. Problem is that too many of our “good allies” and even good Americans refuse to understand that it can’t be handled as usual. They say we can’t kill them all. I say we better darn sure try to get every single one of them on our soil. And let them know we will soon be coming over to a plot of land, near them, until they stop. Fools are the ones that think any of it is going to stop anytime within the near future. It is a world war so beware of the quiet times or the false security. They grew very strong in the 90s. They invaded a lot of land. They infiltrated a lot of governments.

    All that said, I still hate to give them the title terrorists. Prefer Death Squads or Killer Maggots. Works for me.

  • NameWithheld

    Owl, I would agree with you that I do not want to live under Sharia law. I also don’t want to live under Bible law. Do you agree with me?

  • Call it what you will – GWOT, G-SAVE or even G-SPOT – what the United States needs isn’t a different slogan but a different strategy to defeat Al Qaeda.

    The United States, after all, is not engaged in a twilight struggle against a concept, but against Al Qaeda.

    For more, see:

    “The Global War on Error”

  • It’s a good point about criminals aiming to enrich themselves, but oddly enough, it’s turned out that was exactly what the IRA have been doing all along, robbing banks, extorting money from shops, smuggling and so forth.

    Perhaps the leaders of Al Qaeda have a political aim. It’s very fuzzy, and if we met their demands there would be new ones. The suicide bombers must be very confused at best. Can’t we at least agree that they are criminally insane?

    They want us to declare War on them. It makes them important. It gives them dignity. It gives them supporters, recruits, slots an Al Jezeera. It gives them purpose and glory enough to blow themselves up in some cases.

  • Rumsfeld was also saying “war on terror” in recent days.

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