The 'war on terror' slips out of Bush vocabulary
Thursday 28 July 2005
The change was little noticed when the terminology started to pop up in speeches by President George Bush and other officials. But now it is everywhere, signifying two realisations: that the "war on terror" is as meaningless a term as the "war on drugs"; and that it will not be won by military means alone.
As recently as a month ago, Mr Bush was still referring to the "war on terror", but now the enemy has acquired the human form of "violent extremists" or, as Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, put it last Friday, "enemies of freedom, the enemies of civilisation".
This week General Richard Myers, the outgoing chairman of the joint chiefs of staff at the Pentagon, went further, saying that "the long term problem is... more diplomatic, more economic, more political than it is military".
The linguistic shift has been brought on by circumstances. Increasingly, Americans oppose the war in Iraq, and do not believe the President when he insists the 2003 invasion was part of the "war on terror" that began on 11 September 2001.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, the US military most certainly is at war. But on the home front, the only visible manifestation is tightened security. It has become harder to convince the public that the country is indeed at war in the generally accepted sense.
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
- 4 Halle Berry takes ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry to court for allegedly trying to make daughter look less African-American
- 5 Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...
£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...