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.
Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
LAPD releases haunting crime scene photos from its archives
Peaches Geldof funeral: Bob Geldof leads tributes at emotional service in same church she married husband Thomas Cohen and mother Paula Yates was buried
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge photographed with Prince George off-duty may spark privacy row
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Concerns grow among search officials that missing jet ‘may have landed somewhere else’
Ukip election posters: Nigel Farage defends 'racist' campaign anti-immigration campaign ahead of Europe elections
Is Britain really a land of God? Furious debate after David Cameron claims we are a Christian country
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Ukip leader Nigel Farage defends employing German wife, at launch of anti-immigration poster campaign
David Cameron's constituency office calls police on food bank campaigners Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Keith Hebden
- 1 Revealed: Scientists ‘edit’ DNA to correct adult genes and cure diseases
- 2 David Cameron's constituency office calls police on food bank campaigners Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Keith Hebden
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Women take on Bear Grylls over 'sexist' male-only desert island show
- 5 Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Concerns grow among search officials that missing jet ‘may have landed somewhere else’
£55000 - £62000 per annum + outstanding benefits and bonus: Pro-Recruitment Gr...
£120 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Reception teacher required for an Outs...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + excellent company benefits : Pro-Recruitment Group...
£90 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: The Job We are currently recr...