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 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global investment management fi...
£65000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CC...
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, C...
£60000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(Design, ...