Saturday, July 30, 2005

Psst. Are We Supposed To Forget The "War On Terror?"

Not only is the administration not using the term "war on terror" anymore -- apparently, they don't want to discuss it much either.

In today's weekly radio address, here was the extent of President Bush's comment on terrorism:

"We're also spreading freedom, because free countries are peaceful. And we're staying on the offensive against the terrorists, fighting them abroad so we do not have to face them here at home."

I would have expected more, given that we are barely a week removed from a terrorist attack in Egypt, and a second failed effort to attack London's mass tranist system.

***

Earlier this week, the Bush Administration began using the phrasing "global struggle against violent extremism" -- forming the Orwellian (or possibly Christian fundamentalist) acronym Global SAVE -- instead of "war on terror."

The solution is "more diplomatic, more economic, more political than it is military," Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the National Press Club.

I think there's a more practical reason, though. The U.S. can lose a war, which has a beginning, middle and end. It's harder to pinpoint losing a global struggle against violent extremism -- which seemingly can last generations.

Vietnam, you might remember, was not legally a "war" but a conflict.

***

But whatever the administration wants to call our fight against terrorism, it amazes me that Bush didn't speak about it more in this morning's address, given the news of the last several hours from London and Rome.

Certainly, it is a positive that Scotland Yard tracked down and seized the three remaining suspects from the failed July 21 effort to launch a second round of London mass transit terror attacks. Elsewhere in London, Scotland Yard rounded up several other suspects related to the recent terrorist attacks in the city.

Or, Bush could have spoken about Sheik Mohammed Ali Hassan al-Moayad, sentenced Friday to 75 years after a New York jury found him guilty of conspiring to support and attempting to support Al Qaeda and the Palestinian extremist group Hamas. He also was convicted of actually supporting Hamas but acquitted of supporting Al Qaeda.

***

The news of the past few days is just a small piece in the larger fight against terrorism. And maybe the White House is afraid that by discussing a few successes -- especially another country's successes -- that it will lead to discussion of all of our country's failures, most notably its failure to capture Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

I don't know if that's the reason. But, given that we are not far removed from the terror attacks in London and the Egyptian seaside -- both possibly tied to Al Qaeda, or splinter groups -- I think Americans should expect more than two empty sentences from their president.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Righto. I think most everyone in the world, with the exception of the 48% or so of American right-wing sheeple supporting this president, recognizes that the U.S.-created Iraq bloodbath has done more to heighten global terrorism, not less.
Bush's Saturday morning radio message could not handle this truth. So, Bush reverted to the usual Republican strategy, instead of acknowledging a problem -- the first step towards finding a solution -- ignore it and cover it up with a few talking points.
Bush could never embellish or add insight into his "take the fight to them" bullsh-- lines anyway.
His actual motive always has been and continues to be to establish a permanent military base in Iraq to control the country's oilfields.

9:41 AM  

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