Renaming the War on Terror

Date: Thursday, March 26, 2009 12:56 AM
Category: Allgov Blogs

An unusual controversy popped up on Wednesday when the Washington Post reported that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was asking federal employees to stop using the Bush administration term “Global War on Terrorism.” OMB director Peter Orszag dismissed the rumor as a non-story. However, dealing with the phrase is actually a serious issue.

 
Immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush made it clear that he was launching a “war on terrorism.” The phrase was accepted without challenge by most media sources, but those who read more carefully what Bush was saying were immediately alarmed by his choice of words. The problem is that terrorism is not an enemy; it is a tactic used by our enemies. In practical terms, declaring a war on terrorism is like declaring a war on tanks or bullets. By launching a war against a tactic, President Bush and his team were setting the United States on the path of a war without end. This was useful for Bush politically, and helped him con the American people into invading Iraq in 2003 and even get reelected in 2004. But for the American people, the phrase “war on terrorism” was a disaster because it was vague enough to cover almost anything and there was absolutely no way to end such a war. Hopefully, the Obama administration, no matter what phrases they choose to use, will focus on the real enemies of the United States rather than emphasizing the tactics they use.
-David Wallechinsky
 
“Global War on Terror” Is Given New Name (by Scott Wilson and Al Kamen, Washington Post)

Latest News

Cape Verde’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Carlos Veiga?

As prime minister, Veiga in 1992 oversaw the creation of a new constitution and flag for the country. He also began to bring in private investment to the nation that is heavily dependent on foreign aid and remittances to keep its economy going. Veiga was known for moving his cabinet ministers around and sometimes firing them to keep from developing a power base from which they could challenge him. In 1998, Veiga was injured in a plane crash that killed one of his bodyguards.   read more

Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development: Who Is Neal Rackleff?

As director of the City of Houston Department of Housing and Community Development (HCDD), Rackleff was responsible for community development projects, affordable housing, and neighborhood revitalization. During his term as director, HCDD produced 7,800 multifamily housing units and helped 1,700 single-family homeowners with rebuilding hurricane-damaged homes. He also worked on the redevelopment of the historic downtown building now housing the J.W. Marriott Hotel.   read more

Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency: Who Is Brock Long?

Long joined the George W. Bush administration in 2001 as a hurricane program manager in FEMA for six states—but, significantly, not Louisiana, which bore the brunt of Hurricane Katrina. One of his achievements was the distribution of an educational hurricane computer game for grade-schools. In 2008, Long became director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, where he directed the state’s response to incidents as different as the H1N1 flu virus and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.   read more

White Policeman Fired for not Killing Black Man with Gun

“I am not going to shoot you, brother.” In what world do those words being said by a police officer result in that officer being fired? You don’t have to go down the rabbit hole in search of a place where up is down, left is right, and war is peace. All you need do is go to Weirton, West Virginia. Police Officer Stephen Mader was fired from his job for not killing a Black man when he could have. He’s now in a battle that seems both absurd and highlights the absurdity of our times.   read more

Ambassador of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the United States: Who Is Lou-Anne Gilchrist?

An educator by profession, Gilchrist effected a major career change in 2009 by accepting an offer to become an education officer at the Ministry of Education, where she was responsible for the security and administration of all external examinations from January to October 2009. She was soon promoted to chief education officer at the Ministry of Education, where she supervised educational processes in schools from October 2009 to September 2016.   read more
see more...