War on Language

"We’re engaged in a major counterterrorism operation,” he told CBS, “and it’s going to be a long-term counterterrorism operation."

Pop quiz: who uttered that quote?

    A) George W. Bush
    B) Dick Cheney
    C) Don Rumsfeld
    D) John Kerry.

Time's up. The answer is D. So, had the Bush administration prevaricated and equivocated, er, I mean, been more careful about the words chosen to describe the goings on - and the press let him get away with it - everything would have somehow been better?

And, as Jonah notes, it is a bit odd that an administration that has no trouble identifying domestic issues as a war on women, war against the poor, war on science, war on reproductive rights, war against the middle class, war on unions, race war - just to name a few - is squeamish about identifying sustained drone attacks, bombing and coordinated ground offensives as war.

So we can be comforted. As Asawin Suebsaeng informs:
According to Secretary of State John Kerry, President Obama’s newly announced (and possibly illegal) war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria is not a war at all—it’s merely a large-scale act of counterterrorism.

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