House Dems declare war on “war on terror”

House Democratic leaders have instructed their staffers not to use the phrase “war on terror” or “war on terrorism.” Instead, they should talk about specific military operations (e.g., “war in Afghanistan”) or of “ongoing military operations throughout the world.”
This decision emanates from the House Armed Services Committee. Yet, as the Washington Times points out, the chairman of that committee, Ike Skelton, has himself spoken of the war on terrorism in recent public utterances, as when he argued that the war in Iraq “is separate and distinct from the war on terrorism.”
But if the “war on terror” can provide a construct against which to consider the war in Iraq, then it must be a valid concept. You can’t judge the utility of our efforts in Iraq, or in any other given theatre, by reference to “ongoing military operations throughout the world.” Rather, utility must be judged by reference to the central purpose of those operations. The central purpose of our martial operations these days is to prevent terrorism. If we stop talking about that purpose, most of these operations will seem to make little sense.
But perhaps that’s the objective of the Democrats.
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