Monday, March 23, 2009

Don't Say "WOT" You Mean

John Ray, blogging at Tongue Tied 3 (, points out the Obama administration's continuing efforts to disassociate itself from its Bush predecessors--linguistically. The expression "Enemy combatants" has been disposed of or at least changed; these are now, according to Andy Worthington of the liberal AlterNet (, "Nobodies formerly known as 'Enemy Combatants' in the 'Current, Novel Type of Armed Conflict.'"

So much clearer, you will agree.

Now it's the "War on Terror" (WOT) itself that has to go. Writes Ray: "What's being sought is a more precise phrase that can recast the U.S. government's counterterrorism fight in ideological as well as military terms." He continues, "Obama publicly signaled the new approach this week. When asked about the "war on terror" phrase by CNN's Anderson Cooper, Obama said, 'Well you know [ouch!], I think it is very important for us to recognize that we have a battle or a war against some terrorist organizations. Words matter in this situation because one of the ways we're going to win this struggle is through the battle of hearts and minds.'" Yup.

And another way might be through superior military might and will.

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