I have mixed feelings about the phrase "War on Terrorism." On the one hand, "terrorism" names a tactic distinctive to our current enemy that reflects the Islamists' basic political goals: the use of mass murder to terrorism unbelievers. On the other hand, it tends to focus our attention on the specific groups who employ the tactic of terrorism, not on the governments and ideological movements that support them.
Here is a sign that some of that confusion is being cleared up: a Pentagon report that no longer name "terrorism" as the target in this war, naming "Islamist extremism" instead--a term that has its own problems but at least identifies the enemy in terms of his ideas. But it does not seem to focus on the role of states who sponsor terrorism: Iran and Syria. (TIADaily.com, 07/26/05.)
Related: My posts, STATUS REPORT: THE WAR ON TERRORISM and EXTERMINATE THE ROOT OF TERRORISM, NOT ONLY THE BRANCHES...
Scott Holleran is commenting (Bush Replaces 'War' with 'Struggle') on the article, Washington recasts terror war as 'struggle'.
CRIER COMMENT: here it comes; the cowardly, mealy-mouthed change from what was not even a declaration of war -- and what a pathetic non-war this religious government has waged -- to a vague, non-military struggle against extremism, which is a turn against America's own extremist philosophical foundation of inalienable individual rights. War on Terror was bad enough. Now we must adopt the language of our enemies. (Jihad means struggle in Arabic.) Upshot of this major policy shift: We are no longer pretending to be fighting a war -- we will not fight back -- there will be no military retribution for Black Tuesday. (The Concord Crier, 07/27/05.)