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Renaming of "war against terror"

Reader comment on item: [Militant Islam:] No Less a Threat

Submitted by Gene (United States), Aug 31, 2003 at 16:59

Sometimes vague definitions are best, even when everyone knows the truth. Here's why: If one is officially precise in definition, one must also be precise in the action required by that definition. Assume for a moment that there are 1 million who fall into your category of "militant Islam". Since it seems obvious that they are not going to change their behaviour, our only option is to permanently confine or kill them. If confined, where? and at what cost? If we simply kill them (again, assuming we can find them in a 1 billion straw haystack), are we as a society, and as individuals, prepared for a bloodbath of that size? Don't forget the "collateral damage" that would ensue.

By being officially vague, the answers to both of those questions are avoided. "Don't ask the question if you can't tolerate the answer" (anon).

I think the president knew exactly what he was saying and will remain intentionally vague for that very reason.

The downside of vagueness is that is extremely difficult to maintain focus and support, as you point out.

Tough job, the Pres. has. And it's going to get tougher.
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