I came across this interesting piece by Rowan Scarborough over at The Examiner which noted that their is an effort within the White House, NSC, Pentagon, State Department, CIA and other agencies to rename or "re-brand" our current conflict with al Qaeda and its friends. Here's a look at the current debate:
Now while I enjoy a good academic debate over semantics, I've got to differ with Rep. Hoekstra and Brennan and removing the "war" from the debate. I don't know if these two individuals know it or not but al Qaeda and it radical Islamic cohorts launched a war on us when they seized four domestic airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon and a field in Shankville, PA,(The passengers on United 93 put an end to this one) thus resulting in the deaths of close to 3,000 people. We already know that al Qaeda and like minded groups are committed to fighting a war to bring about out destruction, so instead of worrying what to call it, we should just use all of the assets at our disposal and fight the darn terrorists where they stand. Even more, if you look back at WWII, you'll discover that we called it a war and used tanks, guns, troops, bombs, planes, diplomatic(Look at our Land Lease policy with the Brits prior to WWII, our work with the Free French and General DuGalle, getting the Soviets on our side) , as well as financial activities much like the federal government and its many agencies are currently doing. For me, I prefer to call it a Long War Against Islamic Jihadists. Folks might think its clunky or say it creates an even bigger problem(Might tee off CAIR or other groups) but I believe it aptly describes that we are in a generational fight and the specific enemy we are fighting.
Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, a Bush loyalist and ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, told The Examiner he has lobbied the White House to follow the British lead.
“Language is important, and I’ve told [National Security Adviser Stephen] Hadley and the president the past year and a half that I think the ‘war on terror’ is a terrible idea,” Hoekstra said.
“Going back to 9-11, we shouldn’t dignify these 19 [plane hijackers] by calling them warriors and saying that they’re involved in a war,” he said. “These are not warriors. These are cold-blooded terrorists and murderers, and that’s all we should dignify them with.”
John Brennan, a former senior CIA officer who directed the U.S. National Counter Terrorism Center, also believes the word “war” should be dropped.
Brennan said the term connotes only military force that is required defeat radical Islam, when in fact a lot of tools, including public relations and diplomacy, are needed.
*I'd say that Fred Thompson shares the same sentiments.