The Presiden'ts campaign last fall used powerful imagery of prowling wolves in a haunting anti-Kerry television ad that said "weakness attracts those who are waiting to do America harm," blogged here.
Make no mistake about it, this is a war against people who profess an ideology, and they use terror as a means to achieve their objectives," the President said yesterday, declaring victory in a war of words that had flared up earlier in the week when some members of the Administration started bandying about an absurdly kinder, gentler term for this epic battle between the forces of light and darkness:
In a speech here, Mr. Bush used the phrase "war on terror" no less [sic] than five times. Not once did he refer to the "global struggle against violent extremism" [G-SAVE], the wording consciously adopted by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld [How COULD he? Was he being pressured by Karen Hughes -- in her new role as undersecretary of State -- to go against his better judgment? -- ed] and other officials in recent weeks after internal deliberations about the best way to communicate how the United States views the challenge it is facing.
The new slogan quickly became grist for late-night comics and drew news coverage that linked it with the emergence of a broad new approach to defining and attacking the problem of Islamic extremism through diplomacy and efforts to build closer ties to moderate Muslims, as well as through military action.
Phew. It was so out of character and out of the blue and only made us look indecisive -- Osama's weak horse rearing its ugly head. Thank you, President Bush, for reining in your straying team. As Steven Vincent, the writer/journalist/blogger murdered Tuesday by Iraqi "insurgents" in Basra, said in a FrontPage Jamie Glazov interview last year:
Words matter. Words convey moral clarity. Without moral clarity, we will not succeed in Iraq.
Vincent had been embedded -- not with the military but with everyday Iraqis. His cyberfriend, Aussie blogger extraordinaire Arthur Chrenkoff, eulogized him yesterday in a touching tribute, where he noted "It appears that Steve might have fallen foul of Shia hardliners whose violent campaign of revenge against local Sunnis he has been documenting for some time, including in his last opinion piece for The New York Times," which apeared last Sunday, only two days before he was kidnapped and shot. "Words probably killed Steve, but let words be also his lasting legacy."
Let's hope words won't kill the rest of us. Besides, consider the wordcraft itself. "War on Terror" engages the imagination and rolls off the tongue, but who could ever remember the colorless "Struggle Against Violent Extremism"? It sounds like something a U.N. committee would come up with after months of study.