Oct 31, 2006

Parsing the war on terror

NPR's been running a series on the meaning of terms in the war on terror.

Part I concerned the meaning of jihad. Short version: Even though al Qaeda and other terrorists describe themselves as jihadis, we shouldn't call them that because it offends other Muslims.

Part II tackled the term Islamofascism. Short version: We shouldn't use the term because it offends Muslims.

I hate this shit. It's designed to show how enlightened and detached the Brahmins at NPR are. Yet it reveals a complete lack of seriousness with regard to the war on terror. Did anyone worry about calling Germans "Krauts" during World War II? Were media outlets aghast at the term "Jap"?

Bush and co. have explained who are enemies are ad infinitum. At the same time, the religion of peace meme was voiced by Bush as early as 9/11. Might I respectfully suggest that worrying about offending Muslims should be pretty low on our agenda here?

Of course, there's more to this series than appears on the surface: Attacking the terms used by our side in the war on terror is really a way of attacking the legitimacy of the war itself. Opposed to jihad? Jihad is just another word for spiritual struggle. How could we possibly attack that? Going after Islamofascists? There's no such thing, really. And, once all the relevant terms have been deconstructed, it turns out that it's all much ado about nothing.

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