Put It In Your Pantry with Your Cupcakes

Monday, December 20, 2004

The War on What, Exactly?:

"Setting aside the political and practical merit of the president's definition of the war on terror, the important question here is should the media, as custodians of the public discourse, have immediately pressed the president to sharpen his definition? On a certain level the answer is unequivocally yes. Slogans like the 'war on terror' are carefully crafted political bumper stickers developed by politicians to generate support for their policies. Think of the 'death tax,' No Child Left Behind, or the Healthy Forest initiative. The political significance of these phrases is hard to overstate. It's reasonable to ask, for instance, that if the war on terror had been called the war on Islamic extremism, would the American public have supported the invasion of a country, like Iraq, with a secular government? Similarly, had it been called the war for global democracy, would the Patriot Act have become law? What if it hadn't been called a war at all? Journalists, in other words, must resist employing political jargon--it tends to shortcut analysis in favor of mobilization."
Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Cost of the War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
To see more details, click here.
Subscribe with Bloglines