Archive for the ‘war on terror’ Category

No War on Terror; No, Wait: I Like To Know What I’m Talking About!

March 26, 2009

I have grown to trust the Washington Post for news.  I don’t always agree with their point of view; but no matter.

The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon sent around an e-mail saying “war on terror” was not to be used anymore in favor of the phrase “overseas contingency operation.”

Now some guy in the Obama Administration is saying: nothing of the sort!  There is no edict to drop “war on terror.”

Who to believe?  The guys that gave us the stimulus and the AIG flail?  Or the Washington Post?

Also, it would be fully in the character of the Obama Administration, based upon what we know so far, to drop the phrase “war on terror.”

On March 13 we reported that President Obama had removed another descriptive term from the U.S. government lexicon.

“Enemy combatant” we were told, was no longer to be spoken.

The banned term joined “terrorists” on the verbally verbotten list.

Department of Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano, in Congressional testimony, refused to say the word “terrorists” except when asked about it.

In court filings, the Justice Department said it would no longer use the term “enemy combatant” to justify holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Obama still asserts the military’s authority to hold prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. But he says that authority comes from Congress and the international laws of war, not from the president’s own wartime power.

It sounds like President Obama is giving up on the “overseas contingency operation” against whoever and those captured guys, well, who knows what to call them?


From AFP

President Barack Obama’s administration denied Wednesday dropping the punchy but controversial phrase “global war on terror” for the less snappy formulation “overseas contingency operation.”

There is no administration-wide edict from the White House Office of Management and Budget mandating the name change, as claimed in a Washington Post report, officials said.

“I sometimes am amused by things that I read in the press. I am not aware of any communication that I’ve had on that topic,” OMB director Peter Orszag told reporters.

According to the newspaper, the OMB had directed the Pentagon to drop the name coined by president George W. Bush for his battle against extremism after the September 11 attacks of 2001.

For critics, the phrase “global war on terror” was emblematic of an approach that was dangerously broad-brushed and which risked alienating the Islamic world.

Its formal omission would be consistent with the Obama administration’s reversal of key Bush policies, including ending the war in Iraq and shutting down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

Read the rest:

Read Michelle Malkin:

The White House is seen from the south side in Washington, DC. ...

Under Obama, `war on terror’ catchphrase fading

February 1, 2009

The “War on Terror” is losing the war of words. The catchphrase burned into the American lexicon hours after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, is fading away, slowly if not deliberately being replaced by a new administration bent on repairing the U.S. image among Muslim nations.

Since taking office less than two weeks ago, President Barack Obama has talked broadly of the “enduring struggle against terrorism and extremism.” Another time it was an “ongoing struggle.”

By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer

He has pledged to “go after” extremists and “win this fight.” There even was an oblique reference to a “twilight struggle” as the U.S. relentlessly pursues those who threaten the country.

But only once since his Jan. 20 inauguration has Obama publicly strung those three words together into the explosive phrase that coalesced the country during its most terrifying time and eventually came to define the Bush administration.

Speaking at the State Department on Jan. 22, Obama told his diplomatic corps, “We are confronted by extraordinary, complex and interconnected global challenges: war on terror, sectarian division and the spread of deadly technology. We did not ask for the burden that history has asked us to bear, but Americans will bear it. We must bear it.”

During the past seven years, the “War Against Terror” or “War on Terror” came to represent everything the U.S. military was doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the broader effort against extremists elsewhere or those seen as aiding militants aimed at destroying the West.

Ultimately and perhaps inadvertently, however, the phrase “became associated in the minds of many people outside the Unites States and particularly in places where the countries are largely Islamic and Arab, as being anti-Islam and anti-Arab,” said Anthony Cordesman, a national security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.

Now, he said, there is a sense that the U.S. should be talking more about specific extremist groups — ones that are recognized as militants in the Arab world and that are viewed as threats not just to America or the West, but also within the countries they operate.

Read the rest:

Brit Foreign Secretary criticises George Bush’s ‘war on terror’

January 15, 2009

Soon after President George Bush used the term “Axis of evil” to describe nations he thought were supporting terrorism, the phrase died because it offended so many.

Now Britain’s Foreign Secretary is saying even the term “war on terror” was not useful….and may have done more harm than good.

“Ultimately, the notion is misleading and mistaken,” David Miliband said. “Historians will judge whether it has done more harm than good.”


George W Bush’s “war on terror” may have played into the hands of violent extremists, David Miliband has warned.

By Alex Spilliusand Matthew Moore
The Telegraph (UK)

David Miliband criticises George Bush's 'war on terror'

David Miliband has criticised George Bush’s ‘war on terror’ Photo: EPA

In what will be seen as an thinly-veiled attack on the outgoing US president George W Bush, the Foreign Secretary said that presenting the conflict as a battle of “good and evil” may have done more harm than good.

His comments came as a senior Bush administration official admitted for the first time that a Guantanamo Bay detainee was tortured during questioning over links to the 9/11 attacks.

Susan Crawford, who oversees the tribunals for terror suspects at the US base in Cuba, said she believed the interrogation of Saudi national Mohammed al-Qahtani amounted to torture.

She said the frequency and the adverse effect of the torture on Qahtani’s mental and physical state persuaded her that military questioners had crossed the line from harsh interrogation to illegality.

Mrs Crawford told the Washington Post she did not refer the case for prosecution as “his treatment met the legal definition of torture”.

Ahead of a speech at one of the hotels at the centre of the Mumbai terror siege in India, Mr Miliband wrote in an article: “The more we lump terrorist groups together and draw the battle lines as a simple binary struggle between moderates and extremists or good and evil, the more we play into the hands of those seeking to unify groups with little in common.

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CHENEY UNPLUGGED: Read excerpts of transcript

December 18, 2008

The following are excerpts from an interview Wednesday with Vice President Dick Cheney:

On similarities between the Ford and Bush administrations:

I think there is a parallel in a sense with my experience during the Ford years. President Ford made a decision that was extraordinarily unpopular at the time when he pardoned former President Nixon.  He suffered – he dropped 30 points in the polls in one week as I recall.

The Guantanamo 'war on terror' detention center should ... 
The Guantanamo ‘war on terror’ detention center should remain open indefinitely Vice President Richard Cheney told ABC News in an interview Monday, while also defending the harsh interrogation method known as waterboarding.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Mark Wilson)

By the time of his passing a couple of years ago, opinion had totally turned on that. In fact, most people by then, even many who had been very critical 30 years before, were in agreement that in fact it was a good decision, it was the right thing to do from the standpoint of the country. …

I’m personally persuaded that this president and this administration will look very good 20 or 30 years down the road in light of what we’ve been able to accomplish with respect to the global war on terror.

On the power of the vice president’s office:

In terms of whether or not [I was] the most powerful and influential [vice president], I’ll let somebody else make those judgments. I think, um, I do believe that the vice presidency has been a consequential office, if I can put it in those terms, in this administration. But that’s first and foremost because that’s what the president wanted.

He’s the one who asked me to take the job, he’s also the one who decided during the course of the process eight years ago that he wanted somebody who would be another member of the team, who had a certain set of experiences and so forth, who could be an active participant in the process.

On charges that terrorism suspects have been tortured:

Before I respond to that, let me state a proposition. It’s very important to discriminate between different elements of, or issues that are often times conflated or all joined together. People take Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and interrogation of high-value detainees and sort of throw that all together and say, you know, characterize it as torture policy.

Read the rest from the Washington Times:

Mumbai Terrorists: Pakistan Won’t Send Any Captives to India

December 9, 2008

Pakistan said Tuesday it would not hand over any suspects in the Mumbai bombings to India, after authorities arrested 15 people in a raid on an Islamic charity linked to a banned militant group.

India has repeatedly said that the hardline Lashkar-e-Taiba organisation was behind last month’s carnage in Mumbai, which saw attackers go on a grenade and gun spree in the city that left 172 people dead and more than 300 wounded.

by Claire Cozens, AFP

With tensions rising between the nuclear-armed neighbours over the bloodshed, India had demanded that Pakistan hand over militant suspects — but Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that was out of the question.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Islamabad ... 
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in Islamabad in November 2008. Pakistan said Tuesday it would not hand over any suspects in the Mumbai bombings to India, after authorities arrested 15 people in a raid on an Islamic charity linked to a banned militant group.(AFP/File/Farooq Naeem)

“The arrests are being made for our own investigations. Even if allegations are proved against any suspect, he will not be handed over to India,” the minister said. “We will proceed against those arrested under Pakistani laws.”

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence from Britain and nearly came to a fourth in 2001 after an attack on the Indian parliament that was blamed on Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which means Army of the Pious.

Under international pressure to act, Pakistan on Sunday raided a camp run by a charity, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, that many believe has close links to Lashkar-e-Taiba, and arrested 15 people.

The charity is headed by LeT’s founder Hafiz Saeed.

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