Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Monday, September 11, 2006


CBC and the "so-called" war on terror

The term "so-called war on terror" was used three times in the span of five minutes to lead The National's coverage of 9/11 tonight.

I don't understand what the heck that term means.

Was the attack on 9/11 "so-called?" Are the wars against terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq "so-called?"

Was it called the "so-called" WWII?

Maybe the CBC is a "so-called" television network?

That journalists can't bring themselves to call it THE WAR ON TERROR is just another obvious example that they carry far more ideological baggage than they care to admit.

A reader wanted to post a comment on this topic, so, here it is:

As long as the "War on terror" is being "fought" by "using terror" I think it is totally appropriate.

It's US propaganda talk, just like the so-called "friendly fire".


And here's my response:

Even if you disagree with the nature of the response, you still have to concede it's a war, don't you? And, if you don't, then don't call it "so-called." Call it something else. My problem is as much with the choice of words than with the politics behind the choice.

As for the tactics being used in that war, it's probably needless to say that I'm of the opinion that equating us with the terrorists is about as stupid as you can get. But it doesn't stop the left from doing it, of course.


You're right, the problem is not the word "war", it's the word "terror".

It's probably needless to say that its definition has been a matter of controverse; there is still no agreed upon defenition what "terrorism" entails.

Regardless of "to equate or not equate", any war (you know, those ones where we tend to use airplanes, tanks and cluster bombs for) is an act of terror against those at the receiving end, "them" being either enemy combattants or civilians (you know, dead mothers, kids, siblings and all that jazz).

Why not call it the war on Iraq, or the war in Afghanistan or the war on Taliban/Al qaeda? Would you have had problems with those? I wouldn't.

But calling it the "war on terror", where we tend to be so much better at the killing innocent lives along with terrorists, is as stupid as calling mistakenly killing your own people "friendly fire"; it's Bush propaganda talk, and I'm pleased to see that most news outlets are able to make that distinction, regardless if you like it or not.


Here's a list of why your arguments are absurd:

- Terrorists attack. They attack with bombs, airliner jets, or any other vicious instrument that kills as many innocents as possible. That's an act of war. The terrorists did in on 9/11. They've done in in a number of other places. They keep trying to do it. They'll keep doing it.

- Engaging in military action, in and of itself, is not terrorism. It's language used by pacifists or enemies of conservative presidents to denounce military engagements they don't like. But it's not terrorism, especially because we are not a terrorist society that condones such actions.

- The terrorists actually engage in terrorism. They want to institute backwards regimes on people, and they'll do it any way they can. What they stand for is the exact opposite of what we stand for. That some would want to apologize for them is something I don't think I'll ever learn to understand.

So you'll have to forgive me if I find it hard to swallow that some would call this fight against this enemy "so-called." There's nothing so-called in this war against this enemy, I'm afraid.


Ok, here's the response:
1. "they keep doing it". I never claimed otherwise.
2. Engaging in military action IS an an act of TERROR. Read the dictionary, look under t of terror.
3. "That some would want to apologize for them is something I don't think I'll ever learn to understand.". I'm not apologetic towards terrorists. On the contrary.

My conclusion: your statement that my argument is "absurd" is not substantiated by any of your (3) arguments; they don't make sense.


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