WAR ON TERRORISTS.

WAR ON TERRORISTS. I'm probably going to take some serious flack from TAPPEDers for saying this, but I think the most important idea to come out of Saturday's candidate forum at Kos was Hillary Clinton's suggestion that the War on Terrorism be re-labeled the War on Terrorists. Like so many liberals I've been frustrated by what Clinton correctly identifies as the peculiarity of fighting a war on tactic. And the shorthand "War on Terror," which technically means war on an emotion is so illogical as to be completely meaningless. I've never had quite the right alternative though. Some have suggested that after September 11th, President Bush should have simply declared war on Al-Qaeda. I think a restrained approach like that would have been acceptable, but in recent years so many Islamic jihadists groups have sprung up in the Middle East, Asia and Europe that are not explicitly part of Al-Qaeda but share its goals and methods. So I think Clinton's suggestion that we re-conceive the war as focused on them collectively is the correct response for liberals both as a matter of politics (it's tough but sensible) and policy.

--Ben Adler

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