Ordinarily in a war, when one conducts propaganda both black and white, there is always the danger that one will end up deceiving oneself.
This is particularly true where the "war" does not look like a war as we have come to know it, for it does not involve, in the main, a battlefield threat, but rather other instruments of warfare, and where there is no beginning -- no "declaration of war" -- and also no end. In the Jihad that Muslims are taught to regard as a central duty, and which they must participate in either collectively (so that the efforts of some in the collective may relieve others from immediate and direct participation) or individually (so that everyone must participate directly). The goal has no fixed end, until the entire world has had all obstacles to the spread and dominance of Islam removed.
And the instruments of this war are not, pace Bush and others, "terrorism," or even conventional qitaal, or combat. The main instruments are the deployment of the Money Weapon, carefully-targeted campaigns of Da'wa, and demographic conquest. These are all part of what Robert Spencer has called "the stealth jihad," to focus attention on how it proceeds without being seen, or is deliberately overlooked, or willfully -- and woefully -- misunderstood.
If a great many of those who are the intended victims of Jihad understood all of this, and if they had set themselves to school to study the texts and tenets of Islam and the history of Islamic conquest, then possibly one could at least begin to even consider whether deliberately misstating what Jihad and this war-without-end (and not simply a "long war") is all about could conceivably make sense. For this war is manageable and containable, just, but only if everyone sees, clearly, what the true source (those "roots") of the conflict really is. And part of that necessary clarity requires at the very least that our own government not attempt, as a matter of policy, to hide reality, and to consider only how not to offend Muslims (as if they really are offended -- they know perfectly well what Jihad is all about), in the vain hope that somehow this will make things better.
The audience that counts, right now, are not the world's Muslims but the world's non-Muslims, and especially, for the American government, the people of this country, who need to understand better what we are up against. Instead, the Bush Administration is terminally flailing about with assorted fools in command, squandering resources, and is unable to articulate a thing. Administration officials are still showing how little they understand the goals they set, such as that of bringing "freedom" to "ordinary moms and dads" in Iraq and thus, they hope, to the greater Muslim world. And they are still intent on fatally endangering Israel with that maniacal insistence on a "two-state solution" that is not a "solution" at all, and could at this point still be pushed only by those who do not understand, who will not understand, who cannot allow themselves to understand, that Israel's size does not matter to the Slow Jihadists or the Fast Jihadists. The only thing that matters to both is the fact of its existence as an Infidel nation-state on land once possessed by Muslims.
The attempt to censor those who see things more clearly, the attempt by fools to curb the speech of the wise -- this is perhaps the most intolerable of all the follies of this intolerable administration.
The word "Jihad" is both accurate and useful (these qualities do not always coincide. It is a word that demands to be explained, and in that explanation -- the same kind of explanation that the word "dhimmi" calls for -- Infidels will be forced to learn certain home truths about the meaning, and menace, of Islam.
By banning use of the word "Jihad," the Administration makes much more difficult the intelligent dissemination of information about Islam. It makes more difficult the task of seeing the war of self-defense in all of its dimensions. And furthermore, far from encouraging peace, defined as the absence of open warfare through military means, it makes such open warfare through such means more likely, by preventing the United States, and other Infidel lands, from working to divide and demoralize the Camp of Islamic Jihad. For that can only take place, it is clear, once the conflict is understood, and that means once the most effective instruments of Jihad are grasped, and the monomaniacal emphasis on "terrorism" has come, as it must, to an end.