Winning the “hearts and minds” of Muslims?
It appears Obama is going to implement the new lexicon of “sensitive” words introduced by various U.S. governmental agencies. However, not only will he most likely drop words such as “Islamic terrorism,” “radical Islam,” “jihadists,” and so forth; the all but generic term, “war on terror,” also appears to be on its way out. Obama’s logic? “Words matter in this situation because one of the ways we’re going to win this struggle is through the battle of hearts and minds.” More on the “words matter” debate.
“Obama: US choosing words carefully in terror war,” by Lolita C. Baldor for the Associated Press, February 3 :
WASHINGTON ““ When talking about terrorism “” words matter, President Barack Obama said Tuesday.
Asked in a television interview why he hasn’t used the oft-repeated “war on terror” phrase coined by the Bush administration, Obama said he believes the U.S. can win over moderate Muslims if he chooses his words carefully.
“Words matter in this situation because one of the ways we’re going to win this struggle is through the battle of hearts and minds,” Obama said in an interview with CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”
The Associated Press reported Saturday that Obama has used the catch phrase just once, in contrast to its repeated use by the Bush administration in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Instead, Obama has spoken broadly of the “enduring struggle against terrorism and extremism” and pledged to “go after” extremists and “win this fight.”
“I think it is very important for us to recognize that we have a battle or a war against some terrorist organizations,” Obama said Tuesday. “But that those organizations aren’t representative of a broader Arab community, Muslim community.”
He added that he believes the U.S. can convince Muslims “that we should be working together to make sure that everybody has got a better life.”
Former President George W. Bush launched his war on terror just hours after planes piloted by terrorists slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania countryside. “America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world and we stand together to win the war against terrorism,” he said, warning days later that, “this war on terrorism is going to take a while.”