July 27, 2005

Who Cares About Slogans?

Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker The New York Times report:

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is retooling its slogan for the fight against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, pushing the idea that the long-term struggle is as much an ideological battle as a military mission, according to senior administration and military officials. In recent speeches and news conferences, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the country's top military officer have spoken of "a global struggle against violent extremism" rather than "the global war on terror," which had been the catchphrase of choice.

The old catchphrase "global war on terror" had always sounded kind of silly - like we were declaring war on a feeling. Yet, this new catchphrase is ridiculous for these reasons: (1) in the name of political correctness, they are, once again, ignoring the fact that we are dealing with islamic extremism, (2) "global struggle" waters down the fact that we are at war with Al Quaeda (After the wake-up call that was 9/11, most Americans have pretty much gone back to sleep...do we really need to give them more sleeping pills?), (3) the catchphrase is rather long-winded and unwieldy (can you see many TV anchors actually using it?) and (4) there is nothing memorable about the catchphrase.

Look, I realize that politics is all about perceptions and public relations. Yet this seems to fail miserably to accomplish any of their goals.
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