It's Only A Name, Isn't It?

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pins a medal of honor on an Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander in this April 4, 2007 file photo in Tehran. The U.S. may classify the Revolutionary Guard as a "terrorist" organization. AP Photo/Vahid Salemi

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
What's in a name?

A front-page article in today's New York Times claims the Bush administration wants to declare Iran's Revolutionary Guard a foreign terrorist organization.

That it may well be, but this White House and the military it commands has a spotty track record when naming things. Back when the Iraq war was first starting to run off the rails, I remember asking the commanding general in Iraq how U.S. forces were going to fight this guerilla war.

"I wouldn't call it a guerilla war," he said.

Fast forward a couple of years. Sunnis fighting Shiites fighting Sunnis — looks like a civil war, acts like a civil war, but God forbid anyone call it that.

How about Iraq being the centerpiece in the war on terror?

How about there weren't any terrorists there to begin with and now we have a country crawling with them and apparently exporting them.

The word is not the thing, S.I. Hayakawa use to say, but, be careful: It could turn into it.



Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
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