'War On Terror' Remake?

U.S. Army General George Casey stands with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during a press conference on Wednesday in Baghdad. AP

This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.
I don't know if you noticed, but the "War On Terror" is over. That ubiquitous catchall phrase that the administration so liberally used to help draw support for the War In Iraq has been deemed unfit for public consumption. From now on, it is "The Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism."

You think I'm making this up?

Well Donald Rumsfeld seems to have dropped the War On Terror in favor of the clunkier "Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism," and Monday at the National Press Club, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers said he objected to the old phrase. Said Myers, "Because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform being the solution."

Well the War In Iraq is a war. But, does this mean these guys are admitting that when they started it, it really wasn't a war on terror because there weren't any terrorists in the first place?

Google this when you get home tonight. It sounds to me like the administration is trying, in the words of a marketer, to "reposition a brand." Americans were more than happy to support the war in Iraq because they believed, and old polls bare this out, that it was part of the greater war on terrorism.

Support for that war has plummeted. So do we change its name and assume that no one will notice or that it doesn't matter? How about we go back and call the war in Iraq "The Perilously Dangerous Mission To Unseat Saddam Hussein And Install Democracy In A Country Full Of People Who Really Hate And Distrust Each Other"?

That might have been a tougher sell.


Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith
  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

Comments