Many conservative pundits are making a big deal about the President’s refusal to call our response to the attacks on Paris a continuation of the “war on terror.” In their minds, refusing to do so represents a denial of reality and a dangerous parsing of words.
Of course, we all know what the “war on terror” resulted in during the Bush years: an endless conflict, draining away American treasure and lives in far off lands. Yet, there is absolutely no evidence that fighting the war “over there” keeps us safe “over here.” Instead, Americans’ heavy-handed approach is resulting in an entirely new generation of radicalized Islams for us to deal with, that is, it is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Moreover, “terror” is a tactic, not a group of people. You cannot be at war with a tactic. However, Republicans do have one valid point. The terrorists universally come from the Islamic faith. Therefore, referring to Islamic terrorists reflects nothing more than a description of reality.
Bill Maher, a normally liberal comedian and an avowed Democrat, has recognized this reality and created a furor by espousing it. In a similar vein, the so-called profiling of Islamic airplane travelers represents a common-sense law enforcement approach and a tactic to keep us all safe.