War on al Qaeda

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Talking Points

  • Who brought down the Twin Towers? They're the one's we need to concentrate on.
  • Terrorism is a method—al Qaeda is our enemy.
  • Iraq is a dangerous diversion from what should be our first priority: defeating al Qaeda.
  • Talking about a "War on Terror" is a sign of sloppy thinking.


Some would argue that the concept of a "war" whether it be a war on terror or al Qadeda is not the best attitude to take to the present conflict and that viewing it as, and treating it more like, a police action would be a more purdent policy.


Perhaps this is futile, since the phrase "War on Terror" is so deeply entrenched in the national discourse. Still, it is an incoherent notion; we battle enemies and not methods when we go to war. Al Qaeda is our enemy and remains unchecked; we must engage and defeat them specifically.

I think phrasing it specifically as "War on al Qaeda" will backfire. Already there is evidence that al Qaeda as a cohesive group (to the extent it ever was one) is becoming less of a threat in and of itself, being replaced by other groups with only a loose affiliation. Focusing specifically on al Qaeda leaves one open to the accusation that you're not paying attention to those groups. "War on Militant Islam" is closer to the truth, although in principal I suppose one could also be militant without engaging in terrorism -- that meme would never catch on in the mainstream media anyway because "War on Militant Islam" is just one word away from "War on Islam," even if the meanings are night and day.

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