Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Defining the Enemy: What's in a Name?
The National Review's Rich Lowry is pooh-poohing all the silliness that is "naming the enemy", you know the game: is it al qaeda, is it Islamic jihadists, Islamic fascists, "terror," "evil doers" or whatever. What's the big deal?
I don't think when President Bush says (or said) "Islamo-fascists" light bulbs go off for most Americans who sit up and think, "Oh, now I know who we are fighting." My view is the whole naming debate is "much ado," and although it's very interesting, its contribution to actually winning this war will be nil.
Ok, fair point. There's no need to define the enemy in war, especially if that absence will let us fight anyone, anywhere, anytime and claim it's all part of the important (ill-defined) battle. So, I propose a compromise: How about we at least have a go at defining "victory." That might, you know, help us figure out the best ways to get there (and not). And help us figure out which goals are just bat-shit insane nonsense.

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