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View Diary: What the DNC Must Do: A Comprehensive Framework (120 comments)

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  •  War on Terror (none)
    I believe the general framing of the "War on Terror" is our number one problem.  Iraq is put under the same umbrella as Afghanistan and various targeted attempts to capture individual terrorists.

    In pre-election polling, whether or not a person supported or opposed the Iraq war was basically contingent on whether they viewed it as part of the "war on terror."  If they recognized the difference between the two, they almost always opposed the war.  

    "The War on Terror" has become George W. Bush's excuse to do whatever he pleases and make it seem acceptable.  He needs to frame it this way, because if we're at "war" then we have a wartime president.  And wartime presidents get more support because it then makes it seem as though whoever opposes him is unpatriotic.  

    We need to begin NOW to disable this troublesome metaphor.  To get picky with language, it is very interesting to look up "terror" in a thesaurus.  You find words like "fear, horror, fright, dread, shock, panic, alarm." What we're basically doing is fighting a war against the fears of Americans.  W. will kill as many people as he wants to make sure Americans aren't afraid.  

    If you look up "terrorist" you find radical, fanatic, activist, revolutionary, rebel.  Are we going to declare a war on fanatics?  They live in every place.  They are running our country, for God's sake.

    What about "terrorism."  There, you find, violence, intimidation, or bombing.  It is so intangible.  Are we going to declare a war on violence?  A war on bombing?  The "War on Drugs" or "The War on Crime" are make more sense as metaphors than the War on Terror.

    It also inherently targets Middle Eastern people.  They have been framed as our enemies, no matter how much Bush talks about "the peaceful Islamic people," etc.  This has been framed as a regional conflict, a conflict of race, and religion.  It is an us vs. them mentality, that totally disregards the majority of the Islamic world, who isn't running around blowing people up.

    We need to abolish the War on Terror if we want to get anywhere.

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