Wednesday, May 23, 2007

When the government declares war on a noun, bet on the noun

(Update below.)

John Edwards is delivering a foreign policy speech today:

Democrat John Edwards Wednesday repudiated the notion that there is a "global war on terror," calling it an ideological doctrine advanced by the Bush administration that has strained American military resources and emboldened terrorists.

In a defense policy speech he planned to deliver at the Council on Foreign Relations, Edwards called the war on terror a "bumper sticker" slogan Bush had used to justify everything from abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison to the invasion of Iraq.

"We need a post-Bush, post-9/11, post-Iraq military that is mission focused on protecting Americans from 21st century threats, not misused for discredited ideological purposes," Edwards said in remarks prepared for delivery. "By framing this as a war, we have walked right into the trap the terrorists have set - that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war on Islam."

Good for Edwards. This "misused for discredited ideological purposes" stuff still rings better for the CFR types, and isn't yet an easy sell for most voters. But it's a start.

"War on Terror" was a great marketing slogan, but not much as a plan for national security. Americans are catching on to that.

Much as he wants to be--so, so wants to be--Bush is not a "war president." He's a "failed foreign policy president," a different animal entirely and hardly a credential that justifies trashing out the military, wrecking the economy, and eviscerating the Constitution.

Update: Full text of Edwards speech here.

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