Janet Napolitano Refuses to Use the Term “Terrorist”
During an interview that Janet Napolitano, Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary, did last week she was asked why she did not use the word “terrorism” while addressing congress for the first time. This was her answer:
In my speech, although I did not use the word “terrorism,” I referred to “man-caused” disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.
Terrorism is just such a dirty word, it makes those who commit man-caused disasters seem like such bad people. When you call someone a terrorist you are using the politics of fear, the term man caused disaster doesn’t make the terrorists, or the acts they commit, sound as bad. It diminishes the act of the terrorist. And besides calling someone a terrorist might make them mad and we need to fight a kinder, gentler war on man caused disasters. This is life under President Obama, we have people in the Homeland Security Department that can’t even call the enemy what and who they really are. Besides the president has some friends that have ties to man caused disasters in their past, and we wouldn’t want to offend the president’s friends.
But this brings up another issue that I have on this issue. When I hear reporters and politicians on television refer to September 11th as a tragedy or a disaster it aggravates the hell out of me. September 11th was neither of those terms, it was an ATTACK! We do not call the attack on Pearl Harbor the “tragedy” or the “disaster” of Pearl Harbor and September 11th was no different.
The term disaster that Janet Napolitano wants to use isn’t even the right term.
We have people in our own government, in Homeland Security, who don’t want to call the terrorists what they are because that would be using the politics of fear. By using the term man caused disasters we are shifting the focus away from the person who committed the act and more towards the end result. We are dehumanizing the act of terrorism by making it sound like it is just another disaster.
Janet Napolitano may think that the shift from the term “terrorism” to the term “man caused disaster” is just nuance but it goes much deeper than that. It shows a weakness and an unwillingness to confront the enemy. If people in Homeland Security are too afraid to accurately describe the enemy because it sounds too bad how can we trust them?