Most of the commentary I’ve seen since last night has emphasized that POTUS didn’t unveil anything new in his speech last night, that he mainly just tried to justify what he’s doing (or what he’s not doing, if you prefer), and that his real purpose was apparently to lecture us about tolerance.
Well, I heard something that sounded new to me. He said:
Our nation has been at war with terrorists since al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11. In the process, we’ve hardened our defenses — from airports to financial centers, to other critical infrastructure. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies have disrupted countless plots here and overseas, and worked around the clock to keep us safe. Our military and counterterrorism professionals have relentlessly pursued terrorist networks overseas — disrupting safe havens in several different countries, killing Osama bin Laden, and decimating al Qaeda’s leadership…
Did you catch it? Tell you what; let’s just zero right in on what I’m talking about:
Our nation has been at war with terrorists since al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11.
You catch that? We are “at war with terrorists.” Not “We’ve been prosecuting incidents of terror as discrete crimes,” or “I’ve been shutting down multiple wars started by my predecessor,” or “the so-called War on Terror.”
He said we are at war with terrorists. Maybe he’s said it multiple times before, but this time it jumped out at me.
Did it strike anyone else?
The tone was better than anything before because this was probably the first time he wasn’t trying to downplay the threat. For years, he’s been telling us that ISIS isn’t a big threat. That dog just ain’t gonna hunt no more.
Hence last night’s speech.
Assuming that I was just wrong about the president avoiding the “war” construction (else why wouldn’t Washington-based journalists, who watch all this more closely than I, picked up on it), I went a-Googling. And I ran across this gem from 2013: “Obama: ‘Global War on Terror’ Is Over“…