Wednesday, July 27, 2005
I tend to agree with the commentator who near the end of the story suggests that the reason a public official changes his language is to change public perception. Specifically, the rationale for the change from war to struggle is that
- Struggles don't have to be won
- Wars are usually fought with allies
- The President no long needs to be a "war president" in order to win reelection
- The administration can't have misled the country into going to war, which a majority of Americans now believe the administration did, if there is no war.
- A majority of Americans don't believe the war on terrorism can or will be won.
- The President and his administration know that the struggle against terror can't be won.
One of my favorite moments of candor from President Bush came during an interview on the Today show in September of 2004.
I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world. Let's put it that way.Of course, the President shortly thereafter rescinded those remarks, due to their political untenability, I assume. However, I believe that one can observe the beginning of the shift in language in this quote. Part of the rewording's purpose is to cast the opponents as extremists who are not to be accepted, rather than as legitimate opponents of the lone super power.
Monday, July 25, 2005
I've long known that Montana is significantly sesmically active, but in the roughly 20 years I've lived in the state, I had not felt a quake. Talk about the intellectual intersecting the experiential. Fortuanately for us, the quake was at least 80 miles away. Also fortunate was that the quake was centered pretty close to the middle of nowhere, so it's unlikely to have caused any significant damage.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Save Sarah. Ditch Dowd.
As a disclaimer let me say that I was already a bit of a Vowell fan, largely because of the quality of her contributions to This American Life, but also because she's a Montana native despite her best attempts to stay away later in life.