This morning's news is that the Obama administration has a new approach to combat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan; that Al Qaeda represents a very serious threat to the United States. This threat analysis is confirmed here, in an article on the administration's commitment to keep counterterrorism as the top priority of the Department of Justice and the FBI.
Why then is Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano talking about 'man-caused disasters', rather than terrorist acts? She says the terminology is intended to move the American public away from the politics of fear, and that it represents a radical departure from Bush administration policies.
I think the new language is simply a further extension of the speech code advanced at the end of the Bush administration: anything to avoid calling Islamist terror by its real name. That would also explain why we now apparently are to talk about 'global contingency operations' rather than the 'global war on terror.'
This is no way to win the war of ideas.