President George W Bush’s concept of a “war on terror” has given strength to terrorists by making them feel part of something bigger, Hilary Benn will say….And Mr Benn, a candidate for Labour’s deputy leadership, will confirm that UK officials will stop using the term.
….Mr Benn will say: “In the UK, we do not use the phrase ‘war on terror’ because we can’t win by military means alone. And because this isn’t us against one organised enemy with a clear identity and a coherent set of objectives.”
….”What these groups want is to force their individual and narrow values on others, without dialogue, without debate, through violence. And by letting them feel part of something bigger, we give them strength.”
OK, OK, this is only very mildly interesting. Still, getting rid of the phrase “war on terror” is probably the first step toward developing a coherent policy against….um….whatever it is, and it would be welcome news if Benn really is speaking for the British government, not just for himself. But I wonder if he’s going to suggest a replacement?