'War on Terror' Phrase Fading Under Obama

Phrase on the skids as prez hopes to rewrite US-Muslim relations
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2009 6:56 PM CST

Barack Obama is rephrasing the "war on terror," the AP reports. As campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan continue—as do broader US efforts to hunt down extremists—Obama is apparently letting the Bush catchphrase go out of style. The new president instead invokes  “ongoing struggle” and “twilight struggle” as he seeks to repair relations with the Muslim world.

Outside the US, many consider the “war on terror” phrase "anti-Islam and anti-Arab,” one analyst said; instead, Obama should focus his ire on militant groups reviled equally in the Arab world. The White House insists there’s no ban on the phrase, but one expert sees a change: "One of the contrasts between the two administrations is the care with which Obama uses language," he said. "He thinks about the subtle implications." (Read more War on Terror stories.)

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