WaPo Misses (ignores) the Point

I was puzzled by this story starting with the first paragraph:

War on Terror Criticized for Lack of Focus

Shift From ‘Generic Evil’ Sought

The Sept. 11 commission report offers a broad critique of a central tenet of the Bush administration’s foreign policy — that the attacks have required a “war on terrorism.”

The report argues that the notion of fighting an enemy called “terrorism” is too diffuse and vague to be effective. Strikingly, the report makes no reference to the invasion of Iraq as being part of the war on terrorism, a frequent assertion of President Bush and his top aides.

“The first phase of our post-9/11 efforts rightly included military action to topple the Taliban and pursue al Qaeda. This work continues,” the report said. “But long-term success demands the use of all elements of national power: diplomacy, intelligence, covert action, law enforcement, economic policy, foreign aid, public diplomacy, and homeland defense. If we favor one tool while neglecting others, we leave ourselves vulnerable and weaken our national effort.”

I was confused because it seemed to bash the “Global War on Terror” but then call for “the use of all elements of national power: diplomacy, intelligence, covert action, law enforcement, economic policy, foreign aid, public diplomacy, and homeland defense” which sounded a whole lot like the GWOT to me.

So I pulled up my copy of the report and did a search for ‘generic evil’. I started reading Chapter 12, “What To Do? A Global Strategy” (page 378 of pdf) To my astonishment, I found what the report really said:

…In this sense, 9/11 has taught us that terrorism against American interests

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10 Comments

  1. Doug July 23, 2004
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