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Obama administration cuts “War on Terror” from vocabulary April 7, 2009

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Barack Obama’s recent visit to Iraq contrasted with former President Bush’s stays in the region in one respect: Iraqis for the most part reviewed Obama positively. This might have something to do with the administration’s new efforts to repair the country’s tarnished image, especially in their recent choice to phase out the term “War on Terror.” The administration apparently circulated a memo recently asking people to use “Overseas Contingency Operation” instead, in light of the negative conotation that “War on Terror” has within the Muslim world.

For more information on this topic, see the following videos with John Stewart, and then Bill O’Reilly:

Discussion Questions:

1.  How does such a seemingly trivial change in terminology exemplify the art of public relations?

2.  Why do some people argue that the “War on Terror” metaphor was so dangerous for the United States?

3.  What does the new term do?  That is, how does it give the administration more flexibility in dealing with the crisis of terrorism?

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