War or Not?

There is something very odd about the way administration officials get so twisted around using the word “war.”

On Thursday, Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf sought to clarify the lexicon of the anti-ISIS campaign.

“Well, I know there has been a lot of questions about what words we use but as the president said the other night this is a very different campaign from the Iraq War, the last time we used that term,” she said. “It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. We utilize our air superiority and support for partner forces on the ground.”

Instead, she calls the action “a steady, relentless counterterrorism campaign to take out ISIL wherever they exist.”

“This is not also America’s war with ISIL,” she added. “The world is joining us in the fight because of the threat they pose to countries in the regions. So we are at war with ISIL in the same way we are at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates around the world.”

One may suppose that they are avoiding the word because they want to maintain the position that they do not need Congressional approval. But I suspect it is more cultural and political. These are lefties who can’t bring themselves to admit that they are starting a war. They are so twisted around being anti-Bush and anti-war that they don’t want to admit that they are beginning to follow the same policy – even if incompletely.

Really though, at the point you are actively in a campaign of using force to kill opponents on a large scale, you are at war.