Image: The Department of Homeland Security's new office is almost finished
"Terrorism" is out. "Man-caused disaster" is in. And you can just forget all about "jihad." From an interview with Janet Napolitano at Der Spiegel Online:
SPIEGEL: Madame Secretary, in your first testimony to the US Congress as Homeland Security Secretary you never mentioned the word "terrorism." Does Islamist terrorism suddenly no longer pose a threat to your country?
Napolitano: Of course it does. I presume there is always a threat from terrorism. In my speech, although I did not use the word "terrorism," I referred to "man-caused" disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.
Is this a joke, a late-night skit's attempt to skewer PC lingo?
No, this is PC lingo. Having abandoned the idiotic but at least somewhat bellicose moniker "War on Terror," we are now into, what...the "Intervention into Man-Caused Disaster."
Of course, there are two PC problems with the "nuance" Mzzz Napolitano claims.
There is that pesky term "man"--sure to rile the feminists, let alone the female suicide bombers. Brace for the day when Secretary Janet discusses "Person-Caused Disasters."
But that leaves the fact that the kind of "persons" who cause the "disasters" in question believe that Allah, not man (and certainly not woman) causes everything. Remember Operation Infinite Justice? That was the name the US tagged onto the military campaign against the Taliban until Muslims complained (p. 166) on the grounds that they believe only Allah dispenses justice, infinite or otherwise. (And that was enough for Uncle Sam to changes names, natch.) This line of religious belief surely makes "Man/Person-Caused Disaster" practically a term of defamation. I'm thinking Madame Secretary will have to go with something else, maybe renaming the whole agency for futher sensitivity's sake. Department for the Prevention of Allah-Caused Disasters, anyone?