Good news: Obama administration coins new euphemism for “war on terror”

posted at 9:22 pm on April 6, 2010 by Allahpundit

It’s not as catchy as “man-caused disasters,” which remains my personal favorite.

But I do dig the acronym.

In a speech today before a conference on post-9/11 intelligence-reform efforts, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair didn’t once utter the words “global war on terror.” But at least twice he talked about the administration’s efforts at “countering violent extremism.”

Blair’s aides had no immediate comment on how the intel czar came to use the catchphrase. Two officials of another government department involved in counterterrorism efforts, who asked for anonymity when discussing internal administration discussions, said that use of the new buzzwords “evolved” from discussions among counterterrorism officials. (The discussions apparently evolved enough that, in typical Washington fashion, insiders have already granted the phrase its own acronym: CVE.)

CVE has been slowly catching on among the Obama crowd. Daniel Benjamin, the State Department’s top counterterrorism adviser, used it in testimony he gave to the Senate Armed Services Committee last month. As Benjamin explained it, “The primary goal of countering violent extremism is to stop those most at risk of radicalization from becoming terrorists. Its tools are noncoercive and include social programs, counter-ideology initiatives, and working with civil society to delegitimize the Al Qaeda narrative and, where possible, provide positive alternative narratives.” He added, “We are working hard to develop a variety of CVE programs.”

It’s almost like a code word, or pig latin. No more politically charged references to “Islamic terrorism” that can be exploited in soundbites on Al Jazeera. From now on it’s an ar-way on errorism-tay.

Actually, this reminds me of last night’s non-bombshell about nuclear policy. In both cases, it’s basically the same wine in different bottles and the diplomatic benefit that flows from each will be exceedingly marginal. But from a linguistic standpoint, CVE is arguably less precise than WOT. Both “terror” and “extremism” are amorphous terms infused with subjective considerations, but by qualifying “extremism” with “violent,” it suggests that we’re not trying to counter regular old nonviolent extremism. Which, I thought, was the whole point of “smart power” and the speech in Cairo, etc. — essentially, winning over Muslims who may be nonviolent but who nonetheless believe that America is the Great Satan even though we’re now led by a Jesus-y demigod. The Muslim Brotherhood and Hizb ut-Tahrir are, officially at least, nonviolent Islamist fanatic groups, but we’re still “countering” them too, I hope.

Oh well. At least we remain “at war with Al Qaeda.” I think. Exit question: Can’t we just go back to “man-caused disasters”? You know, like that earthquake that Deepak Chopra caused last week.

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Comment pages: 1 2

CVE is not an acronym, it’s initials.

NASA is an acronym.

Veeshir on April 7, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Veeshir on April 7, 2010 at 8:57 AM

I’m confused, please elabrate.

TugboatPhil on April 7, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Never mind, I was reading the CVE wrong. Senior moment.

TugboatPhil on April 7, 2010 at 9:04 AM

>CVE is not an acronym, it’s initials.
>NASA is an acronym.
>Veeshir on April 7, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Oh, I don’t know. It can be an acronym. You pronounce it “CAVE”, as in “CAVE in to the terrorists.”


Cicero418 on April 7, 2010 at 9:17 AM

From now on it’s an ar-way on errorism-tay.

That’s a hilarious analogy. It speaks to the immaturity of this administration.

scalleywag on April 7, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Using two different computers for several days so it ain’t me: I get a blank page w/HotAir logo only, must refresh twice before the story & comments load.

Muy annoyo.

Akzed on April 7, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures

CardioVascular Event

Chillin Villain Empire

Akzed on April 7, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Janet Napolitano is a manperson-caused disaster.

DrStock on April 6, 2010 at 9:29 PM

..FIFY. I wanted to save you from the PC Police.

VoyskaPVO on April 7, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Well, I think it’s illy-say olicy-pay.

Tennman on April 7, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures

CardioVascular Event

Chillin Villain Empire

Akzed on April 7, 2010 at 9:30 AM

How about: Cold Vinegar Enema

UltimateBob on April 7, 2010 at 11:09 AM

CVE = Escort Carrier.

The escort aircraft carrier or escort carrier (popularly known as the jeep carrier or baby flattop), was a small and slow type of aircraft carrier used by the British Royal Navy, the Imperial Japanese Navy and Army, and the United States Navy in World War II. They were typically half the length and one-third the displacement of the larger fleet carriers. While they were slower, less well armed and armored, and carried fewer planes, they were less expensive and built in much larger numbers.

pseudonominus on April 7, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Oh boy, we have to start “countering violent extremism”, those tea party people are going to get it now.

tarpon on April 7, 2010 at 11:44 AM

But pseudonimus, you left out the best part. At least in the US, where the CVEs were converted Liberty ships, and thus pretty delicate platforms compared to regular warships, classic US military humor interpreted CVE as “combustible, vulnerable, expendable”. Rather apt ring for the level of performance available from our current national security managers …..

IceCold on April 7, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Chili Verde, Explosivo!

karl9000 on April 7, 2010 at 12:43 PM

It’s still dog shit no matter what you call it. It’s still the same people trying to kill us no matter what you call them.

LarryG on April 7, 2010 at 2:30 PM

This is just a way for this thug administration to start their own crackdown on vile, tea party types. They can say “see , we need to “counter” their common sense views with “violent” measures “extremely” quick before they vote us out of office”

PatriotPete on April 7, 2010 at 3:22 PM

He’s using this now so his administration can shift resources to going after those who “raise harmful speech.”

Its like in NY where they are shift terrorism money to normal cop duty now.

The left still can’t understand what a real terrorist is, so they’ll start shifting everything to make sure they take down those real evil doers, the people who believe in the Constitution.

Rbastid on April 7, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Comment pages: 1 2