Charles Krauthammer: Using the word 'terrorism' makes Obama uneasy

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  • twells Ogden, UT
    April 26, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    It has been interesting and confusing reading all the comments. Why are we afraid to call a spade a spade? The language of political correctness has clouded our ability to identify and say what is obvious. We seem to want to hold others to a higher standard than we ourselves hold. If we see an adult hitting or screaming at a child what would we say or do? It depends on our level of desire to get involved. If we don't want to get involved-we would say,"parental rights". If we feel strongly that a child is being abused we step in and protect the child -not the adult. We use sweeping generalizations to pigeon hole very complex problems. We seem to have lost our ability to know right from wrong. Everything is situational and can be justified in the name of.....whatever-fill in the blanks. If we want to understand the Middle East, then we must study Islam and not rely on media garbage. It is not a religion of peace. If you are not Muslim then you are an infidel.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 24, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    Bush made many memorable contributions in the area of rhetorical overkill. I thought the most absurd was the term 'axis of evil' suggesting an alliance of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2013 8:54 p.m.

    How about the war on terror against Iraq? Bush got a bit carried away there.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 23, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    Remember the rose garden statement after Benghazi that Romney pounced on in the debate for Obama not calling it terrorism when in fact he had?

    Understanding Obama’s initial reluctance to use the word terrorism isn’t exactly rocket science given the eagerness of both the press and partisans to pounce on and parse every word the President speaks. Obama’s precise use of words is what first impressed me about him when he ran in 2008. It stood out from the over-the-top language we’re used to from politicians trying to steal a headline with inflammatory words. It seems that the power of effective understatement is becoming a lost art. What a pity.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    This guy claimed the President was ineffective in this area while he was directing the death on the number one terrorist after refocusing away from the Iraq quagmire.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 22, 2013 8:24 a.m.


    Just so everyone knows what you're talking about, could you please quote George W. Bush calling someone a terrorist who wasn't a terrorist?

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 22, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    If it was not for Fox News, would this man even have an audience for his partisan babble?

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2013 3:17 p.m.

    As usual, Charles Krauthammer if focused on the wrong things and leading "the base" off into the woods. Tell us again how you were certain that Romney would win the election.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    April 21, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    Oh Krafty, terrorism is not speech. Unless you would like terrorism to be protected under the constitution like bribing senators with cash and attack ads is now protected.

    I find it amazing how much conservatives can swallow from their pundits without even a spoonful of sugar. The nation's downfall will be from the right.

  • Copy Cat Murray, UT
    April 21, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    one old man
    Ogden, UT

    "Will we soon start hearing blithering idiocy from an organization called the National Terrorist Association?"

    We already hear from several, like Hollywood, violent video game producers and players, and perhaps a certain political party. Perhaps that is why their highest office holder is so uncomfortable saying the word.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 21, 2013 12:00 p.m.

    So terrorism is a form of speech?

    Interesting concept.

    So does that mean that making terrorism illegal is a violation of the First Amendment?


    Kinda like putting reasonable safeguards on guns is a violation of the Second?

    So I guess we have no choice but to open the door to even more mass killings because the Bill of Rights tells us we can't put any limits on anything.

    Geez. Will we soon start hearing blithering idiocy from an organization called the National Terrorist Association?

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    April 21, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    I don't like Obama and I am not comfortable with the term terrorist. Is there a legal definition of terrorism? It sounds a lot like the term "hate crime" where someone gets an extra penalty because of what he was thinking and not what he was doing. It becames a thought crime because the person doing the crime was thinking in a way that society does not condone.

    The term is overused in terms that are politically popular. Israel is America's friends so when an F-16 pilot wearing a uniform drops a 500 lb bomb on an apartment building they made a mistake. When a Palestinian in Gaza shoots a rocket into an Israeli field he is a terrorist because he was not wearing a uniform.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    April 21, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    It's not what you say, it's how you say it. The intonations and enfranchises have a meaning. I wonder what he really would say if aloud to and wasn't reading what was written in fount of him.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 21, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    Maybe Obama is reluctant to use the word because it validates the actions of the perpetrators. Just the suspicion of the existence of terrorists gives them more power.

    If these were two brothers who felt alienated and were offended the US was in two different muslim countries acted on their own to make a statement, to create strike back at the nation they're now citizens in, does this mean we should invade North Korea? (Haven't we seen that movie before?)

    It's striking that the same folks who are opposed to background checks for purchasing firearms (because it could lead to a gun registry) are the ones calling for the feds to monitor muslims, even US citizens.

    Oh Rand Paul, where are you now?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 21, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    I'm glad President Obama is reluctant to use the word. His predecessor in the office was happy to call everyone a 'Terr'rist' and it always felt like fear mongering.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 21, 2013 8:22 a.m.

    Another insightful, revealing, accurate and educational article by Dr. Krauthammer!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 21, 2013 6:40 a.m.

    So Charles is saying that

    If he calls it Terrorism, he is jumping the gun because "Until you know the purpose, you can't know if it is terrorism."

    If he doesn't call it terrorism, he gets blasted for his "non-use of the word "terrorism" in his first statement to the nation after the bombing."

    Takeaway? Criticize Obama regardless of what he says or does.