Saturday, July 16, 2005

Dallas Morning News: calling it like it is

I applaud the decision at the Dallas Morning News announced on their editorial page. Now if we could just see more like it around the country.

:::::::: Two words not uncommon to editorial pages are "resolve" and "sacrifice," especially as they relate to war.

Today, this editorial board resolves to sacrifice another word – "insurgent" – on the altar of precise language. No longer will we refer to suicide bombers or anyone else in Iraq who targets and kills children and other innocent civilians as "insurgents."

The notion that these murderers in any way are nobly rising up against a sitting government in a principled fight for freedom has become, on its face, absurd. If they ever held a moral high ground, they sacrificed it weeks ago, when they turned their focus from U.S. troops to Iraqi men, women and now children going about their daily lives.

They drove that point home with chilling clarity Wednesday in a poor Shiite neighborhood. As children crowded around U.S. soldiers handing out candy and toys in a gesture of good will, a bomb-laden SUV rolled up and exploded.

These children were not collateral damage. They were targets.

The SUV driver was no insurgent. He was a terrorist.

Doing this takes no small amount of bravery, either, considering the environment that is today's newsroom. I feel certain they're going to take quite a bit of flak over the idea and some on the left will call it "knuckling under" and worse. But the editor who wrote this has hit the nail squarely and decisively. Language is a newpaper's stock in trade, the toolbox of their craft. For too long, the media has settled for turning out a flawed product precisely because they allowed themselves to buy into the argument advanced by many today that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Or, as the perennially dead wrong Michael Moore put it, they aren't terrorists, they're "minutemen." The Dallas Morning News appears to understand that engaging in this kind of equivalence exercise isn't noble, it's craven.

I recommend reading the whole thing.

Hat Tip: LGF