Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What is an 'onslaught'?

On September 13, 2001 the Irish Independent editorialized that
[o]ne thing is certain. We are moving towards a concerted, world-wide onslaught on terrorism. And Ireland, which has suffered greatly from terrorism, cannot stand aside.
Five years later the same paper says
the place to conduct operations should never have been the ground. The grotesquely misnamed "war on terror" should be fought at the levels of intelligence and politics, and at both of these levels it has failed even more spectacularly than on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Would "Onslaught on Terrorism" have been a better name?

I'm not necessarily saying the Independent is being inconsistent, but I remember reading that passage five years ago and being surprised at the paper's firm stance on the need for military action. Maybe they never intended that, but that's how I read it. And, if they did mean military action it's pretty weak to be retrospectively demurring.