Romney tags jihadists as enemy, marking shift from Obama, Bush
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney identified "jihadists” as the enemy facing the United States in the Middle East, marking a sharp rhetorical contrast with U.S. defense policy in place since 2001.
"We’re going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the — the world of Islam and other parts of the world, reject this radical violent extremism,” Romney said, highlighting the link between Islam and terrorism.
"We can’t kill our way out of this mess … The right course for us is to make sure that we go after the — the people who are leaders of these various anti-American groups and these — these jihadists, but also help the Muslim world,” Romney said.
In contrast, former President George W. Bush labelled the 9/11 attackers "terrorists,” which downplayed their specific connection to a violent Islamic extremist ideology. For the rest of his term, Bush described the U.S. counterattack as a "war on terrorism.”
In 2009, President Barack Obama changed the rhetoric to label the attackers "violent extremists.” Conservative critics of the president said this shift in language further downplayed the role of fundamentalist Islamic preachers and militia commanders in spurring the attacks on U.S. soldiers and diplomats in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. (continue reading...)