"How are we going to effectively confront terrorists when we can't even identify them as such? "
From the WSJ:
Last week in Mumbai we witnessed as clear a case of carefully planned mass terrorism as we are ever likely to see.
The seven-venue atrocity was coordinated in a highly sophisticated way. The terrorists used BlackBerrys to stay in touch with each other during their three-and-half-day rampage, outwitting the authorities by monitoring international reaction to the attacks on British, Urdu and Arabic Web sites. It was a meticulously organized operation aimed exclusively at civilian targets: two hospitals, a train station, two hotels, a leading tourist restaurant and a Jewish center.
There was nothing remotely random about it. This was no hostage standoff. The terrorists didn't want to negotiate. They wanted to murder as many Hindus, Christians, Jews, atheists and other "infidels" as they could, and in as spectacular a manner as possible. In the Jewish center, some of the female victims even appear to have been tortured before being killed.
So why are so many prominent Western media reluctant to call the perpetrators terrorists? Why did Jon Snow, one of Britain's most respected TV journalists, use the word "practitioners" when referring to the Mumbai terrorists? Was he perhaps confusing them with doctors?
Why did Britain's highly regarded Channel 4 News state that the "militants" showed a "wanton disregard for race or creed" when exactly the opposite was true: Targets and victims were very carefully selected. Why did the "experts" invited to discuss the Mumbai attacks in one show on the state-funded Radio France Internationale, the voice of France around the world, harp on about Baruch Goldstein (who carried out the Hebron shootings in 1994), virtually the sole case of a Jewish terrorist in living memory?...
...What is the motivation of journalists in trying to mangle language -- such as going out of their way to refer to terrorists as "militants," as one Mumbai story on yesterday's Times of London Web site seemed to do? Do they somehow wish to express sympathy for these murderers, or perhaps make their crimes seem almost acceptable?