TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross
AP: 7d452cd5-2064-47fd-bcae-5b589046d391
White House press secretary Jay Carney gestures during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, Aug. 26, 2013. Carney said President Barack Obama is weighing his options for a response to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad to slaughter his own people. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Doublespeak on 'response' in Syria begins

As we ready to open fire on Syria, get ready for doublespeak that comes with it.

The first thing to remember is that it won't be a war. This will be a "response." Here's how spokesman Jay Carney explained it:

"What we are talking about here is a potential response in consultation with our allies and partners, in consultation with congress, to the specific violation of an international norm."

So it is not an attack, but a response, and the legal justification is that we are enforcing not a law, but a "norm."

Carney told CBS it's in the interest of the U.S. and world that, "that violation of an international norm be responded to."

So this is not an "attack on a country," but a response to a "norm violation."

But like I say this is not a new phenomenon. The Korean War was not a war, it was a situation, according to Truman.

"My fellow citizens, at noon today I send a message to the congress about the situation in Korea. We have sent land, sea and air forces to assist in these operations," said Truman.

Nixon's bombing of Cambodia was also not an attack.

"I warned that if I concluded that increased enemy activity in any of these areas endangered the lives of Americas remaining in Vietnam, I would not hesitate to take strong and effective measures to deal with that situation," said Nixon.

It was a "strong effective measure."

Operation Desert Storm was an "offensive combat operation" and so on.

So if anyone asks you whether we're attacking Syria, explain that what we are doing is responding to a "violation of the norms of conflict," so that henceforward, when civilians are killed, which is allowed in a conflict, they are at least killed humanely.

Our last actual war was, of course, WWII.

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
Top Stories

  • Eying the Prize
    A dominant win over Arizona has the Seahawks eying the Super Bowl

  • History of Violence
    The gunman who fatally ambushed two NYC police officers had a long criminal record
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.