Members squabble over ‘global war on terror’

Democrats and Republicans sparred over the use of the term “global war on terror” Wednesday, after the GOP claimed the majority party was seeking to ban the phrase.

“The attempt by Democrats to erase the words ‘global’ and ‘terror’ from our current war is an absurd effort to deny the fact that America is battling terrorism on a global scale,” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said. “How do Democrats expect America to fight and win a war they deny is even taking place?”

The Military Times had reported that Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee want to keep the term out of the 2008 defense budget because the panel’s “Democratic leadership does not like the phrase.”

Committee chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) called the debate a “tempest in a teapot” and countered by saying, “GOP objections to our efforts to clarify legislative language represent the typical Republican leadership attempt to tie together the misadventure in Iraq and the overall war against terrorists.”

Skelton contended that the war in Iraq “is separate and distinct from the war against terrorists, who have their genesis in Afghanistan and who attacked us on 9/11, and the American people understand this.”

Boehner, however, said the battle of semantics is just the latest example of the Democrats’ “dismal record on matters affecting our national security.”

“It’s no wonder Democrats don’t like the phrase ‘global war on terror’: They have completely failed to take the threat of global terrorism seriously,” he said.