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“Caliphate” too “Hawkish” for Times


Elisabeth Bumiller, in her “White House Letter,” documents how “policy hawks” are using the term “caliphate” to exaggerate the threat of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

A number of scholars and former government officials take strong issue with the administration’s warning about a new caliphate, and compare it to the fear of communism spread during the Cold War. They say that although Al Qaeda’s statements do indeed describe a caliphate as a goal, the administration is exaggerating the magnitude of the threat as it seeks to gain support for its policies in Iraq. (Emphasis added.)
Bumiller, of course, is not suggesting that she takes issue with administration warnings. No, no, just scholars and officials. As for the Cold War point: Gotta wonder what she would have been writing during the days of the Evil Empire.


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