The Corner

The Vocabulary of ‘Concern’

Iran thinks it has a sort of blue-water navy. North Korea thinks it sort of has a nuclear ballistic-missile arsenal. The Taliban and the Islamists sort of think they can retake Afghanistan and topple Pakistan. Wannabe al-Qaedists in New York think they can sort of copy Islamic terrorists.

I think most can make two easy predictions about these sort of rumblings and far more to come: At some date very soon Obama will cease with the “it’s our fault,” ‘reset’ button, “Bush did it” apologetics and realize that the world cares not about the past, but only how much things can be redefined under his administration.

And, two, very soon our vocabulary of “grave concern,” “totally unacceptable,” “deepening its own isolation,” “in violation of UN resolutions,” and “inviting stronger international pressure” will become exhausted, and, as in the case of “man-caused disasters” and “overseas contingency operations,” we will have to come up with new words and phraseologies for the new mood of the times — e.g., “really grave concern,” “absolutely totally unacceptable,” “greatly deepening its own isolation,” “in extreme violation of UN resolution,” “inviting especially stronger international pressure,” etc. and on and on and on.

Victor Davis Hanson — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

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