Even as President Obama compares bankers to suicide bombers, his Homeland Security Secretary is suggesting the T-word, terrorism, is too inflammatory and representative of old-fashioned "politics of fear." She's announced a new term: "man-caused disaster." From an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel:
SPIEGEL: Madame Secretary, in your first testimony to the US Congress as Homeland Security Secretary you never mentioned the word "terrorism." Does Islamist terrorism suddenly no longer pose a threat to your country?NAPOLITANO: Of course it does. I presume there is always a threat from terrorism. In my speech, although I did not use the word "terrorism," I referred to "man-caused" disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.
But what if the suicide bomber is a female? Isn't it sexist to use "man-caused disaster"?