It’s probably too flippant but the ‘war on terror’ is also a war on grammar. It’s no longer enough to have a war on ‘intense, overpowering fear’ instead of one on ‘the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons’.
Take the way everyone’s saying Bush and Blair have been careful to avoid ‘triumphalism‘. I don’t think they’re really talking about ‘the attitude or belief that a particular doctrine, especially a religion or political theory, is superior to all others.’ Was ‘triumphant‘ too simple for them?