In his speech to the security conference in Munich yesterday, vice-president Joe Biden repeated a now celebrated trope from Barack Obama's inauguration address, and followed up by emphasizing a couple of clear discontinuities between the new administration and the one just recently departed:
"There is no conflict between our security and our ideals. We believe they are mutually reinforcing," the vice-president said. "The example of our power must be matched by the power of our example.
"America will not torture. We will uphold the rights of those we bring to justice. We will close Guantánamo."
Mark that: we will not torture; we will close Guantánamo. Mark also that Biden does not say: we renounce the war on terror. It's another one in the eyeball for those who believe the war on terror willy-nilly entails the sacrifice of American ideals through torture and the abandonment of due process. Without speaking the naughty phrase 'war on terror' itself, the vice-president does in fact have something relevant to say about this. What he has to say is:
When it comes to radical groups that use terror as a tool, radical states who harbor extremists, undermine peace and seek or spread weapons of mass destruction, and regimes that systematically kill or ethnically cleanse their own people, we must stand united and use every means at our disposal to end the threat that they pose.
Every means probably means military means amongst other means. Yeah, FKATWOT 8.