Language and phraseology are now as important as ever, especially when it is meant to indicate a distinctive change in the war against terrorism. Obama's first order of business is to let us--and the world--know that there is no war.
Instead, in his news conference Obama talks about "prosecuting the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism"--
it is not a war, it is a struggle;
it is not fought, it is prosecuted;
and if it is indeed against terrorism, it is no less against violence.
Obama also makes a point of emphasizing the 'values and ideals' of the US. That is also significant to the outlook that Obama is pursuing. War is a messy business where innocents get hurt and though there is an attempt to impose rules and guidelines, they do not always get followed because of the chaos of war. That is not so in a matter of law, where there is a stronger adherence to the rules. In a struggle between police and violent criminals it is unthinkable for the law to put innocents in harm's way. When the law encounters crime, it cannot countenance collateral damage.