THE Obama administration's strategy to replace the terminology in vogue in the Bush era to describe the US-led invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan with another set of words, seemingly less offensive to the Muslim world, has failed to cut much ice. The reason is very simple. The policy, both in essence and in appearance, has remained the same. Mr John Brennan, head of the White House homeland security office, in a speech before a Washington's think-tank argued that the US now regarded these wars as "war with Al-Qaeda" and its extremist allies since the previous terms were acutely evocative of hard feelings among Muslims. He was right in assuming that the expression like "war against jihadists" was counterproductive because the word 'jihadists' signified to purify oneself or a holy struggle for a moral cause and, thus, provided the insurgents a handle to exploit and gain recruits. He also dismissed expression, 'war on terrorism' or a "global war", since they did not portray the real purpose that was to eliminate Al-Qaeda. The choice of words could induce the people to review their perceptions but the effect would be soon lost if there is no corresponding, concrete and tangible shift in policy. Drone attacks on the Pakistani soil, the widespread surveillance programme and the possibility of indefinite detention of terrorist suspects are obvious examples of the continuation of the hateful policies of the Bush administration. This semantic shift is likely to be treated with derision.