Monday, May 28, 2007

War On Terror

We've heard this for years now, "war on terror" demands this, that, or the other thing. This phrase is truly a piece of nonsense, look at the words themselves:
"War" is a military engagement with an organized foe with a definitive goal and end,
"Terror" is a tactic engaged in by individuals, organizations, or governments.

So what we have is some kind of war being waged on a tactic. It's a bumper sticker. There is no war against terror, there has been a war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. In Iraq we started a war with Saddam Hussein and quickly overwhelmed his army. Since that point we have been engaged in conflict with an assortment of "bad guys." This is no longer a War, it is a series of deadly encounters with people of wildly varied agendas having only in common an opposition to American troops and each other. "Terror" is not even a definition of their combat tactics, it is applicable to a car bomb in a crowded market, but certainly not to sniping, IEDs, and firefights. Sniping is a common military tactic, IEDs are no more than mines without the title, and a firefight is what engaged units do.

Words count, they are supposed to be a method of communication, in this instance words have been used to lie about what is being done and further to dissemble aims. An action against a tactic can be accomplished with treaties, diplomacy, and law enforcement but it is not a War. The tactic is being misrepresented to the public, much of what is called terror are straightforward military tactics we ourselves use and while some of our weaponry carries a different name, they are the same thing. Finally there is what the phrase covers, wiretapping citizens without a warrant is not a war it is terrorism practiced on the citizenry, torture is not a war, it is terror, disappearances are not a war, they are terror. The tools the BushCo tries to use are not a part of warfare, they are assaults on civil liberties and humane behavior, these are the agendas of the War on Terror.


If you think I exaggerate see AP on the Alabama Homeland Security including gay rights, anti-war, and other single issue social issue organizations on a list of organizations which may habor terrorists. This one got publicized because blogs took it up, think there are other "lists" elsewhere?

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