It's Not a War

I've been thinking more about why I'm so bothered by this War on Terror thing. Last time I talked about how "War on Terror" is a misnomer as it's not a war on anybody. But then I started asking myself why that should bother me? We've used that idiom before: "War on Drugs", for example. What's wrong with using the same idiom in this case? Well, nothing really, unless you have a leader that actually treats it like a real war!

Terrorism cannot provoke a war because there's no state entity on which to declare war. Terrorism is a law enforcement problem, pure and simple. When Timothy McVeigh carried out his act on Oklahoma City, we didn't look for some country to invade, did we? Since America produced Mr. McVeigh, should we have invaded ourselves? Or maybe we should have sought a regime change in the state of New York where he was raised? Of course that's nonsense. And so is our reaction to this War on Terror. There's nothing wrong with our military getting involved. Just be sure to treat it like the law enforcement issue that it really is.

Most of America is blind to this distinction. They hear our leader bang the drums of war, let him instill fear that any way other than his way will risk more terrorism, and allow him to continue his bullying ways on the rest of the world. Well the rest of the world is not being fooled. I heard on NPR recently a story about Europe's take on our election. If our election was decided by European voters, Kerry would beat Bush by a factor of six to one. Six to one! I'm convinced Europeans are smarter than most Americans.

Posted: Mon - September 27, 2004 at 12:49 AM