This "War On Terrorism"
With all of this rhetoric going on, all of the events since 9/11, new legislation, secret prisons where we torture suspected terrorists, domestic spying and, of course, upcoming November elections, has anyone actually thought about what it means to have a “War On Terrorism?” Well, I have. And I’ll tell you, we’ve gotten ourselves into something huge. Not just huge, but never ending.
What does it mean to have a “War On Terrorism?” What is terrorism? Well, the U.S. Department of Defence defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of — or threatened use of — force or violence against individuals or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives.” That’s pretty broad. Unlawful use of OR threatened use of violence. When you break it down, it’s basically a tactic used to keep people afraid – in order to achieve some goal.
The key part of the previous sentence is the noun “tactic.” Terrorism is a tactic. It’s not an enemy you can fight. It’s an idea, a methodology. You can’t fight an idea. You can’t keep people from thinking about it. And if someone is crazy enough, they act on their thoughts. We might as well have a “War On Flanking On The Right Side,” or a “War On Right-Hooks,” or even a “War On Rough Body Slams.” Because I think if it were me, I’d withdraw troops from Iraq if I was threatened illegally with a rough body slam. I don’t need that pain in my life.
I mean, let’s look at what’s really going on here. They (George Bush and his buddies) say that the Terrorists hate us for our freedoms and the way we live our lives. So what are we doing? Taking away our freedoms to make the Terrorists happy? You can’t even bring a book on an airplane anymore. (That could be because the government doesn’t want a society filled with people who have above-average critical thinking skills. Books, being the primary proponent of critical thinking.) Can’t bring an iPod on an airplane anymore. What happens when a Terrorist invents a way to make a bomb out of a bra and panties? Sorry, ladies. Can’t bring those on board.
Oh yeah, and they need to listen to phone calls whenever they want, without a warrant, which is pretty interesting. Never has any terrorist plot been foiled by tapping a telephone. In fact, the only terrorist plots that have been foiled were done by good old-fashioned police work. And the plot in England more recently was stopped by a concerned citizen who called in and reported strange behavior. No tapped phone lines, no torturing people for precious information. None of that.
We’re picking the wrong fights. No matter how strict “security” is, there’s always going to be a way around it. And what we end up fighting is a reactionary war. The terrorists think of a way around our “security measures,” and there goes one more thing we can’t bring on planes. Meaning endless restrictions on Freedom.
Here’s an idea… how about we work on promoting peace and improving our image in the Middle East? No? Can’t get oil that way? Oh. Alright then.
It’s been a while since I’ve ranted about the government. It’s about time, I guess. There’s more than enough material to go around.
Anyway, take my usual advice and read a book.