Skip to comments.'War' doesn't describe threat to America
Posted on 08/18/2006 12:12:00 PM PDT by Chi-townChief
The "War on Islamofascism" is replacing the "War on Global Terror" as the favorite Bush administration buzz slogan. It is a good slogan because it appeals to the "nuke 'em" segment of the population as an election approaches and because it means nothing at all. The very word "war" has been misused so often that it has lost all its meaning -- the war on drunk driving, the war on drugs, the war on obesity, the war on pornography, the war on calories, the war on autism, the war on gay marriages, the war, as I saw in a newspaper recently, on cervical cancer.
"War" used to be reserved for military battles between powerful armies, as in the Civil War or World War II. Now it means anyone and everyone's favorite cause. The word is a victim of linguistic corruption. Since in some fashion we think with words, linguistic corruption corrupts our thought and indeed destroys thought because it eliminates the necessity and the possibility of thoughtful distinctions -- just what knee-jerk right wing haters want.
Thus "war on Islamofascism" enables both Vice President Dick Cheney and the senator from Connecticut to lump the Iraq war with the plot to blow up transatlantic flights and blinds the victims of such slogans to the facts that in Iraq most of the killing these days is Muslim on Muslim and that there is no evidence of an Iraqi trying to attack the mainland United States or indeed any American until we invaded their country and messed it up. The transatlantic terrorists are English citizens of Pakistani origin who resent the way England treats them. The World Trade Center terrorists were mostly Saudis who resented U.S. support of Israel and American presence in their country. Different people, different anger, different exploitation of a religious heritage.
There's an old Latin saying, "Qui nimis probat, nihil probat'' -- he who proves too much proves nothing at all. If you lump too many phenomena under one label that is also a slogan, you create confusion for yourself and bar serious thought. You justify a fiasco in Iraq on the grounds that it is somehow connected with plans of religious fanatics to blow up airplanes. More seriously, you sink enormous resources into the former and neglect the threat of the latter. You do not invest some of those resources into airport screeners that detect the liquid materials from which bombs could be created -- though you have known for 10 years about the possibility of such bombs. You do not equip airliners with defenses against anti-aircraft rockets, you do not improve the Arabic language capacity of your intelligence services, you do not force your various intelligence agencies to combine their efforts despite bureaucratic inertia against cooperation, you do not cover the gaping holes in protection of sea ports, chemical factories, and mass transit systems.
The only thing that the various forms of terrorism have in common is angry resentment based on fanatical religious vision. You do not respond to that threat, which takes different forms in different contexts, by invading a country and destroying its social structure. Rather you mobilize your resources of technology, talent, planning and intelligence to defend yourself against crazy zealots. Most Americans feel, quite correctly, they are not safer than they were five years ago. They are probably less safe because the next wave of crazy terrorists may well be Iraqis who resent the fiasco we imposed on their country.
There is no reason at all to believe that the so-called Department of Homeland Security has notably improved our defenses against the crazies. Otherwise they would be working on the scanners that track liquid explosives, instead of relying on Pakistani intelligence (who got the first tip about the transatlantic terrorists).
Americans will have to live for many years with the same unease as do the Israelis -- some crazy might blow me up in the next minute. We will eliminate most of that possibility by being quicker, smarter, more ingenious and more determined than they and not by grandiose talk about ''war'' and not by seeking out new big muddies into which to sink our resources.
OOPS - forgot the GREELEY ALERT.
Don't worry, it's just "unease." Andrew Greeley said so.
I don't think the President is using islamofascism anymore.
This guy and people like him do not see the good and evil in the world. we created terrorism in their opinion. we caused 9/11...sad
Is GREELY another word for BARF?
I remember the "unease" of those people jumping from the twin towers. Apparently greeley doesn't.
Pretty much. Perhaps GREELEY is a little stronger than BARF.
here is a scary thought.
The Democrats running the war on terror, or whatever they would decide to call it. probably nothing.
But that's not Islamic Facism, of course.
It isn't resentment. It is an intolerant supremacist mindset.
. . .
There's an old Latin saying, "Qui nimis probat, nihil probat'' -- he who proves too much proves nothing at all. If you lump too many phenomena under one label that is also a slogan, you create confusion for yourself and bar serious thought.
Mr. Greely shoots himself in the foot so thoroughly here that the spectacle would be quite humorous if it weren't so foolish. The "War on Islamofascism" is indeed a shooting war. It is not some social program. By using linguistic sophistry to lump a real, shootin' war together with things that are nothing of the sort, Greely shows himself to be incapable of serious thought, and ends up proving nothing other than his own unfitness as a commentator...
What a complete buffoon this Greeley fellow is. His "reasoning" is so fouled up in every instance that I do not know where to begin. AWWWW, fuggetaboutit.
Meine Gott, nicht diese Scheiße wieder!
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Reactive, predictable and stupid - but what else would you expect from Democrats? We are fighting a mobile, low-visibility, low-tech, and determined foe. No matter how brilliant our planning and advanced our technology, if our strategy is purely defensive, it will kill us. We need to assault, invade, attack, and destroy; not sit back with our brilliant weapons systems and highly-trained specialists waiting for something to happen, while liberal judges deny us the intelligence tools with which to predict where and how an attack might occur. Screw that. The mistake we made in Iraq was too little manpower, and not enough force.
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