We are not at war! But the pretense that we are is being used to erode fundamental American liberties. And the American public is going along with it. Worse, the Left has been complicit in the process.
Originally published 2005
We are not at war. Repeat. We are not at war. We were in a war for a few weeks, over in Iraq. We are now in a military occupation. Brave men and women, true patriots, are dying to achieve our goals. But we are not at war. Nor are we at “war” with terrorists. There are 3,000 people who need to be hunted down and brought to justice (with or without benefit of trial, in my opinion), but that too, is not a “war”.
But by repeating the mantra, “we’re at war”, so often, the right wing is making it seem like a reality. It’s 1984 all over again. Repeat the big lie often enough, and people believe. Because you tell them to. Justified by the pretext of war, the legislature is now considering a bill that will require mandatory identification for all U.S. citizens. Isn’t that the first step that every police state takes? And the public has been mostly silent, because it thinks we’re at war.
And the left is complicit, because it keeps saying things like “stop the war in Iraq” when it should be saying things like “end the miltary occupation”. I tend to believe that we can’t afford to, at this juncture. I just wish they would stop calling it a “war”.
Let’s be clear. A war is a conflict in which the other side proposes to do you harm, and they have the capacity to do so. They are going to come to your house, unless you stop them by going to their house first.
Clearly, we are not war with Iraq. Whatever you may have said about Sadam Hussein’s intentions or capabilities before we went in, he is no longer in charge over there, and it is now abudantly clear that they have no capacity to do so, in any case.
That leaves the terrorists — 3,000 people who are hiding around the globe. Waiting. Plotting. Yes, they’re waiting for us to relax our guard. Yes, they’ll be back in another 7 years, or 10 years. However long it takes. That’s the kind of implacable foe they are. But is that a war? No. It’s not a war, for one very significant reason: They are not coming to your house.
To say that we are at “war” with the terrorists is to utterly miss their ideological viewpoint. They are not at war with the American people. They are at war with a program of economic globalization, supported by military force, that is attempting to homogenize their way of life out of existence. The fact that their mysogonistic, woman-hating culture deserves to be homeogenized out of existence is beside the point. The point is, they are after centers of economic and military power. They are not out to take over the U.S. They are not coming to your house!
Their ideology explains why they targeted the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the White House. All centers of economic, military, and governmental power. Those are the targets we need to protect.
We don’t need to protect the Golden Gate bridge from terrorists. From crackpots, yes. But not from terrorists. Much as we might wish it to be so, Al Queda is not stupid. They’re not about to alienate the American people without some reason for doing so, some goal they mean to achieve. To blow up the Golden Gate Bridge would do nothing to reduce American economic or military might. What would be the point?
But rather than focusing on targets that need protecting, the right wing is doing its best to foment generalized fear and hysteria. As a result, we’re wasting massive amounts of effort and accomplishing little or nothing. We’re confiscating nail clippers from little old ladies at airports, and generally making the process of air travel so inconvenient that we’re doing more to strangle our own economy than terrorists ever could.
That generalized fear suggests that anyone next to us might be a terrorist, so we need a national identification system to protect ourselves. And here, too, the left is complicit, because obviously we can’t use racial profiling. That would be unAmerican. It would be wrong. It would be (shudder) discrimination. That leaves the left wing without a viable alterative to fight against terrorism.
Where the left got off track, of course, was with the notion that discrimination is wrong. Senseless discrimination is wrong, of course. If I’m choosing a billiards team, height is not the most significant criterion. But if I’m choosing a basketball team to play the GlobeTrotters, I’m not going to pick a bunch of shrimps.
So the Left is complicit in two ways. They’re complicit when they use the word “war”. They should never even mention the word. Not even to deny it. It only gives the concept force. Instead, they should use more accurate terminology, keep on repeating it until it takes hold, and get the media to quote them using the correct vocabulary, and no other. And they’re complicit when they hold to the view that all discrimination is necessarily bad. Instead, they should support sensible discrimination.
For example, it would be sensible to do an extra background check on someone who had a higher probability of being a terrorist. It would not be sensible to deny employment to someone who was capable of doing the job, because of how they look. Sense, people. Think a little. It’s not really that hard.
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