Quote of the Day

[C]ouldn't we have an agreement, at least among grown-ups, to stop using the phrase "war on terrorism," unless we have an explicit understanding that it is not a real war, but rather is like the "war on drugs," i.e., a metaphorical war that will fail, and so one that doesn't excuse any hair-brained schemes cooked up by beady-eyed, morally stunted politicians. One can't wage war on a political technique. Full stop. One could wage war on a group, perhaps, or on a country (as the US has been doing), but you can't wage war on techniques that can be employed by anybody for any purpose. The US waged war on Afghanistan, and is waging war on Iraq, and is engaged in an international manhunt for members of a terrorist group, but there is no such thing as a "war on terrorism." It doesn't exist. Look in the mirror and repeat that.

- Brian Leiter

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Count the terror attacks in

Count the terror attacks in the Carolinas and Virginia today from Native Americans. Proceed to reiterate that the war on terror is a false construct. Something has to give, and for Mr. Leiter, that is American History that is snapping.

hmm... finally a quote of

hmm... finally a quote of the day that I really like.

brian- what's this about american history?

On the other hand, there was

On the other hand, there was a "war on Piracy" in the 18th and 19th centuries that was similarly a "war against a technique" or more specifically "war against an action" that nevertheless was specific in its goal vs. a metaphorical goal- killing pirates and rooting out their bases wherever they may be. That war continues, but piracy is no longer the major threat to the world & world shipping that it once was (and I speak of the piracy of the post-privateer era).

Perhaps the term is better "War on Terrorists", then? I think limiting it to "members of a terrorist group" is unnecessary. LIke the 19th century war on pirates, kill all terrorists, wherever they are, whoever they may be. Seems a better policy than trying to cherry pick which terror groups you destroy and which you tolerate.

I think calling it the

I think calling it the Islamist War or The War on Militant Islam, while not completely PC focuses the mind on who the enemy is and allows the public to comprehend what the end and victory would look like.

Da! Imperialist Amerikans

Da! Imperialist Amerikans always coming up with something. All failures.

Like war on Communism.

Brian Doss, It's hard to

Brian Doss,

It's hard to imagine that strategy being consistently adopted by the U.S. government. At least not if the KLA, the Central American death squads, the Contras, and the right-wing paramilitaries in the Andes are evaluated according to an objective definition of "terrorism."

Terror against civilians has been used as a weapon by all governments; so a war on terrorism is really a war on the terrorists who aren't taking orders from the right people.

Indeed it is, but I was

Indeed it is, but I was proposing a more radical/logical conclusion of the "war on terror(ists)"...

Dealing with gov't sponsored terror is, well, the realm of regime change and state-to-state warfare, though.

This is not exactly new

This is not exactly new thought. People have been criticizing the idiotic phrase "War on Terrorism" ever since it was first used. But GWB has many reasons to refrain from saying "War on Islamists." He firmly believes that religion is a good thing, so Islamists must, ipso facto, be heretical. Our pious president can't face the possibility that our enemies may be well within the mainstream of Islam. He also has powerful business and diplomatic lobbies to placate, here and abroad. So we get the misnomer. Fortunately GWB has chosen to conduct a real war against Islamists behind the phony facade of the War on Terrorism.

Excellent quote by Brian

Excellent quote by Brian Leiter on 21 Dec '03 re "War on terror." Am trying to find out by whom and when the phrase "war on terror" was first used. News media? Bush administration? Can you help?

Thanks. Jake