Posted by: Tony Carson | 21 October, 2007

Is the War on Terror giving war a bad name?

‘The War on …’  was first coined in the US as a catchy call to action, a la all The Wars on … drugs and poverty and crime, three battles that have long since been miserably lost. 

Then the War on Terror was used as an excuse to whip up fear to get the just plain folk to support questionable governmental actions, as Bush has continuously done since 9/12.

But none of those questionable government actions, from taking off your shoes at airports, to the increasing invasions of privacy, to the war in Iraq has proven popular with the populous and the phony fear is no longer working like it’s supposed to.

In fact, a serious backlash to the credibility of the ‘War on Terror’ is now emerging in various forms:

The Lapel Pin backlash: That little Old Glory stuck on the lapel used to be an absolute: ‘I am a patriot therefore I support my government.’ But no more. Barack Obama, for one, has foreswore the simplistic icon and in the process has given some hope to pragmatism.

The Mocking backlash: Paul Krugman in his NY Times column has taken to adding a trademark logo after the term, as in War on Terror™. The subtle little gesture speaks volumes.

The Intellectual backlash: Naomi Klein is now describing the US government as an ATM machine that forks out money to private contractors (that it, itself, breeds) to do the work that government itself once did. She says that the War on Terror “is best understood not as a war but as a sprawling new economy, one based on continued disaster and instability.”

The Comedy Sketch backlash: there are now 612,000 Google pages about “War on Terror + comedy” maybe the best is this youTube by Chris Rock.

And, of course, this War on Terror has been a complete failure: there haven’t been may wars that have created the very thing they are suppose to be warring against: there were no Al Qaeda terrorists in Saddam’s Iraq; now the country is described as the breeding ground of terrorism.

So, ya, it seems this War of Terror, like the War on Crime and the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs has been a complete fiasco.

We have to get back to the good, solid, meaningful wars where millions of soldiers die for a really worthy cause and civilians roll bandages and buy war bonds.

If we get many more of these new-fangled wars, these ‘Wars-on,’ we may forget what real wars are all about.

And we used to win those ones.

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