Tuesday, June 19, 2007

War On Terror?

Here is a term that has never quite added up to me. "War on Terrorism". Terrorism is a technique of persuasion. War is a state of relationships between two or more parties. What if we had a "War on diplomacy. " You could never sit down at a table and debate your case. That would be "promoting diplomacy." Oh then there would inevitably be a list of states that sponsor diplomacy. The US would certainly not be on that list.


To be more specific, Merriam-Webster define "War" as: a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations. It also defines it as (a): a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism (b) : a struggle or competition between opposing forces or for a particular end . In the interest of full disclosure, there are a few more but these two are the most relative to the subject matter.



To accurately define terrorism, we must break it down into it's parts. Merriam-Webster defines "Terrorism" as the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. "So then what is the meaning of Terror?", you ask. Continuing the use of our source, M-W defines it as: 1 : a state of intense fear 2 a : one that inspires fear : SCOURGE b : a frightening aspect c : a cause of anxiety d : an appalling person or thing; 4 : violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands . All of the definition giver were really related.



So to have a "War" against a tactic of population coercion makes no sense. I mean last I knew we were not bombing Iraqis with puppy dogs, shooting them with silly string, and tapping on their door and politely asking them to turn themselves in if they are feeling negative thoughts against the U.S. soldiers, their differently religious minded neighbors, or their government. I am thinking that we are dropping explosive bombs, shooting with bullets, and kicking in doors and hauling off suspected insurgents. I am pretty sure these actions inspire "intense fear". With out a doubt many people would call many members of the Bush Administration "appalling people".



So can you see the paradox of the "war on terrorism". So far the approach to stop terrorism is to terrorise people. This terror has extended Afghanistan, Iraq, and even to people in our own borders. for some people the loss of freedom is a fate far scarier then one imposed by some nutcases with violent intent. It seems to me the only way to win a war on terror is through diplomacy, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, education, and patience. Man it seems like there was a leader who once taught these virtues. I think he came from the Middle East too. Jesus I think his name was. No wait that is a Spanish name isn't it?

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