The  War  With  No  Name

In the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, we now have every reason to declare all-out war on somebody, but the enemy is loosely defined as “terrorism” and could include just about anybody who is politically active in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Cuba or North Korea.  Terrorist acts also include the violent actions of animal rights activists and environmentalists, but somehow they never seem to answer for their actions to the extent that foreign terrorists do.

In this political climate, we should all beware of opportunism in Washington, DC.  There is a lot of controversial legislation being generated and approved by the Congress without being examined, debated and understood.  Congress apparently hopes that a surge in patriotism will make it easy to expand and enlarge the government, and dilute the rights of ordinary U.S. citizens.  At least that's the way it appears.

Besides the numerous lives lost in the initial attack, and other lives impacted forever, many freedoms we American citizens have enjoyed for 230 years are now at risk.  Tighter airport security arrived too late, but it's here to stay, and it is spreading to courthouses and other public buildings and every major public event.  Personally, I object to being searched when all I've done is report for jury duty, but because so few people object, those who do are seen as "suspicious".  When you object to being searched, people assume that you have something to hide even if you don't.  And a loud objection will get you thrown out of the airport — or worse.

Recently I saw television news footage showing several trash barrels full of confiscated fingernail clippers, tiny scissors and other sharp objects that had been taken from airline passengers.  Does anyone feel safer because there are no fingernail clippers on board an airplane?  Is anyone really safer because little old ladies are being searched?  Has a little old lady or a young child or a Congressman ever hijacked an airplane?  Of course not.  Does anyone really believe that the National Guard troops marching up and down airport terminals are there for anything other than a show of force?

Things have changed in Washington, DC.  Racial profiling suddenly sounds like a good idea.  Wiretapping, secret courtrooms, jail without bail, email snooping and cell phone scanning sound reasonable, if they're implemented to deter "terrorism".  So does cruel and unusual punishment.  But once those ideas are put into play, it may take an even greater upheaval than the New York disaster to turn them off.

In my opinion, the "war against terrorism" will go on forever because "terrorism" is a vague and open-ended problem that can never be completely eradicated.  (How long can an emergency last?)  After those responsible for the World Trade Center attack are eliminated, which could take years, there will still be an endless supply of terrorists, because the definition of terrorism is flexible and can be stretched to include abortion clinic protesters, motorcycle gangs, skinheads, PETA, Greenpeace, the KKK, the mafia, militant members of labor unions, competing urban drug dealers, and any other group that violently intimidates anyone else.  Thus the war on terrorism will used to justify unimaginable expenses for years to come, with little to show for it, much like the War on Poverty [Johnson, 1964], the War on Crime [Every president since 1964], and the War on Drugs [Reagan, 1982], all of which are still underway, and still being heavily funded, without providing solutions.  Worse than that, I predict it will also be used to justify a much more intrusive federal government, that is, to justify the loss of valuable rights and liberties.  Because there is no enemy government or army to surrender, there can be no clear-cut moment of victory.*  The fast-track atmosphere in Washington could easily be used to create a Big Brother that won't go away.  Vice-President Cheney has reportedly said that the war on terrorism could go on for generations to come.*  The United States must not turn into just another socialist country or a zero-tolerance police state using the September 11th attacks as an excuse.

Remember, not every enemy of this country is a foreigner.  The enemies of this country are those who want to do away with the Electoral College and chip away at the Bill of Rights.  Yes, at first this was "a time to set aside our differences."  But the initial shock and mourning period is over now, and it is time to beware of sweeping changes in federal law that could adversely affect us all.


Index of war-related subcategories:

The USA Patriot Act

The Proposed National ID Card

War on Privacy

Airline Overreaction

Militant Islamism

The War vs Liberty and Freedom

Immigration Issues Related to the War

Pacifists and Anti-American Protests
    ... with subsections specifically about
    Cindy Sheehan,
    Jane Fonda
    Congressman John Murtha,
    Congressman Charlie Rangel,
    Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney,
    Senator Harry Reid,
    Code Pink,
    and  The Dixie Chicks.

Intelligence lapses and other factors which may have contributed to this problem

News stories kept quiet by the mainstream press

Bias and other news media issues related to the War

    ... specifically, Analysis of The New York Times.

Foreign and Domestic Policy Debates

Domestic Surveillance.

Political Opportunism and Wasteful Wartime Spending

Uncle Sam is afraid to say what he means,
    ... because Muslims are so easily offended.

That PC Statue

The UN's Connection to the War

Other News Items Related to the War including a lot of "selective reporting".

The Red Cross is drifting to the left

Reference material for further study



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Updated December 29, 2008.

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