Letter: The terror war lie
One of the most dangerous lies to have ever been uttered is still being repeated with disturbing regularity.
“We are engaged in a war on terrorism.”
No, we’re not. Terror is an idea. You can’t go to war against an idea. It’s a popular myth that we fought WWII against another idea, “fascism.” We didn’t. We fought against Germany and its allies. There were plenty of fascists in the U.S. during that war. We didn’t kill them. They were not the enemy.
Some say we are at war with Islamic fundamentalists. No, we’re not. There are plenty of Islamic fundamentalists in the U.S., in Europe and elsewhere and we are not killing them. They are not the enemy.
We are going after people who commit crimes. That makes all of our actions consequent to 9/11 police actions, not war.
People use “war” because in war, extreme measures and collateral damage are considered acceptable, while police are expected to respect rights and avoid injuring innocents. People use the word “war” to get away with things that their conscience would otherwise object to, like torture, assassination and domestic spying.
Years ago, the first person to mention a “war on terror,” should have been roundly condemned by every sector of our society. Instead, fools and scoundrels embraced it. Now the lie has been repeated so often many people actually believe it’s true.