Thursday, February 02, 2006

New Name Alert: "The Long War"

Apparently, "The War on Terror" is losing its cachet in certain circles. So, to combat the inevitable ambivalence that many Americans may begin to exhibit towards "The War on Terror", the White House and the Pentagon have begun to re-brand the global conflict as "The Long War".

The United States is engaged in what could be a generational conflict akin to the Cold War, the kind of struggle that might last decades as allies work to root out terrorists across the globe and battle extremists who want to rule the world, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday.

Rumsfeld, who laid out broad strategies for what the military and the Bush administration are now calling the "long war," likened al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin while urging Americans not to give in on the battle of wills that could stretch for years. He said there is a tendency to underestimate the threats that terrorists pose to global security, and said liberty is at stake.

That's right. The Bush administration, apparently, is admitting that it cannot win "The War on Terror". And, as a result, it also is affirming that the neo-conservative-led Republican Party has been able to successfully replace the U.S. defense and military complex's Cold War sustenance with a newfound, long-term source of funding. The death knell felt throughout the defense industry when the Berlin Wall came crumbling down and the old Soviet Union split apart into its respective Republics has been overtaken by newfound optimism for a virtual pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: a long-term conflict that will prop up defense coffers for decades to come.

We all know that 9/11/01 was a terrible tragedy, but it certainly wasn't the beginning of terrorism, something that has been around for a long, long, long time. Attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa and the USS Cole, not to mention the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, are just a few of the many examples of terrorist activity in recent years. And much of the terrorist activity hasn't been undertaken by Islamic extremists, either. The Irish Republican Army, Spain's Basque Separatists, Germany's Red Brigade are just three of many terror groups intent on making their respective points by resorting to violent attacks. Again, it's nothing new. Yet, I don't recall anyone declaring a "war on terror", per se.

We all know that the Bush administration paid virtually no attention to terrorism in its first eight months in office in 2001. In fact, direct requests and pleas from terrorism experts such as Richard Clarke fell on deaf ears within the Bush administration. Even Presidential Daily Briefings highlighting the potential for terrorist attacks went unheeded in the White House. When it came to terrorism, the silence eminating from the White House was, indeed, deafening...especially in hindsight.

Then one brutal act of terrorism in this country apparently changed the world forever. It served as the catalyst for not only "The War on Terror", but also a war in Iraq and now "The Long War". But, in reality, terrorism has always been with us and it always will be with us in one form or another. It's really nothing new.

Is the military the right tool for eradicating terrorism, as the White House and the Pentagon seem to believe? Quite simply, no. It's not a military issue at all. It's a law enforcement issue. Terrorists are criminals. They are not "enemy combatants", as the Bush White House would have us believe. The "War on Terror" should be no different than the "War on Organized Crime" or the "War on Drugs" or the "War on White Collar Crime". It's a law enforcement issue, not a military one.

But there are too many benefits to a military "War on Terror" for the Bush administration and its long list of cronies. In fact, any war is good for this group. Too many benefits accrue, not the least of which is the enormous executive power grab that the White House has undertaken over the last four-plus years. Add in the ungodly amounts of money accruing to major players in the military-industrial complex and war really turns into a great business proposition.

Sadly, in the eyes of the Bush administration and its neo-con core, war has become as American as baseball and apple pie. And now that the rest of the world is coming to understand this so well, "The Long War" may, indeed, prove to be longer than any of us would ever dare to imagine.

Welcome to life with a target on our backs.


At 10:04 AM, Blogger vcthree said...

That right there tells you all you need to know about this administration's policy on catching the terrorists. They don't want to catch all the terrorists, and from what it seems, they really don't want to capture Bin Laden. No, they need Bin Laden to keep this racket going.

How is it that you can have the man cornered and let him slip away? How is it that they can claim he's dead one minute, then claim he's not dead the next? How is it that they know allegedly know where he is, but don't seem to be too interested in chasing his ass down? How is it that he could attack this country, then release more videos in the last five years than Michael Jackson? How is it that the president can give speeches stating "The Enemy is Still Out There", but seems nonchalant in actually doing anything about it? This whole policy doesn't make sense.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger DrewL said...

War is good for these people. It sustains them and gives them purpose, not to mention POWER. It also allows them to foment fear among the populace, something that has proven over the centuries to inspire geat loyalty. A people that is afraid is a people that can be manipulated into doing just about anything.

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Neil Shakespeare said...

"The Long War" LOL!! "The Gong War" would be better, I think. Sonsofbitches...why don't they just go with "Endless War" and be done with it? Turds...


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