The big news this week on the creation and development
of an American Empire was the official announcement
that the War on Terror is over.
It’s always been called the Global War on Terror. (The
G -WOT) Even the medals say "for service in the Global
War on Terror."
But Administration officials now say that phrase may
have outlived its usefulness, because it focused
attention solely, and incorrectly, on the military
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the nation's
senior military officers this week switched to have
spoken of "Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism"
Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, told the National Press Club on Monday that he
had "objected to the use of the term 'war on
terrorism' before, because if you call it a war, then
you think of people in uniform as being the solution."
He said the threat instead should be defined as
violent extremists, with the recognition that "terror
is the method they use."
Although the military is heavily engaged in the
mission now, he said, future efforts require "all
instruments of our national power, all instruments of
the international communities' national power."
Believe it or not, he said the solution is "more
DIPLOMATIC, more ECONOMIC, more POLITICAL than it is
Excuse me, wasn’t this the Kerry campaign platform?
I can’t object, because I’ve been saying for years
that we are not at war with terror – indeed, we are
not at war with anything, except maybe the Taliban,
and if we were, it would not be with terror.
Rather, we are engaged in a focused campaign against
those would violate both domestic American and
international law in committing acts of murder; and
more generally we must formulate a policy to deal with
the problem of people, around the world, who see
wanton violence as a solution to their problems.
And in that vein, it is vitally important that we not
be seen as contributing to the problem, but being part
of the overall solution.
This is why I felt it so important to support the
weapons inspections process, regardless of what they
This is why I felt so strongly that abandoning the
inspections, the UN, the Security Council, and both
the domestic and international legal process was such
a mistake, and that launching a preemptive invasion of
Iraq – an action both Violent and Extreme, I might add
– was so very, very wrong.
We instantly lost not just the moral high ground, but
control of the process, the ability to shape events to
When I object to the invasion of Iraq, when I point
out the problems at Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo, and
the Patriot Act, it’s not because I’m a pacifist, or
want to blame America first.
It’s not even because I worked at the UN, or have
It’s not, in the final analysis because I’m a civil
rights buff, or find the abuses sickening, or am
concerned too many people have been killed in Iraq for
no reason, or that our leaders have lied, or even that
my definition of patriotism is supporting the
Constitution, not the President; the nation when it’s
right, and when it’s wrong, pointing that out; and
hoping we live to up to our professed American ideals,
although I acknowledge that’s part of it.
No, the real reason I argue as I do is that our
tactics, as they currently exist, are entirely
A fireman does not win his struggle by setting more
fires. A policeman does teach criminals a lesson by
committing crimes. You can’t fix your computer by
hitting it with a hammer or throwing it out the
window. It may feel good, but your problems will be
worse than when you started.
And you don’t win a struggle against murderous,
violent extremists by breaking the law, bombing
civilians and abandoning civil rights.
It just doesn't work.