The catch-all phrase "the war on terrorism", in all honesty, has no more meaning than if one wants to wage a war against "criminal gangsterism". Terrorism is a tactic. You can't have a war against a tactic. It's deliberately vague and non-definable in order to justify and permit perpetual war anywhere and under any circumstance.
...a condemned man who, at the hour of death, says or thinks that if the alternative were offered him of existing somewhere, on a height of rock or some narrow elevation, where only his two feet could stand, and round about him the ocean, perpetual gloom, perpetual solitude, perpetual storm, to remain there standing on a yard of surface for a lifetime, a thousand years, eternity! - rather would he live thus than die at once? Only live, live, live! - no matter how, only live!
I am sorry the infernal Divinities, who visit mankind with diseases, and are therefore at perpetual war with Doctors, should have prevented my seeing all you great Men at Soho to-day-Lord! what inventions, what wit, what rhetoric, metaphysical, mechanical and pyrotecnical, will be on the wing, bandy'd like a shuttlecock from one to another of your troop of philosophers! while poor I, I by myself I, imprizon'd in a post chaise, am joggled, and jostled, and bump'd, and bruised along the King's high road, to make war upon a pox or a fever!
Possibly my hatred of war blinds me so that I cannot comprehend the arguments they adduce. But, in my opinion, there is no such thing as a preventive war. Although this suggestion is repeatedly made, none has yet explained how war prevents war. Worse than this, no one has been able to explain away the fact that war creates the conditions that beget war.
Particularly when the war power is invoked to do things to the liberties of people, or to their property or economy that only indirectly affect conduct of the war and do not relate to the engagement of the war itself, the constitutional basis should be scrutinized with care. ... I would not be willing to hold that war powers may be indefinitely prolonged merely by keeping legally alive a state of war that had in fact ended. I cannot accept the argument that war powers last as long as the effects and consequences of war for if so they are permanent -- as permanent as the war debts.
Superstition, bigotry and prejudice, ghosts though they are, cling tenaciously to life; they are shades armed with tooth and claw. They must be grappled with unceasingly, for it is a fateful part of human destiny that it is condemned to wage perpetual war against ghosts. A shade is not easily taken by the throat and destroyed.
9/11 was a deliberate, carefully planned evil act of the long-waged war on the West by Koran-inspired soldiers of Allah around the world. They hated us before George W. Bush was in office. They hated us before Israel existed. And the avengers of the religion of perpetual outrage will keep hating us.
The intelligence community is so vast that more people have top secret clearance than live in Washington. The U.S. will spend more on the war in Afghanistan this year, adjusting for inflation, than we spent on the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War combined.
A people living under the perpetual menace of war and invasion is very easy to govern. It demands no social reform. It does not haggle over expenditures for armaments and military equipment. It pays without discussion, it ruins itself, and that is an excellent thing for the syndicates of financiers and manufacturers for whom patriotic terrors are an abundant source of gain.
<< previousnext >>