Saturday, January 9, 2010
War against terrorism. I don't understand this. We've had war against poverty, war against crime, war against drug traffic, war against cancer. War is waged between two bodies -- between nations, between cities, between religious bodies, between individuals. Not only is the term misplaced; the metaphor is warped; the concept is wrong. A war is resolved by victory of one body over the other; there is the victor and the vanquished. The victor decimates the vanquished or the latter surrenders to the former and allows it to be incorporated, swallowed up, enslaved. Or else, a truce is drawn and the warring parties agree on a compromise. No society ever succeeded in eradicating crime; sickness and poverty, no less than drug use, will ever vanish from modern society. There is no victory over terrorism. To claim it as a goal is a deception. To believe that a potential terrorist can be screened and caught anywhere is a delusion. Terrorism can be dealt only as a crime, not as a war. The best we can do is to contain and abate it. But, of course, what do I know.