Yet, every time I have the misfortune to accidentally overhear some foul, shrill right-wing blowhard, they're shrieking about the "War On Terror"™ as if it actually existed! As if 'terror' were something that could be bombed or blown up into submission and surrender. As if it had some leader that could be captured and paraded before the public. As if it's something that we can stop if we kill enough people and take over enough countries.
I'm not saying there's no such thing as terrorism. Obviously, there is. And, obviously, it is a problem. Not the only problem, or the biggest problem that Americans face, but you'd never know that by the doom-cryers and fear-mongers. However, there is a difference between a problem and a war. War has a very specific meaning. In legal terms, it refers to "conflicts arising between the armed forces of two or more nations and the methods employed to guard and protect such nations, under the authority of their respective governments." In fact, what was popularly known as the Korean War was deliberately called a 'police action' because it didn't meet the legal standard for war.
Now, does 'terror' belong to a specific country or countries? No. Does 'terror' have a government? No. Does 'terror' have a leader who can speak for it? No. There is no legal qualification for war whatsoever, yet our civil liberties are being incinerated and the Constitution and Bill of Rights are being annihilated, and the bogus "War On Terror" is used as an excuse every time.
And the best thing about a nonexistent war? There is no end! You can use it forever! The amorphous 'enemies' are everywhere, and everyone! After all, 200 million Americans are probably terrorist accomplices,if not actual terrorists themselves, because the Fourth Amenment says (emphasis mine):
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.So, obviously, there must be probable cause for 200 million Americans to have their phone records sold to the NSA without their knowledge or consent, or our law-abiding government would not be doing it, right? Although no actual Al-Qaeda has been brought to justice, except for some hapless, pathetic patsies, and they don't seem to be able to find Osama Bin Laden with all the awesome resources that they've usurped, surely the rest of us 200 million Americans must be on the horn to these guys all the time - "Hey, Khalid, if you're stopping by the house tonight to plan some terrorist attacks, could you pick up a six-pack on your way? Thanks, buddy!"
What do you think - some guy is going to come out waving a white flag and say, "I'm the King of All Terrorists, and on behalf of all the terrorists in the world, I surrender to you, President Bush! Please don't unleash any more American might upon us! We are helpless against your superior strength and moral righteousness. You've beaten us fair and square, President Bush, and I promise you, no terrorist will ever interfere with your oil interests again, O mighty Caliph of Carnage! We bow to your awesome American power!"
All you hear, every time they take something from us, is "We're at war!"
Using that as an excuse to break every law on the books, and rape the public.
The only war around here is the war on Americans, perpetrated by the criminals occupying the White House.
I say it's time to fight back.