Bush Again Misuses The Word 'War'

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Addressing the heroic efforts of British security forces in thwarting a plot to blow up multiple passenger planes, president Bush again refers to the struggle against terrorism as a war. To be specific, a War Against Islamic Fascists, a phrase which, no doubt polls well with his base but is simply inaccurate.

Usage of the term 'war' has, in recent history, been used for many things; take for example the "war on drugs." (How's that going, by the way?) But, I think it's clear that when Bush uses that word in this context, he's seeking to invoke the image of "an armed conflict between nations, states, or parties." The problem is that Terrorism is an idea. It cannot be shot, stabbed, or blown up.

Declaring war against an idea is almost certainly a pursuit doomed to failure. The closest the U.S. has ever come to successfully fighting an idea is the "Cold War." An endeavor which took the better part of 50 years, trillions of dollars, and millions of lives (not all Americans.) We declared victory in the Cold War after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but we're still paying for the war today and for the forseeable future. The runaway defense spending of the 1980s, which continues today, was undoubtedly the coup de grace that toppled the Soviets as they collapsed under pressure to keep up. It remains to be seen whether the U.S. will survive the economic damage it did to itself in the conflict.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, "well, we did win." It might appear so surface, but we did a lot of damage to ourselves and the rest of the world; and, the battle is far from over. Despite the name "Cold War", it was very much a hot one. Most of Africa is still devastated economically from its role as pawns in our global chess match. There are communists in control in China, Cuba, Viet Nam, Laos, and North Korea with armed and peaceful conflicts going on in many other places.

Also, consideration must be given to the impact of the Cold War on the U.S. national debt. During the Reagan/Bush administrations, the debt rose from about 35% of GDP to nearly 65% of GDP.

Do we really want a repeat of the Cold War in a new "War on Terror"?

Read More About:   George W Bush | Politics | Terrorism | United States | World