Not Taking the War on Terror Seriously


By Joe Campbell
January 28th, 2009

…[T]his nominalism [is not] confined to the U.S. administration’s critics. In his conduct of the war in Iraq, George W. Bush has cast considerable doubt on whether he actually does consider operations there as part of the Wars on Terror, for he has chosen to fight in Iraq as if it were a theater of conventional operations. It is as if he, too, has been using a word for practical political reasons – to rally the public, to gain support for appropriations – without regard for the reality the word is supposed to reflect. Had the president really believed that the use of the term “war” was compelled by reality and not just by the instrumental purposes to which he put the word, he would surely have raised taxes (not significantly lowered them), brought Democrats into the cabinet, enlarged the army, and ardently sought American alliances abroad. These steps have invariably characterized the measures taken by U.S. presidents who have led the U.S. in war since 1917.

Philip Bobbitt on page 174 of Terror and Consent.

I just wanted to point out that it’s not merely liberals who don’t properly understand the threat of terrorism. I’ve been focusing on that aspect because that’s where I started, and since I’ve been dealing with the blowback.