I usually flip the radio dial between Bill Press and Bill Bennett on my morning commute. This morning Bennett touched on one of his favorite themes, the importance of words. As I listened, I was struck by the hypocrisy of a faction of antagonists in the misnomered 'war on terror' saga.
Terror cells, and Al Qaeda in particular, deem themselves warriors in an armed struggle against their foe.....in this instance the decadent west. They believe they fight a holy war and that they are soldiers in every sense of the word. They take honor in that role.
For purposes of this conversation, I'll distill the American characters into two factions, the realists and the nihilists. The realists attempt to understand terror groups in order to subvert and eliminate them. The nihilists choose brute military force to quash them....believing that to understand them is to show sympathy with their cause. But the nihilists are hypocrites [for more reasons than need be expressed here] in their use of words; which is ironic, as they place so much emphasis on words and their effect on the masses.
Nihilists foremost want a 'war' on anything they oppose. When they feel slighted or under scrutiny, they proclaim a 'war' against them. No realist has ever declared 'war on Christmas'. Nihilists wish for terror suspects to be held as POW's, yet not treated as POW's; they place great stock in the fact that Al Qaeda declared 'war' on the west....though that is about as successful as our own 'war on drugs'. Nihilists call 9/11 a mass murder....and label the perpetrators as murderers and thugs. But Nihilists want terrorists tried by military tribunal, even though this legitimizes the terrorist claims of being a soldier.
Realists understand that calling this operation a 'war on terror', using massive military force against terror cells and trying terrorists under military means......all legitimizes the struggle in the minds of the terrorists themselves.....and more importantly, future recruits and benefactors. Realists also understand that terrorism is a crime by Federal Statute...and that treating the suspects as criminals using our Justice system is a far more lethal blow to morale.
So is this hypocrisy the work of fearmongering or simple ineptitude? Is it calculated propaganda to stir the semi-ignorant masses of mouth breathers, or is it semantic laziness? Given the nihilists history of 'freedom fries'.......I opt for door number one.