RE: This week's column
I HATE the terms "war on terror" or "war on terrorism". Because it isn't really. We can't even agree on an operative definition of what "terrorism" is. "Terrorist" is being used as a euphemism for a new kind of enemy; groups without nations, although frequently with support from nations, or groups within nations. They are frequently not friends, but they are frequently allies. They represent a movement that has existed over centuries, but has recently gotten out of control, so now many governments who used to use them have lost control and now fear them.
Because they represent several radical forms of Islam, political correctness makes it difficult to identify them. The term "Islamic Fascist" has been used; complaints that Hitler was not called a "Christian Fascist" come, but it is also noted that he was not looking for a Christian supremacy; he was lookiing for a GERMAN supremacy.
They represent no given nation, which has caused a majority of a body no less than the U.S. Supreme Court to refuse to recognize this as an international conflict.
But many of these groups, as they have no standing army, use tactics commonly called "terrorism". But, as I said, "terrorism" has many definitions. So, we have people who use the euphemisms to try to redefine the war (similarly to the way "anti-Semitism", originally a euphemism for "Jew hating", got twisted because, technically speaking, Arabs are Semites, too).
And, of course, because this is a new kind of conflict, there is even a question of whether it is actually a war. This makes a big difference, especially when going after the larger groups or their allies. If this is a war, that is a legitimate way to go. But if it's a crime problem, then it is not legitimate to go after the allies of the perpetrators; we can only go after the perpetrators themselves.
I'm not offering a solution here; it's more of an outlining of what I consider to be a key aspect of the problem, opening it for discussion.