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All Quiet on the Terror Front
October 6, 2006 8:50 AM   Subscribe

A U.S. presidential candidate declares that terrorism is no longer a priority on her agenda. Madrid based Institute for Studies of Conflict and Humanitarian Action imagines an end to the War on Terror. By Balder Hageraats
posted by cal71 (52 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Wait, so no US presidential candidate has actually said that, it's a quote from the story which is purely speculative.

A quotation mark or two would help clarify things there. Your posting makes Balder Hageraats sound like a female US Presidential candidate. I'm pretty sure Balder isn't a candidate and I'm not really sure whether it's a male or female name.
posted by GuyZero at 9:11 AM on October 6, 2006


...and once again, the Metarazzi strike. Why does everyone here have to nitpick on posts instead of discuss the subtance of them? GuyZero, if you read the entire heading, it's pretty clear that this is a fictional case-study. Let's leave the grammar lessons for school, shall we?
posted by tgrundke at 9:25 AM on October 6, 2006


"Why does everyone here have to nitpick on posts instead of discuss the subtance of them?"

Because that would require "reading for content," which pseudointellectuals can't do.
posted by davy at 9:27 AM on October 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


I can see why GuyZero is upset, a lot of people have had it with imagination-based public policy and planning.
posted by peeedro at 9:27 AM on October 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


I also declare the War On Terror to be over.

I simply decided that I would cease to be afraid, to fear, or to be terrified by the prospect of death.

You can do the same or you can listen to W and know FEAR!!!
posted by nofundy at 9:30 AM on October 6, 2006


Imagine all the peeeeople
Living fooor todaaay..
posted by c13 at 9:34 AM on October 6, 2006


The faux elite strike!
posted by Artw at 9:36 AM on October 6, 2006


I also declare the War On Terror to be over.

And given how we've not heard from the War on Proverty and the War on Drugs for a while, are they over too?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:54 AM on October 6, 2006


I, for one, have fully embraced poverty and drugs.
posted by joannemerriam at 9:56 AM on October 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


GuyZero writes "A quotation mark or two would help clarify things there."

No, then you'd complain "There's a quote, but no-one actually said that? It was just a line in a story? You should take away the quotation marks."
posted by Bugbread at 9:57 AM on October 6, 2006


I tried to defeat drugs but they just kept making more!

As for poverty, I embrace it (might as well.)

Let's declare War On The Wealthy!
posted by nofundy at 10:02 AM on October 6, 2006


How can the War On Terror be over? I'm still scared!

And given how we've not heard from the War on Proverty and the War on Drugs for a while, are they over too?

No, but we lost anyway.
posted by you just lost the game at 10:04 AM on October 6, 2006


Whoops! GuyZero, I accidentally phrased myself much more abrasively than intended. When I wrote "No, then you'd complain..." I meant to write "No, then someone would complain..." I didn't mean to direct that at you.
posted by Bugbread at 10:07 AM on October 6, 2006


Support the war on...
poverty (LBJ)
drugs (RMN)
terror (GWB)
good intentions (ZMT)
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:11 AM on October 6, 2006


Y'all take it to MeTa, will you, if it bugs you enough.

The problem with the War on Terror is "War on Terror". When declared by Bush on 9/12, nobody cared very much, the whole world, pretty much, was in our corner, and we were going to get Bin Laden & Co. no matter what it took. The good will lasted for quite some time, but by the Iraq invasion it was gone.

No presidential candidate is going to take terror off his or her agenda. But what she could say is:

"Quite frankly, it was a mistake from day one to call this a War on Terror, and that terminology has driven us into some places we should not have gone [Iraq, domestic spying, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo]. The attack on 9-11 was an enormous crime, but not an act of war, and the terrorists are criminals, not soldiers. Soldiers deserve respect, but criminals deserve to be hunted down and punished. That hunt, from now on, will be an internationally coordinated police action carried out within the bounds of national constitutions and international law. The terrorists should make no mistake -- this does not change our intent to resist terrorism everywhere and to bring those responsible for it to justice. But it will be done, from now on, by making it clear that terrorists deserve the relentless persecution that criminals deserve, no not the respect and admiration soldiers get. I invite the nations of the world to join the United States in the International Major Police Action against Terrorism -- IMPACT."
posted by beagle at 10:15 AM on October 6, 2006 [4 favorites]


The War On terror is a brand name, not a conflict, and so cannot be said to "begin" or "end".
posted by Artw at 10:17 AM on October 6, 2006


WAR IS OVER!
If you want it
posted by chunking express at 10:19 AM on October 6, 2006


"Let's declare War On The Wealthy!"

"No war but the class war!"
posted by davy at 10:20 AM on October 6, 2006


I say declare war on real time broadcasts for world leaders. If all their speeches were seen in fast forward, there could be no war.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:22 AM on October 6, 2006


Let's declare War On The Wealthy!

Yeah! They got all the drugs!
posted by jonmc at 10:24 AM on October 6, 2006


I have nothing to add to this well-argued discussion
posted by Postroad at 10:28 AM on October 6, 2006


I'm voting for beagle!
posted by tippiedog at 10:28 AM on October 6, 2006


My intent is not to nitpick, but came from a profound disappointment that:

a) Hillary Clinton didn't come out and say that she doesn't care about the (bogus, IMO) war on terror

and

b) there isn't another US female presidential candidate that I haven't heard of.

(And I know the next US presedential election isn't for two years, but man, they seem to start awful early down there)

For those that would blame me for misreading the post, blame away. After I read the linked article (and I did read it), I felt I had been mislead by the OP's headline. The article is interesting, sure, but not as interesting as actually having someone put ending the war on terror into the mainstream of American political discourse.

Apologies for starting the discussion thread off on the wrong foot.
posted by GuyZero at 10:28 AM on October 6, 2006


The problem with the War on Terror is "War on Terror".

So it is about the quotation marks!
posted by Phantast at 10:33 AM on October 6, 2006


beagle

To help with your very clever acronym, I would recommend a slight rephrasing:

"International Major Police Action to Counter Terrorism"
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:36 AM on October 6, 2006


Guyzero

You were misled.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:37 AM on October 6, 2006


tgrundke writes "Why does everyone here have to nitpick on posts instead of discuss the subtance of them?"

Because the post substantially misrepresents the content of the linked article.
posted by clevershark at 10:39 AM on October 6, 2006


I say Beagle for President, and Mental Wimp for Secretary of Acronym Completion!

And with that, MeFi has solved our countries problems.
posted by quin at 10:46 AM on October 6, 2006


i wish jesus would come back and end all war.
posted by obeygiant at 10:50 AM on October 6, 2006


"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:54 AM on October 6, 2006


the Metarazzi strike

Is that where, after you snark at someone on the Blue, they give you a virtual headbutt in the chest?
posted by psmealey at 11:01 AM on October 6, 2006


If instead of the "war on terror" (or horror or scariness) we launched the war on Al Qaeda we might have finished by now.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:08 AM on October 6, 2006


How much money does that make for anyone?

As it is, we've got contracts lined up for decades.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:11 AM on October 6, 2006


It's just another round in the current trend of infinite war against abstract concepts. Because abstract concepts make people think, and THINKING HURTS BRAIN! ARRRRRRR!
posted by clevershark at 11:13 AM on October 6, 2006


The Cold War lasted 45 years and 7 presidential administrations. For most of that time, the US media promoted a constant climate of background fear. Every few years there was a crisis that scared the daylights out of everyone.

The US military was the strongest in the world, but it was never able to win decisively using conventional warfare. Instead, it suffered one extended quagmire and a bunch of stalemates. The US frequently allied itself with dictators and warlords, all in the name of promoting democracy.

The war was a hot issue that could be used by all sides for electoral reasons, but the right got the best of it. The peace movement was dead right in denouncing the worst US excesses, but was ultimately divided and ineffectual. The left destroyed its credibility with mainstream voters by making excuses for the worst excesses of the other side. The right was very effective in accusing people of disloyalty if they advocated that the war should be abandoned of disloyalty. No politician was ever able to suggest that the war wasn't a priority.

The military-industrial complex made a lot of money and wielded a lot of political influence, not just in Washington but also locally where people's jobs depended on defense spending. Republicans held the presidency for most of the time.

Why is it going to be any different this time?
posted by fuzz at 11:22 AM on October 6, 2006 [3 favorites]


All Apologies for the misleading lack of quotation marks.

As for the discussion itself, I think the police action phrasing (IMPACT...well done) is very much the way to reframe the "war on terror." This idea that fighting terrorism is a police action seems to be the attitude in Spain that emerged after the train attacks and is, perhaps, more effective than grand declarations of war.
posted by cal71 at 11:24 AM on October 6, 2006


This idea that fighting terrorism is a police action seems to be the attitude in Spain that emerged after the train attacks and is, perhaps, more effective than grand declarations of war.

Not more effective in scaring up votes though.
posted by Artw at 11:32 AM on October 6, 2006


Actually, that attitude is pretty effective in scaring up votes in Spain. Most people don't think that Spain should try to be an important player in world politics. Nobody fantasizes that the Spanish military can project power into the Middle East. Spain has a long ugly experience with ETA terrorism at home. The idea of a police action appeals a lot more than the idea of a war.

People in the US believe that they live in the most powerful country on Earth. The US should be able to win any war it gets into. There's a long hard road ahead before Americans fully accept the limits of their power.
posted by fuzz at 11:41 AM on October 6, 2006


The Cold War lasted 45 years
And now we have global warming, damn their souls!

Fuzz is scaring me! Help me jonmc!!
posted by nofundy at 11:54 AM on October 6, 2006


GuyZero

You were misled


Rosebud

You were misled.

/Charles Foster Kane
posted by longbaugh at 12:09 PM on October 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


I ain't skeered.
posted by NationalKato at 12:37 PM on October 6, 2006


What about a nice cup of Wag the Dog
posted by elpapacito at 1:11 PM on October 6, 2006


Some people just don't seem to get perpetual war...
posted by pompomtom at 1:51 PM on October 6, 2006


As beagle said: The problem with the War on Terror is "War on Terror". But beagle's apparent suggestion to call it the "War on Crime" wouldn't be an improvement. There is something at the root of the terror, of the criminal actions.
“Let’s imagine,” said the Time Traveler, “that on December eighth, Nineteen forty-one, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke before a joint session of Congress and asked them to declare war on aviation.”

“That’s absurd,” I said.

“Is it?” asked the Time Traveler. “The American battleships, cruisers, harbor installations, Army barracks, and airfields at Pearl Harbor and elsewhere in Hawaii were all struck by Japanese aircraft. Imagine if the next day Roosevelt had declared war on aviation . . . threatening to wipe it out wherever we found it. Committing all the resources of the United States of America to defeating aviation, so help us God.”

“That’s just stupid,” I said. “The planes, the Japanese planes . . . were just a method of attack . . . a means . . . it wasn’t aviation that attacked us at Pearl Harbor, but the Empire of Japan. If we’d declared war on aviation, on goddamned airplanes rather than the empire and ideology that launched them, we’d never have . . .”

I stopped. What had he called it? Category Error. Making the problem unsolvable through your inability – or fear – of defining it correctly.

[from an essay by Dan Simmons]
posted by Tubes at 2:12 PM on October 6, 2006 [2 favorites]


...and once again, the Metarazzi strike.

IT'S "MEFIOSI"!!!
posted by riotgrrl69 at 4:11 PM on October 6, 2006


I invite the nations of the world to join the United States in the International Major Police Action against Terrorism -- IMPACT.

Where'd you get the "C"?
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 6:17 PM on October 6, 2006


The war on terror is worse than just having terror. I don't think that necessarily means that fighting terrorism is bad, but I do think that the way we are fighting terrorism makes the cure worse than the disease.
posted by I Foody at 6:33 PM on October 6, 2006


fuzz knows the time.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:56 PM on October 6, 2006


Idiots.

Fighting terrorism is necessary. It's just not necessary (and singularly harmful) to fight it the way the current administration is fighting it.

Oh, and by the way, GuyZero's clarity complaints are perfectly valid. The post's wording does mean there is an actual candidate saying that.
posted by azazello at 7:13 AM on October 7, 2006


very good blogs post!
posted by yonation at 8:55 AM on October 7, 2006


i'm with fuzz on this--this is our new Cold War now, and no administration or candidate of either party will end it. The only real hope is detente, diplomacy, and hopefully some Velvet Revolutions in Iran and Saudi Arabia, etc.
posted by amberglow at 9:47 AM on October 7, 2006


Where'd you get the "C"?

If you change 'against' to 'Counter' you can have the C in the right place.

/happy to help
posted by Sparx at 1:49 PM on October 7, 2006


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