Obama is Fighting the War on Terrorism But Without the Name [Source: Washingtonpost.com]
Thank God, Allah, Yahweh, Ganesh, whoever.
The so-called “War on Terror” has been one of the most misguided American policies ever conceived. How can one have a “war” on a concept, a feeling, or an idea? Might as well have a “War on Sadness” or a “War on Laziness” or a “War on Day-dreaming.” Stupid, plain and simple.
To have a war, an enemy is required. Al-Qaeda is a good enemy (something logically inconsistent with that); why not a “War on Al-Qaeda?” How about a “War on the Taliban?” Those are substantive enemies, they can be seen, felt, heard, touched, and communicated with.
Now with sensible leadership at the helm, we can get away from, hopefully, such amorphous terms that not only lack substance but seek to undermine confidence and play on people’s fears. Unconscionable.
The use of the military should support diplomacy, not substitute for diplomacy. Minds will never be changed by force. Typically, the only result is that the people become more convinced of their beliefs. Just like beating, whipping, or spanking a child will not convince the child of his/her wrongness but will make them mad at the parent and perhaps convince his/her that the parents are mean, we cannot expect that shooting, bombing, shelling, or strafing people will help them see the error of their ways. Just like torture can result in poor intelligence.
We owe General Petraeus so much. His work, his diligence, listening and learning, has helped turn the corner in Iraq, and may help us turn the corner in Afghanistan. Protect the people, make them your friend, show them that we can help – in other words, EDUCATE them.
Education is the key. Always.