the War on Terror (TM)
Something I recently understood that might help you all unpack the codewords that will be spewed over the next few days/weeks...
One thing that has always perplexed most of the left side of the blogosphere is the question of incompetence vs ideology. To wit: how come everything the administration does 'against terror' only makes the issue worse. Are they stupid? Blinded by their own shiny theories?
You'll never understand it until you internalize one thing. This administration, and implicitly their enablers in the punditocracy, do not want to 'win' the 'war' on terror. They need terror.
Hypothetical: huge cosmic shift in the universe and suddenly terrorism is no more. Al qaida - gone. Called to the mothership or home to Allah or whatever - doesn't matter. Everyone who wants a homeland has a homeland, everyone who wants to separate peacefully separates, every current reason for terror - gone overnight. Poof.
You can go to any country and interview any citizen: you, there. What do you want that you don't have? and hear them say something along these lines: 'well, maybe more time with my children, but other than that, I'm good, thanks.'
Visualize this universe. Do you have the picture firmly fixed in your mind?
Okay, can you simultaneously imagine that in this happy, peaceful universe, anyone in their right minds would ever vote for a Republican again?
In a Terror-free world, what would be the political issues? Healthcare. The burgeoning collosal fraud that is the current banking industry. The looming economic disaster that will follow Peak Oil.
Would you expect the conservatives to do anything useful against any of these issues? Would their policies be at all in line with the wishes of the majority of the populace?
I don't think so either.
So the only way they can hold on to the power they need to loot and plunder the rest of us is through the judicious use of fear. Fear of the Other. Coming here and HURTING us.
If there were no terrorism, it would be necessary for neocons to invent it.
Suddenly an old maxim makes sense in a new light. Truly the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.