Why America will lose the war on terror

January 29, 2007 | By | 1 Reply More

Since the Korean War (officially called a “police action”), America has been famous for losing wars.  It drew a stalemate in Korean — a conflict that has still not officially ended.  It lost in Cuba, in the Bay of Pigs.  It lost in Viet Nam, after losing 50,000 lives, billions of dollars and nearly a decade of national attention.  It lost in Somalia, where its bodies of its dead troops were dragged through the streets.  It has lost repeatedly in the Levant, supporting Israelis whose brutal methods bear striking similarities to those of the Palestinians (for a recent example, see here).  It is even on the verge of losing in both Afganistan and Iraq — in Afganistan, the Taliban is apparently organizing for an attack this spring, while attacks by insurgents in Iraq continue unabated.

Likewise, on the domestic front, America is losing the war on poverty, a goal since FDR’s New Deal in the 1930s of protecting America’s poor from illness, homelessness, starvation, etc.  America is losing the war on drugs:  crystal meth is the latest front line of this battle and America’s only solution appears to be the ineffective strategy of sending drug addicts to jail:  America imprisons more of its population than any other nation on earth, mostly on drug charges.  And America will lose the war on terror.

Why?  Several reasons come to mind.  First and foremost:  because “terrorism” is not an enemy; terrorism is merely a tactic that is used by an enemy.  It is a political weapon, not a military one, used by enemies who know they could never defeat America militarily.  That is why a military response to terrorism will always fail:  because terrorists are not military threats.  Until Americans recognize this difference, they will continue to be fat, juicy targets for terrorists.

Second, not only is terrorism merely a tactic, but it works:  Americans are relatively easily to scare.  We’ve seen remarkable examples of this during the past five years, as Americans have given up their most valuable, centuries-old freedoms to bald-faced liars (neo-con Republicans) whose only talent appears to be fear-mongering (it clearly isn’t crisis management).

Third, because Americans build lots of fat, juicy targets for terrorists to destroy.  Obsessed with conspicuous consumption, Americans just can’t resist spending their money on flamboyant tangible assets instead of on less conspicuous, intangible assets that might do much more to reduce their terrorism risk…things such as becoming a better global partner.

So, get ready for another defeat, America.  George Bush might be correct when he says that Iraq is “the front line in the war on terror.”  Unfortunately, he’s losing it, despite his simple-minded lies to the contrary.  Or, actually, because of them.

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About the Author ()

Grumpypilgrim is a writer and management consultant living in Madison, WI. He has several scientific degrees, including a recent master’s degree from MIT. He has also held several professional career positions, none of which has been in a field in which he ever took a university course. Grumps is an avid cyclist and, for many years now, has traveled more annual miles by bicycle than by car…and he wishes more people (for the health of both themselves and our planet) would do the same. Grumps is an enthusiastic advocate of life-long learning, healthy living and political awareness. He is single, and provides a loving home for abused and abandoned bicycles. Grumpy’s email: grumpypilgrim(AT)@gmail(DOT).com [Erich’s note: Grumpy asked that his email be encrypted this way to deter spam. If you want to write to him, drop out the parentheticals in the above address].

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    When you mentioned "intangible assets," I thought you were referring to quality education (which is, indeed, consistent with becoming a better global partner).

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