08 July 2008

How to Get Rid of the "War on Terror"

Bruce Schneier has some has his usual wise words on the subject of "terror":

Terrorism is a heinous crime, and a serious international problem. It's not a catchall word to describe anything you don't like or don't agree with, or even anything that adversely affects a large number of people. By using the word more broadly than its actual meaning, we muddy the already complicated popular conceptions of the issue. The word "terrorism" has a specific meaning, and we shouldn't debase it.

But, sorry Brucie, it's too late: they've already debased it.

But debasement is a two-edged sword. What we should do now is to use "terrorism" for even the most trivial infraction: "parking terrorism", "litter terrorism", "noise terrorism" - you get the idea. In no time at all, even the politicians will recognise that the whole concept of "terror" has become eviscerated, and risible. The "War on Terror" will sound - rightly - about as sensible as a "War on Flatulence".

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