Monday, May 22, 2006

The Next Declared War

Coming to a press conference near you – maybe. Actually it's probable, since we don't declare war anymore except on everything but war.

Did you know that in 1964, when Lyndon Johnson first proposed what came to be known as the War on Poverty, the full title of the program was “The War on the Sources of Poverty.”

Forty-two years later, it’s obvious that the country hasn’t even come close to winning this war – and I’m not sure the country is still fighting.

What we have with us today is the war on drugs and its subsidiary war on marijuana; the war on terror and its subsidiary wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. One can even find on the web references to wars on sex, on porn, on science, on freedom, and yes, Virginia, on Christmas.

Infrequent is the “war on crime” – possibly because the appropriate response to crime is law enforcement, not war. Today of course, the firepower of SWAT (special weapons and tactics) teams is comparable to infantry units of the same size.

Given the hysteria that has been generated over the last month or two, look for someone to make the next “war” to be on immigration. And it might not be restricted to illegal immigration.

Notice however, the general absence of a “war on war” – probably because those opposed to war refrain from using military terms unless the context leaves absolutely no alternative.

But you’ll know we’re in trouble the day someone seriously proposes a “war on peace.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The wars on poverty, drugs, cancer and aids have been absolute failures with our rights, privacy, and liberties the biggest casualties. The prevalence of these “enemies” has exploded with the declaration of their respective wars. In light of this, I find no comfort in our government’s declaration of war against the nebulous enemy; terror. Unfortunately, I am expecting the same results as with the other wars; more of the so-called enemy and less of our freedoms.

11:02 PM  

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