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We are not at war

by Vox Day

For nearly four years now, Americans have been subjected to histrionic news pundits puffing pompously about how "we are at war." The absence of a war footing or a declaration of war, not to mention the significantly unwarlike presence of wide-open borders has not slowed them down a bit, as they have used their favorite martial mantra to support evils ranging from the Patriot Act to the designated hitter.

Now, this is not to say that American warriors are not risking their lives and exhibiting excellence in their craft in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places around the world. But the nation is not at war and it has not been at war these past four years even though the violent forces of expansionist Islam have declared war on America at every opportunity.

I will admit that this is not a very popular view on the right-wing of the national commentariat, Pat Buchanan and a few fellow libertarians notwithstanding. On this very page, only five days ago, my WND colleague Ben Shapiro asserted that "this is a war, blockhead" in supporting "temporary safety measures" to suspend those pesky civil liberties that are so endangering the citizenry.

Why it is necessary to suspend the rights and liberties of American citizens, but it is not necessary to return millions of illegal aliens and non-citizen residents to their homelands or respond in kind to those organizations, institutions and individuals that have declared war on the United States of America and its inhabitants remains a mystery.

For despite the feverish assertions of neoconservatives and those few conservatives who still believe the president is one of them that the congressional authorization for the use of force in Iraq was tantamount to a declaration of war, it has become ever more clear that this is demonstrably not the case. As the Bush administration has proven remarkably wont to do, it stabbed more of its most fervent supporters in the back on July 25 when it introduced a new nomenclature in an attempt to freshen up a product grown increasingly stale.

The Bush administration is retooling its slogan for the fight against al-Qaida and other terrorist groups, pushing the idea that the long-term struggle is as much an ideological battle as a military mission, senior administration and military officials said Monday ...

The shifting language is one of the most public changes in the administration's strategy to battle al-Qaida and its affiliates, and it tracks closely with Mr. Bush's recent speeches emphasizing freedom, democracy and the worldwide clash of ideas.

"It is more than just a military war on terror," Steven J. Hadley, the national security adviser, said in a telephone interview. "It's broader than that. It's a global struggle against extremism. We need to dispute both the gloomy vision and offer a positive alternative."
– "U.S. Officials Retool Slogan for Terror War," New York Times, July 26, 2005

We are at struggle, blockhead! And who is we? Why, none other than the global community! "They Blew Up Bus No. 30" is a peculiar battle cry for an automotive American public, after all. Nor does "Remember Madrid" quite rank up there with "Remember the Maine!" And with whom are we at struggle? Violent extremists, clearly, which is why we must be prepared for Romanian special forces infiltrating the forests of Oregon, hunting down Earth Liberation Front treehuggers while the Sri Lankan navy shells evangelical anti-abortion fortresses on the South Carolina coast.

But the administration cannot let a cat out of a bag that it was never actually in. It turns out that the truth about the current state of non-war can be best seen in a simple example of federal bureaucracy. In the July 9 New Scientist story, titled "Patents gagged in the name of national security," Don Hajec, a director at the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, stated:

When the U.S. is not in a state of war, the secrecy order is imposed for one year. But we almost always renew those every year. In a state of war, the order is permanent. Congress advises us when we are at war. We are not at war.

William of Ockham is famous for writing "Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitat" – "Plurality should not be considered without necessity." Applying this principle, famously known as Occam's Razor, suggests that the reason American rights and freedoms are under widespread assault is not because we are at struggle, but because they do not serve the long-term interests of those currently roosting on the three branches of the American government.

(Emphasis added - FW)

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