I was thinking about why this war has received so much opposition both around the world and within the United States in comparison to other wars. It
seems to me that there are some marked differences between this "War on Terror" and previous wars which create such opposition.
* There was never previously such a solid connection between the leaders of both sides of the war. Brtish Prime Ministers Chamberlain and Churchhill
did not have Hitler's family over for lunch and a corporate board meeting on the day he invaded Poland. We all know, at a surface level at least, the
connection between the Bushes and the Bin Ladens. We know that it was the US govt. and the CIA, among others, that armed Iraq, the Taliban, Bin Laden
* Never before did a war-time President stand to gain so much in the way of money from corporate oil and military contracts.
* Never has a war been so hard to sell. In most of the previous wars, we did not have to be sold on the need to go to war because the necessity was
obvious. Even though the US congress and people needed Pearl Harbour as the impetus for entering WWII, once the country was committed, there was no
further need to "sell" continued participation in the war. (I won't go into the theory that Pearl Harbour was engineered.)
* Previous wars had a clear enemy. The Kaiser, Hitler, The Viet Cong, leaders who stayed in their coutries and had definite structures of command
(it's necessary to do that in order to run a war). There is no clear enemy in this war. And when their is an enemy/boogeyman presented before us to
give a focus for our 'patriotic anger', we are told that he's too elusive to root out. We are taught to hate one man for what he did in New York,
but then we are told that our leaders are "not spending much time thinking about him". We are expected to believe that the might of the US military,
which basically waltzed into Afghanistan and Iraq,cannot get one middle-aged leader and a few guys with AK-47s and RPGs out of a small mountainous
region because we "don't want another Vietnam."
SO in the
meantime we'll chase from country to country looking for guys who might be aligned with him and might do the same thing that he did.
* There is no definite goal and therefore no forseeable end to this war. Previous wars each had a definite goal, immediately after the achievement of
which, the war summarily ended. The British were kicked out, the war was over. Germany was defeated, the war was over. Will there ever be an Armistice
Day for this war?
* This is the only war that is exacerbated and perpetuated by the very act of fighting it. WWII, for every Axis soldier that was killed, it was one
less enemy. In this war, every innocent killed or home destroyed inspires more terrorists to join the cause. Every country wrongly invaded creates
more terrorists. Every puppet government installed creates more resentment amongst the people of the countries invaded.
* Never before has a fighting country's own people also been considered a potential enemy (with the possible exception of the heinous incarceration
of Japanese Americans in prison camps during WWII). Now we are told that any one of us could potentially be a terroriist. We are being taught to watch
our neighbors who might be terrorists. Our freedoms are slowly being destroyed in the name of, ironically so, "freedom".
* National leaders did not try to sell the continuation of the war, nor did they by their actions ENSURE the continuation of the war; rather they
strived for the ending of it. Bush and Blair keep reminding us that this is not a one-off war (they were right, Afghanistan wasn't the end) and that
we will "root out terror wherever it surfaces". They are mentally preparing us for being constantly at war, moving from country to country.
* The soldiers of previous wars, the Vietnam War (perhaps) excepted, knew the cause they were fighting for and stood by it, even in the face of death.
Some of the strongest advocates AGAINST this war are the soldiers who have fought in it
and the family members of the soldiers who have died for it. Remember the mother in Fahrenheit 911 who was so gung ho to send her son over and
sacrifice for America, until he was killed?
The vehicle: Terrorism. The driver: George Bush. The destination: Armageddon. The passenger: You.