Saturday, August 26, 2006

No Virginia, There is No War on Terror

It would be a great step forward for NPR (and all other news outlets) to stop referring to the "war on terror" as if it were an undisputed term. It is powerful pro-militarist propaganda to report on the "war on terror" as if it were a war in the pattern of more conventional wars such as World War II, the Korean War, or Russia's War in Chechnya.

There are several good reasons why news outlets should refer to it as "the so-called war on terror." As for the US, there has never been a Cnstitutional declaration of war and since part of the so-called war on terror is an assault on Constitutional liberties this is significant. Second, there is no end that can be assertained in the "war on terror" and so it might as well be called the "endless war" which has serious implications for its growth, spread and detriment to progressive values and liberties. Finally, there is a strong case to be made that not only is the US-led "war on terror" not doing anything significant to improve US security, but is in fact dramatically increasing the growth of non-state terrorism and making the US less secure.

And so it was that this morning it really got under my skin (again) to hear the piece on NPR discussing the threat of the Internet in the "US-led war on terror."

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