‘War on terror’ a deliberate Orwellian mischaracterisation, to justify self-defeating military action

So wrote Richard Kidd, from California, in the Financial Times:

It should by now be clear that killing anti-American militants in tribal societies, be it by troops or by drones, is self-defeating, since it only raises up additional militants from relatives sworn to avenge the slain.

Furthermore, it has also become apparent that our military incursions in the greater Middle East have not made the homeland any safer but merely destabilised the region at the cost of many of our irreplaceable young people.

He refers to an earlier article when President Barack Obama recently attempted to suggest some limits to the “boundless global war on terror” which noted:

Senior Republicans criticised Mr Obama’s speech as a “retreat” from the fight against al-Qaeda and a serious underestimation of the risks that the US still faces from Islamist radicals. (“Critics see end to ‘war on terror’ as retreat”, May 25).

Senior Pentagon officials said last week that the “war on terror” could last for “at least 10 to 20 years” and that they supported maintaining the legal authority which permits military action against suspected al-Qaeda terrorists anywhere in the world.

Kidd continues:

It should be remembered that the phrase “war on terror” was itself a deliberate Orwellian mischaracterisation by the Bush administration, designed to prepare the public for its planned (and unnecessary) invasion of Iraq.

In fact, as the Boston and Woolwich outrages make clear, and . . . the real danger to western homelands is more akin to the 19th-century anarchist threat than to any traditional war.

He concludes: “As such, I urge that it is more successfully contained by police and intelligence services than by military means”.


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