One more thing about language games and the politics of war and justice...
(First posted 14 July 2005exactly three years ago today)
have another thought about political correctness and our use of the word terrorism. Someone will doubtless try to frame this as a contradiction of what I posted [Friday], but it's really just the flip side of the same point:
Sometimes the term terrorism itself is employed in a way that deliberately muddies reality. Such as in the expression "The War on Terror."
It irks me that we always speak of the current unpleasantness as a battle against "terrorism." It troubles me that everyone from George Bush to Billy Graham is so keen to insist that Islam is "a religion of peace," as if this fight had nothing to do with Islam but were only about the principle of terrorism. And it drives me insane to see how the mainstream media, the government, and even most Western religious leaders are programed so that they regularly, automatically, and mindlessly intone the same mantra: "The troubles in the world today have nothing whatsoever to do with religion."
In the days when plain-speaking was deemed a virtue, we would have called the strife that now dominates western society what is in reality: a war against radical Islamists and their fanatical belief system. As a matter of fact, the conflict that dominates world news today has everything to do with religion. The aggressors have all been fanatical adherents to one religion in particular.
Here's a clue: It's not the Amish.
Let's face the truth honestly: There is not a great deal of diversity among our enemies in the present conflict. They are all members of the growing jihadist death-cult that cannot be divorced from Islamic fundamentalism. Unless we identify the enemy clearly and focus our energies on defeating that enemy (instead of the vague and ethereal principle we call "terrorism"), we cannot hope to win the war.
Furthermoreas difficult as this is for our secularized, humanistic, postmodernized culture to come to grips withall religions are not the same. False religion is downright deadly. It is sometimes just as deadly in a worldly and temporal sense as it is in the eternal and spiritual sense. False religion is always evil, though not always manifestly so. But in this case, it is overtly and conspicuously diabolical. Unless we face that fact honestly and courageously, we will never defeat the evil.
This is not a good time in American history for the language police to have the upper hand. It's not an auspicious climate for postmodern sensitivities to color our country's foreign policy. And my expectation is that things are going to continue to get worse for our side in "The War on Terror"until we wake up and declare war on the Islamofascists, who, after all, are the real enemies here.
Lest we forget:
From the Washington Post, 13 September 2001