This time last year we were thinking about Gary Condit and Chandra Levy and the terrible summer of sharks.
As of tomorrow, we have been at war a year.
On the eve of that important date, the New York Times ran a commentary by the highly acclaimed writer Susan Sontag. Are we at war, she asks? Or as we just in an elongated police action to find the bad guys who did bad things to us?
Sontag says war lingo simply allows the government to extend its power over us, and is a front for Big Brother gaining admission into our homes and lives.
I think she's repeating the mantra that kept Bill Clinton from acting against Usama bin Laden and Al Qaeda all those years. He knew what was up. He even said it out loud a few times.
But the Susan Sontags of the world are the ones who shape the thoughts of people like Clinton. And according to that school of thought, all good wars were in the past. Present and future wars are to be avoided. Better simply to have highly militarized police run out of the station house quickly, chase down the bad guys, and let us go back to being free.
One of the reasons that things like that are printed instead of spoken is that they sound dumb out loud.
We were attacked. That is an act of war. One country that was involved has been dismantled. We're now looking to see who else should be on the war list.
It will be over someday, but not yet.
That's My Word.
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