Saturday, August 12, 2006

Do we know how to fight a real war anymore?

That is the subtext of my Potomac News article which was published last Wednesday, I believe, on August 9th. It was originally written for publication on August 2nd, so it's a little outdated.

I put the entire column online on my column website, titled Lebanon is Latest Front in the War on Terror.


War. It’s a word that unfortunately we hear too often these days. War is not a good thing. War is, at its core, a failure of civilized society. Most people hate war. War causes the death of human beings – combatants and non-combatants, aggressors and bystanders, able-bodied men and women and children.

But we cannot actually fight a “war” with terror, or terrorism, or even terrorists. Terror is an emotion. Terrorism is a tactic. Terrorist is a participant. War is not fought against individuals, but against groups, usually nations. We can’t win the war on terror without involving the nations harboring the terrorists.

Civilization consists of nations given sovereignty over people and property based on physical boundaries. We need to hold nations responsible for the actions of the people within their borders. We need to stop targeting terrorists, and fight the nations that allow terrorists to operate in their midst. We must give nations a reason to denounce and defeat the terrorists in their countries.

The latest battle in the “war on terror” is raging in southern Lebanon. The world can choose to hold Lebanon accountable, to embrace the possibility of a true victory over terrorism. But sixty dead in Qana have broken our resolve, and instead of victory we are headed for another stalemate. People hate war, and will do almost anything to stop it. So Hezbollah will live to fight another day, terrorists around the world will breathe a sigh of relief, nations will continue ignoring evildoers in their midst – and most of us will just be happy the fighting has stopped.

But this is a column where excerpts cannot do it justice. I urge you to read the entire article, and comment here with your thoughts and criticisms, which I'm sure there will be.

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