“Terrorism” – Can You Fight an Adjective?


Let’s face it, the world today is different than it was ten years ago.  Heck, it’s different than 5 years ago!  But what is it that is different about the world?  Sure, we are becoming more technologically advanced, but advancements in science and technology have been occurring every single year since God knows when.  When did the change in the world happen?  That’s an easy question to answer, and you probably already know what I am going to say.  Yup, you guessed it, September 11, 2001.

What was it that changed in the world on this horrible day?  What changed was the way we (the United States) define the world, in particular, our enemies and allies.  And who are the enemies?  Terrorists. 

This begs the question: can you fight a war against an adjective?  Sure, there are people we label as “terrorists”, but even I was given this title as a little kid when I “terrorized” my brother (sorry mom).  So we are told a terrorist is anyone who does terrorism.  Everyday the news reports update the nation with our status on “the war on terror”.

 The war on terror?  Seriously?  How do you declare war on an action?  If you look at past wars in U.S. history, there has always been an actual enemy (Germany, Russia, etc.).  The U.S. Government tries to create an actual enemy by naming groups such as Al Qaeda, but they will be first to admit that Al Qaeda is only the enemy because they are the “adjective”.  Scary thing is, anyone can be the adjective (even us Americans)!  Heck, terrorism has been around since the beginning of time…Newsflash: the battle will continue forever as well!

The terroists appear to have the upper hand in that they can define their enemy: the U.S.A.  (or the Western Hemisphere in some cases).  They are attacking countries (innocent people actually) and we are attacking a figure of language.  Hm.

Sadly, we will be fighting a never ending battle (similar to the war on “drug use”) if we continue to fight the adjective of terror.


3 Responses

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I think the American public would be more apt to back a war fought against an actual government or country than against an idea or figure of speech.

    Also, the danger with using a broad target such as ‘terror’ is that the interpretation of who is a terrorist enemy is very loose. What if the planned immigrant walkout set for May 15th can be seen as a form of terror? Will we establish a war stance with Mexico?

    Interesting, will definitely keep reading.

  2. Hi N8,
    thanks for the comment. I am glad you understand the point I am making. It does seem a little absurd at times that we aren’t fighting a real entity. You’re right, our enemies come down to who defines terror (look out Mexico…Canada too? haha)

  3. […] giving a last ditch effort to “win” the war (which, by the way, is impossible since the war is on an adjective) by increasing our troops one last time.  We were told 30,000 troops then, and apparently that was […]

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