The War on Terror. Read those words; The. War. On. Terror. Each word has a blunt finality about it, this is not A War on Terror, it is not The Struggle Against Terror, and it is not The War on Extremists or weapon wielding maniacs, or the policy to protect people. It is simply The War on Terror and it is propaganda.
Muslim, Jihad, Taliban, Al-Queda, we say these words and we listen to them, but we do not know what they mean and those that do have no interest in telling us. They are words in another language that most of us don't speak, references to a culture not our own, and when we hear them, we think of what we've been carefully guided to think of for the past 7 years. They too are propaganda.
Before September, 7 years ago, there was a different war. Perhaps some of you remember it; The War on Drugs. We don't hear about the War on Drugs anymore, but not because it's been won. There are still plenty of drug users everywhere, their dealers are still making hoards of money, and Law Officials are still struggling to shut down massive narcotic operations. Still there is no more War on Drugs. Why is this? Because the War on Drugs is just words, and those words were once propaganda but are no longer.
The War in Iraq, we hear these words and they sound tired. Some of us remember that there was a War in Iraq once before, but it isn't considered. This is not another War in Iraq, because that other one was so short we hardly even managed to catch the exciting parts on the nightly news. This War, the War in Iraq is not just words, it is not propaganda, it stopped being so when thousands of soldiers didn't come home, or came home crippled. It stopped being just words when the last glimmers of the former prosperity of the 90's was submerged by market insecurity and rising fuel costs. They stopped being just words when the Weapons of Mass Destruction, were not there… their leader was dead… but still no one came home, soldiers were still fighting and dying, but all the propaganda associated with it was gone.
Osama Bin Laden, is a man. He is responsible for the deaths of many American citizens, and he is in hiding. He is not just words, but he is propaganda as well. America's people are united in their hatred of Osama Bin Laden, his continued existence justifies enormous public expenditure towards The War on Terror. His continued existence justifies the suspension of habeas corpus, it justifies torture, it justifies the annihilation of the Fourth Amendment Constitutional Rights, and it justifies a national suspicion and borderline hatred of the largest and fastest growing religion in the world. Now what would happen if he were caught?
In a Democratic nation, propaganda is necessary. It creates a unified cultural identity and gives the nation a cause. If there is no cause than a nation will tear it's self apart squabbling over taxes and the cost of pies. Propaganda creates the illusion of a mutual enemy which unites the people and keeps the nation functioning. Democracy empowers any individual with a strong enough passion to change the course of his nation, but that's the problem. A ship can only go one direction, and if there are multiple rudders all guiding it in different directions the ship won't go anywhere and something could break. So steps must be taken to ensure that those multiple rudders are at the very least not all working against each other.
Democracy is a form of government, it is an ideal fostered thousands of years ago by men with a dream. "[It] is the worst form of Government, except [for] all the others" – and it is widely considered to be the best reason to be an American, or Canadian, British, French, Australian, or a number of other great nationalities. America can be proud that it was the nation that inspired the rest of the world to begin adopting this beneficent form of government. America lead by example and the world is a much better place for it today.
George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Carl Rove, are people, and they may yet be propaganda in the future. They are responsible for the deaths of many American citizens, and they are not in hiding. They were the creators of The War on Terror, they ordered the War in Iraq, and they have not captured Osama Bin Laden. However, they have used these things to erode, undermine and shame America's greatest legacy. The people who have been killed because of their actions are numerous, but worse is the compromise of the integrity of the nation which they have lead. They have successfully attacked America's ideals and destroyed elements of what make America great, they have violated it's laws, and tarnished it's reputation. And still they continue to do so every day, they tell us it is for our own good and we choose to believe them even though we know they are liars.
People say that America is being attacked, they say that it's enemies are growing stronger and that each person needs to realize this and take steps to protect their homes and families.
I whole-heartedly agree with those words.