Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Perpetual War is the Bigger Threat

Conor Friedersdorf is exactly right when he writes at the Atlantic that Bush's perpetual war is a bigger threat to the U.S. than terrorism.
Our thought process is as follows: terrorism is a threat, and it justifies waging war anywhere on earth where there are terrorists. As we all know, however, it's impossible to kill every last terrorist. Thus the war on terrorism rolls on. Even if we leave Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, it'll continue.

Give the hawks their due: terrorism is an ongoing threat to the United States. In fact, it's likely to pose a bigger threat with every year that passes, insofar as technological advances are permitting people with meager resources to obtain ever deadlier weapons. Heaven forbid they get a nuke or a killer virus. What the hawks fail to recognize, however, is that perpetual war poses a bigger threat to the citizenry of a superpower than does terrorism. Already it is helping to bankrupt us financially, undermining our civil liberties, corroding our values, triggering abusive prosecutions, empowering the executive branch in ways that are anathema to the system of checks and balances implemented by the Founders, and causing us to degrade one another.
And he's also right when he says Obama has not done enough to bring the country back to a rational place in our so-called 'War on Terror' or to define a victory.

You can follow Conor on Twitter @conor64

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