Last Sunday the Washington Post published a poorly argued op-ed critique of Zbignew Brzezinski’s claim that the “war on terror” is anything but. Now the Hoover Institute’s V.D.Hanson shows that he can do Chertoff one better. He can claim that those who reject the term or the metaphor for the war on terror want thereby to abandon the efforts against terrorists. He writes:
> Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, goes further, assuring us that we are terrorized mostly by the false idea of a war on terror — not the jihadists themselves.
>Even one-time neo-conservative Francis Fukuyama, who called for the preemptive removal of Saddam Hussein in 1998, believes “war” is the “wrong metaphor” for our struggle against terrorists.
>Others point out that motley Islamic terrorists lack the resources of the Nazi Wehrmacht or the Soviet Union.
>This thinking may seem understandable given the ineffectiveness of Al Qaeda to kill many Americans after Sept. 11. Or it may also reflect hopes that if we only leave Iraq, radical Islam would wither away. But it is dead wrong for a number of reasons.
>First, Islamic terrorists plotting attacks are arrested periodically in Europe and the United States. Last week, a leaked British report detailed Al Qaeda’s plans for future “large-scale” operations. We shouldn’t be blamed for being alarmist when our alarmism has resulted in our safety at home for the past five years.
How stupid is that? If we have learned anything–which we obviously haven’t–terrorists are not dissuaded by firey rhetoric and Churchillian war metaphors. One might even argue that they are inspired by the privilege of waging war with us. Perhaps we should just let them be the criminal thugs they are and let the police deal with them.