We’re The Definers, So We Get To Define

We Americans and our Israeli soul mates are quick to denounce terrorists. We of course won’t negotiate with terrorists. Heck, we even call it the “war on terror.”

It’s a convenient refrain, as long as you get to define terror. And we do. As George W. would say, “we’re the definers, so we get to define.”

But consider how it looks under a different, dare I say, more clinical, definition of terror. Here’s Chris Hedges in The Terror We Give Is the Terror We Get:

We fire missiles from the sky that incinerate families huddled in their houses. They incinerate a pilot cowering in a cage. We torture hostages in our black sites and choke them to death by stuffing rags down their throats. They torture hostages in squalid hovels and behead them. We organize Shiite death squads to kill Sunnis. They organize Sunni death squads to kill Shiites. We produce high-budget films such as “American Sniper” to glorify our war crimes. They produce inspirational videos to glorify their twisted version of jihad.

The barbarism we condemn is the barbarism we commit. The line that separates us from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is technological, not moral. We are those we fight.

So, are we the only side that is fighting a “war on terror”? Hedges:

Terror—the terror we commit and the terror done to us—feeds the lusts for war. It is a recruiting tool for war’s crusade. If ISIS were not brutal it would have to be made to seem brutal. It is the luck of the fanatics we oppose, and the fanatics in our midst, that everyone’s propaganda needs are amply met.

Of course not, because, as Hedges concludes, “terror is the engine of war. And terror is what all sides in this conflict produce in overabundance.”