It's 9/11--6 years Later

In honor of the people killed on 9/11 or fighting in the Iraqi theatre, I've posted Paul Mulshine's The neocons are losing their war (The Star Ledger - 9.11.07).

Those deep thinkers known as the neoconservatives like to make comparisons between the so-called "war on terror" and World War II.

Very well then, here's a comparison.

Six years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Adolf Hitler had already been dead and gone for 2 1/2 years. By that time, the United States had raised and trained a military of 16 million. By Dec. 7, 1947, much of that force had been disbanded because the enemy had been so thoroughly defeated.

"Democracy is like terrorism," says retired Gen. William Odom. "It's a sort of propaganda word that leads you into stupid policies."

But today, six years after the incident that began the war on terror, Osama bin Laden is alive and kicking. As for al Qaeda, it is no longer hiding in the hills of Afghanistan but instead is on the verge of taking over Iraq -- at least in the fevered minds of some neocons. Meanwhile, a commission reported the other day that it will take an additional 12 to 18 months to complete the training of an Iraqi security force that is one-50th the size of the forces the U.S. trained in World War II.

That highlights the true comparison between the war on terror and World War II. In World War II, we fought a total war against specific enemies. But in the aftermath of 9/11, George W. Bush embarked on war against one abstraction, terror, in favor of another abstraction, democracy.


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