Saturday, October 09, 2004

Wars on Terror

According to the New York Times' "News Analysis" of the second presidential debate, President Bush made a "crisp rejoinder" in saying:

"The war on terror is to make sure that these terrorist organizations do not end up with weapons of mass destruction. That's what the war on terror is about."

Um. Well, it's a crisp rejoinder if you believe it, I guess, but I am still surprised that this statement hasn't received more critical analysis. The WoT is about WMD? Not "partly about", not "largely about", just "about". Not "WMD terrorism as a strategic risk" but "WMD terrorism as terrorism".

If I remember correctly, about three years ago about three thousand people, nearly all civilians, were killed in the United States using, um, hijacked civilian aeroplanes, in an incident which you might expect would have remained in public memory. One might innocently have thought that defence against such incidents would be what the WoT was "about".

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