Acts of War, Acts of Terror

Things that have become muddled in the reasoning of our leaders, in their lexica, phraseology, in their presidential idioms, in the press, the media, and ultimately in our heads. To wit, I’m having a hard time this week distinguishing between the following. Are they clear to you?

An act of war
A terrorist act
An act of (self) defense
Pre-emptive strike
Preventive strike
An Insurgency
A terrorist
A Sectarian
Sovereign territory
Cessation of Hostilities

And conditions of the world today that worry me this morning…
–Russia’s rollback of “democracy”
–America’s rollback of “democracy”
–Iran funnels arms through Syria to Hezbollah
–Iran visits N Korea
–Japan would like to remilitarize
–China seems to have lost influence over N Korea
–Kim Jong Il’s hairdo
–Bush might have borderline personality disorder
–Bolton, at the UN, has been on TV more recently than Condi
–Iraq is in civil war
–Sunnis and Shi’ites are in it for the long haul
–a radicalized Islam and an entrenched West seem headed for a showdown of historical proportions
–the world’s resources are rapidly running out, and much of our oil is in unfriendly places
–a pandemic, natural disaster, or terrorist act could tank the US economy, rippling out into the world overnight
–we have no savings account for contingencies that are practically inevitable
–China sits on half our debt/currency
–we spend half the world’s money on arms
–Afghanistan and Iraq, and now Israel/Palestine, have been failures of foreign policy of catastrophic proportion

In short, precisely when we need to convene around shared problems and challenges, we’re using bullets, bombs, and shells as means of communication, unilateral action as a preferred mode of interaction, and executive privilege as reason and justification.

I had higher hopes than for a “might makes right” foreign policy.

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