It’s impossible to declare war against terrorism won or lost

First the war was about weapons of mass destruction. Then it was about regime change.

The first was never fought, the second has been won.

But the "coalition of the willing" is still battling on; now it’s part of Bush’s "war on terrorism", a war many thought as misguided, to say the least.

In war you need a definable enemy.

As such, terrorism is undefinable, it lacks substance.

If terrorism can be defined as violent reaction to established authority, such as we see in Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland, Israel, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India or wherever, it is far more widely spread than is al-Qaeda alone (assuming that particular virus can be isolated). Terrorism is inherent in us humans.

Rebellious youth is a mild form of the disease.

It is as incurable as the common cold.

The best we can do is to treat the symptoms.

It is impossible to declare the war against terrorism as won or lost.

The virus will persist.

The "coalition of the willing" just has to lump it and limp home from Iraq as tidily and as soon as possible.

It is currently the established power against which elements of all sides in Iraq are pitted.

When that foreign irritant has gone, then the Iraqis may more clearly appreciate the futility of inter-communal strife.
Basil Johnson, Weston (Canberra Times letter)

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