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Time for War on the War on Terror

The business of the United States has come to be none of our business. Most disheartening and gut-punching about Bush's strongman tactics is the ease with which he pulled it off. The war mongering was recognized, analyzed and written about from the start & ndash; but chest thumping trumps rational argument in a primate world.

The spectacular plotting, execution and images of 9/11 gave terrorism a new brand name & ndash; global jihadism.

But terrorism was a paramagnet global reality before 9/11. Modern technology grants any psychotic individual (the sad, the depressed, the lonely, the righteous, the evil, the misguided, the disgruntled) the ability to air their grievances by way of catastrophic violence. (What weapons of mass destruction will the brooding, computer savvy teenager of 2108 be able to manufacture in his bedroom?) The threat of terrorism is a discomfort Earthlings will have to live with forever. Does this then mean that the War on Terrorism must last forever? Does this mean every future U.S. president will be a Wartime President?

The War on Terror is incoherent, little more than a semantic dodge. Just like the War on Drugs and The War on Poverty & ndash; the War on Terror is a convenient political slogan that has transformed the Executive branch into something monstrously powerful.

Historically, presidents don't like to relinquish powers that their predecessors gained for the office. The next president, Democrat or Republican, will have a great many difficult choices. None more important than restoring the system of checks and balances & ndash; and shining light on undisclosed locations and policies.

The red phone is ringing and it's time for the next President to pick it up on day one and announce that The War on Terror is over. Maybe then we can get back to the business of protecting the United States from future attacks.

- Citizen Voices blogger Chris McConnell is a bookseller, freelance writer, & former & high school & English teacher & and odd jobber who lives in La Jolla.

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