It seems we're a nation preoccupied with war, so I checked with Wikipedia and found that there aren't many spans of peace in our history. We start with the Revolution and end with Iraq, and in between, there's The War of 1812, Spanish-American, Mexican-American, WW I, WW II, Korea, Viet Nam, Gulf I, not to mention all of the Indian Wars and those things they call "Incidents" that aren't really wars even though people die and things get destroyed. There aren't quite as many Incidents as there are Operations. Operations are rather like sub-wars, a part of The Big Picture, but not THE Big Picture.
Then we had The Cold War, which succeeded in convincing every school kid that they could survive a nuclear blast by hiding under their desk. Duck and Cover. Better to be Dead than Red.
Then, The Wars On Drugs and Crime, which I think are still being waged but we're losing.
Terror is a pronounced state of fear, an overwhelming sense of imminent danger. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/terror
Terrorism is the systematic use, or threatened use, of violence to intimidate a population or government and thereby effect political, religious or ideological change. Acts of terrorism are not intended to merely victimize or eliminate those who are killed, injured or taken hostage but rather to intimidate and influence the societies to which they belong. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/terrorist
Terrorist: One who engages in terrorism, a broad and controversial category of acts, usually involving the use of fear tactics against a population. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/terrorist_%28disambiguation%29
It's easy to confuse which side of this war we're on. Does that "intimidation and influence" translate to "watch out, or I'm going hurt you"? Or can it also be, "watch out, or they're going to hurt you"? The result is the same: instilling fear aimed at control and change.
The Bush administration is very good at this type of terrorist activity. Since 9/11, the world's population has been terrorized by the images of the Twin Towers crumbling, plumes of debris flowing down the streets of Manhattan, NY Firemen covered in white dust and ash.
A face was attached to that day the face of Osama bin Laden. In five years, the finest military on the planet has been unable to catch the world's most wanted man. Through two armed invasions, Afghanistan and Iraq, both fought to safeguard democracy in the world, this superhero of terrorism has succeeded in eluding capture. That's pretty impressive. In truth, if bin Laden were captured, the image of terrorism, that mental picture that comes to mind at the mere sound of the word, would be lost. Is it really to NeoCon's best interest to find this guy?
Pardon my digression. Back to War.
War is a very profitable enterprise. The Pentagon Budget for 2007 is $440 billion, which is actually more than the combined budgets of the next twenty-five most powerful nations. $6.00 to the military for every $1.00 spent on homeland security, diplomacy, foreign aid, and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Interesting ratio. I wonder where affordable housing, health care, education and the arts fall.
On the Pentagon's wish list are such revolutionary weapons as a fighter plane that can land on an aircraft carrier or descend vertically to the ground; a radar-evading destroyer that can wallow low in the waves like a submarine while aiming precise rounds at enemy targets 200 miles inland; and a compact "isomer" weapon that could tap the metallic chemical element hafnium to release 10,000 times as much energy per gram as TNT.
But this isn't real money, after all. It's just a figure that goes into that thing we call the National Debt.
$440 billion in defense spending. Defending against what? An invasion? Looks like we do most of the invading, and if we accept the government's take on 9/11, those guys had to borrow the planes to carry it off. It's not as if we were invaded by a foreign air force, or troops landed on Long Island. Does Al Queda even have a navy?