On Sept. 20, 2001, President George Bush declared that the world was now engaged in a "war on terror." Up to that portentous day Presidents had declared wars on poverty, cancer and drugs, to name a few.
But the war on terror was supposed to be different. It was expected to follow the legacy of major historical military campaigns in American history. The belief was that we would somehow eradicate terrorism. Clearly this has not happened and there is no likelihood that it will ever happen.
Just following the daily news we are privy to the violence engendered by the war on terror: bombings, friendly-fire episodes, religious unrest (Sunni militants capturing Mosul) in a supposedly peaceful Iraq, civilian deaths, returning veterans suffering from physical and psychological disabilities, etc.
President Obama refers to the current chaos as the "overseas contingency operation" as opposed to the war on terror. This euphemistic terminology does not change the reality: Terrorism will not be easily eradicated. We need to think about it in new ways and with new expectations in hopes of a more peaceful future some day.
Salt Lake City
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