A War by Any Other Name
Juan Cole articulated exactly my feelings about the casual use of the word “war” by so many people who are supposed to be smart [“No Cause for War,” Dec. 14]. It’s a disgrace to the memory of anyone who fought and died in a real war to elevate the cutthroats in ISIS to comparable status when there is no comparison. Thank you for an excellent article.
st. cloud, fla.
Exceptionally well stated by Juan Cole, who I’ve come to believe might be the only person who really understands what’s happening. He’s quite right: These petty thugs can hardly be raised to the level of soldiers. And what state? Certainly not anything “Islamic,” nor any other form of state as we generally understand the term. Still, I’m not entirely sure that at least two states aren’t on the edge of history’s dust bin—namely, Iraq and Syria.
What is it, then, when innocent people are slaughtered? It is war, whether Juan Cole likes it or not. War has been declared, and you better get ready. In San Bernardino, police forces had to use armored vehicles to take out two terrorists. What if, instead of two, there had been a dozen, as in Paris? What if there had been a thousand terrorists? The scope of such an attack Juan Cole cannot imagine, and neither can I, but it is coming.
Worldwide, terrorists number in the hundreds of thousands, armed to the teeth—jihadis of all sorts: ISIS (or is it ISIL?), the Taliban, Boko Haram, and others as yet unnamed. These are not biker gangs, as Cole seems to think. They are not going away with a change of social conditions. They are ideologically driven fanatics.
The president of France gets it. I get it. Why doesn’t Juan Cole get it? O, that Christopher Hitchens were still here!
san jose, calif.
I was surprised and puzzled by The Nation’s November 2 article on US government debt, written by Mike Konczal [“Debt-Fix and Chill”]. It is not only that the numbers cited are wrong, but that they give comfort to Republican efforts to undermine citizens’ trust in their government. I expect such from left and right newspapers alike (The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal use the same numbers for their own purposes), but not from The Nation. I can forgive its writers on the grounds that they know not what they do.