every woman adores a fascist -- sylvia plath

Friday, October 29, 2004

Adapt or Die

A lot of people don't comprehend that "wars" are not only between nations. They'll say that the War On Terror, most importantly, isn't really a war because Al Qaeda isn't a nation, and therefore is not something we can fight a war against. The problem with their thinking is that they would then have to state that it would be impossible for Al Qaeda to declare war on the US since Al Qaeda isn't a nation, as well. But Al Qaeda IS fighting a war against us. Much like the mercenaries of 16th Century Italy, the wars are fought regardless of national association.

This thinking, that wars can only be fought between nations, comes from modern history and modern political philosophy. In the last 300 years, the nation(-state) has been the ultimate political actor in world history. Even the most educated of political theorists could properly come to assume that, indeed, wars are fought exclusively between nations.

Unfortunately, allowing past wars to define our present or future ones is the kind of mistake that leads to total defeat. Why else would the French build the Maginot Line after WWI? They figured the next war would be just like the last one (trench warfare). Instead, Hitler redefined the way war was fought and trounced France (and the rest of Europe) handily.

Al Qaeda has redefined the war. We can either adapt or die.