Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Long War.

Naming wars used to be easy. War of the Roses, the Spanish succession, Korean, Vietnam, civil wars (various), the World Wars (a couple thereof). Some only took on their name long after the event(s) - eg the 100 years war. What used to be called the 'War on Terror' seems to be acquiring a new name - The Long War.

When did it start? 9/11 (September the 9th 2001?). Earlier? The 1st WTC attack, or the Beirut bombing?

'SourceWatch' quotes some people who ought to know a bit about this conflict;

Newt Gingrich, speaking at the (US) National Press Club on August 21, 2005, put it this way;
"'The sheer reality of the long war — I call it long war deliberately — (is) we're going to be fighting the irreconcilable wing of Islam for at least 50 to 70 years,'" Gingrich said. "'And ... my biggest complaint is nobody has yet to stand up and say this is going to be really hard, this is going to take a long time,' he added in response to questions after the speech."
"'We are faced with a long war with the irreconcilable wing of Islam,' he said. 'They really do want a different world than we're going to live in and, therefore, one side or the other is going to win because it's not negotiable.".

The Cold War lasted from 1945 til 1989 (or '91 depending on which source you read). My time in uniform was during that era. Sadly, it's looking like as that was our war - which occasionally went from cold to hot - for example in Korea and Vietnam - then this will be the one our children largely will have to fight. (I don't feel comfortable with that - perhaps some of we oldies should think about putting that uniform back on - if we aren't already considered too old?).
Perhaps to see what the future holds we need to ask some 'what if' questions?

Would terrorists like to strike again? (I believe the answer is Yes - they want to hit and hurt those they hate as severely as possble).
What would/will be the eraction if they do? (That answer would vary, the reaction of Spain and the Philippines was different to that of the US, UK and Australia to getting hit - but the best pointer to likely reaction to another 9/11 type attack is, I believe, foreshadowed by the reaction to Pearl Harbour - which heralded the US entry as a serious player into WW2).
What happens to the terrorist's sponsor states when their oil starts to run out? How long can those sponsor states stay in the shadows? (Is that merely a measure of the Wests patience?).
How will the 'Long War', and it's influence on our economies, and the laws it spawns - and their effects on rights and freedoms - mold our societies?

All questions worth pondering.

And while you ponder 9/11, and Bali One and Bali Two, and the London Bombings, watch this.


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