Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"War on Terror": More than a Metaphor

Whereas a good metaphor brings us closer to an otherwise abstract reality, bad metaphors obscure and thus impede our ability to deal with reality. America's war on terror, as George Soros explains in a recent essay, is a war misguided by the metaphor "war on terror," which is unsuited to the phenomena to which it is applied. His fourth point bears repeating:
The war on terror drives a wedge between "us" and "them." We are innocent victims. They are perpetrators. But we fail to notice that we also become perpetrators in the process; the rest of the world, however, does notice. That is how such a wide gap has arisen between America and much of the world.

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