“The recent arrests that our fellow citizens are now learning about are a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists,” President Bush said last week in Green Bay, Wis.
I think that using the term “Islamic fascists” is part of a strategy designed by conservatives to make political gains by invoking World War II metaphors.
The “war on terror,” war in Iraq and war in Lebanon have been lumped together under the unsaid label of World War III. Negotiation or diplomacy is deemed appeasement. The leaders of Iran and Hezbollah are like Adolf Hitler.
The glory of this metaphor is that it is extremely effective in garnering support. The crime of this metaphor is that it encapsulates simplistic dinosaur thinking.
Fighting the war on terror effectively means implementing progressive strategies like superior police work, intelligence gathering and the creation of alliances through diplomacy.
Relying on World War II metaphors, rhetoric and strategies may bolster approval ratings, but it has nothing to do with keeping our soldiers in Iraq and American citizens safe.