"And Men Shall Learn War No More"
From Sisu we learn that Western civilization has finally gotten rid of the "W" word.
"Britain stops talk of 'war on terror,'" headlines a Guardian article, apparently pleased as punch that the Foreign Office can no longer stomach the calling of a spade a spade:
Many senior British politicians and counter-terrorism specialists have always been uneasy with the term 'the war on terror', coined by Bushitler the White House in the week following the 9/11 attacks, arguing that the term risked inflaming hot-headed Islamofascists opinions worldwide. Other critics said that it was too 'military' and did not adequately describe the nature of the diverse efforts made to counter the new threat.
A recent Belmont Club post noted that British troops hurt in Afghanistan and Iraq are now eligible for compensation under the same program that awards damages to personnel who are mugged or robbed because casualties are considered victims of crime.
All those injured fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, but who have decided to remain in the Army, could be entitled to lodge claims with the newly revised Armed Forces' Criminal Injury Compensation (overseas) scheme. ... The new ruling and expansion of compensation to the Iraq and Afghan conflicts means insurgents or terrorists launching surprise attacks and sabotage missions are also regarded as criminals and not enemy troops. It is thought the only circumstances where troops injured in Iraq and Afghanistan would not be eligible for criminal compensation is when they were involved in pre-arranged, offensive operations directly targeting insurgents.
From the financial point of view, it makes better sense to be hurt waiting for an enemy surprise attack than to engage in "offensive operations directly targeting insurgents". Insurgents, on the other hands, are transformed into "criminals" presumably with all the advantages of the criminal justice system, if they engage in surprise attacks on British troops. However, they revert to being "insurgents" if they are taken in their safe houses preparing nail-bombs. In some universe this makes sense, and doubtless it does. The question is whether this universe bears any resemblance to the one we live in. Beg your pardon, it is the universe we currently inhabit.
It has occurred to me that perhaps all the words of war have truly vanished from the lexicon and that it is I -- not the liberal pundits --who truly does not understand that an epochal change has taken place. That the old givens: us, them, victory, defeat, battlefields, soldiers, nations, loyalties -- are no more. After all, the abolition of these concepts follows logically from the view that God, King and Country are all pernicious illusions.
But I think I give them too much credit. It seems more likely that the aversion to the notions of victory, borders and culture is not the product of conscious thought: that would be too startling; but arises spontaneously from an accumulations of nights at certain cafes, uncounted evenings at art galleries; from the weight of a thousand cocktail conversations. In other words, from a certain zeitgeist that has no room for all the old words and any of the old gods.