The Bizarre, Evolving, Contradictory War on Terror

President Bush says that Iraq is now the central focus of the "war on terror". But what war is going on in Iraq? Is the current fighting not a response by Iraqis and some Arab friends to the invasion of their sovereign nation by the U.S. and its dwindling coalition? There would be no war at all in Iraq in 2005 if President George W. Bush had coveted Iraq’s resources and sent in the U.S. military in armed invasion in a resource war.

However, if President Bush considers this current fighting as part of the "war on terror", then how does he explain the Russian invasion of Afghanistan decades ago, and the U.S. response to that invasion? After all, did the U.S. not support Afghan and Arab resistance to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, including direct cooperation, arming and funding of the same forces that went on to become known as Al Qaeda?

So, if Al Qaeda were freedom fighters against the Russians in Afghanistan, then they must be freedom fighters in Iraq against the U.S. Or, if Al Qaeda are terrorists against the Americans in Iraq, then they must have been terrorists in Afghanistan, when we armed and supported them.

Apparently, "terrorism" is a very flexible term. It seems to be a situational term, one that demonizes anyone America wants to demonize, even if the same exact persons called terrorists were formerly allied with us and armed and financially aided by us for engaging in the same exact behaviors for which they become labeled as terrorists.

Of course, this is nothing new. Ariel Sharon and Menachim Begin were formerly known as terrorists against the British Empire, and then became U.S. allies, though most of the civilized world still considers them as terrorists against the Palestinian people. Many people consider George W. Bush to be the Number One terrorist in the world. Osama bin Laden was a freedom fighter, a mujihadeen against Russia, but against America he is a terrorist. With such flexible definitions of "terrorism" it seems that everyone is someone else’s terrorist and no one is.