"Bin Laden was a self-mythologized figure of no historic standing until George W. Bush designated him America's equal by defining 9/11 as an act of war to be met with war, instead of a crime to be met with criminal justice."This quote got me thinking again about being "at war," and the President being a "war President." The bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City was an act of terrorism carried out by a small group of people in order to effect political change. So were the attacks of 9/11. Why was one an act of war, and the other not?
-James Carroll, The Boston Globe, Jan. 30, 2006
Exercising my infamous hyperbole, why didn't we bomb wherever we thought McVeigh's associates could be hiding? Why didn't we round up all their families and associates, and imprison them without representation at secret sites until they divulged all they knew? Why wasn't the OKC bombing the beginning of the "War on Anti-Government Extremism"? This of course would result in the routing and killing of hundreds of militia members across the nation. After all, their anti-government views are an imminent danger to the society.
Why didn't this happen? Where's the difference?
UPDATE: More thought-provoking stuff on war here and here at Digby's place. One snippet:
The fevered one-handed war blogging and the endless evocations of pre-9/11 and post 9/11 thinking reminds me of nothing so much as people who are hooked on a stimulating drug.