When terrorists tried to blow up civilians in London and Glasgow, Gordon Brown, the new British prime minister, responded in his own distinctive way.
What had just been narrowly averted, he said, was not a new jihadist act of war but instead a criminal act. As if to underscore the point, Brown instructed his ministers that the phrase "war on terror" was no longer to be used and, indeed, that officials were no longer even to employ the word "Muslim" in connection with the terrorism crisis.
President Bush could not be reached for comment, but Tony Snow repeated Bush's famous statement which Bush made four years ago, "Mission Accomplished". When Snow was pressed as to what mission was accomplished, Snow just said, "The mission which the President was referring to," and ended the press conference. When the Speaker of The House, Nancy Pelosi, was asked if she thought the War On Terror was over, she said:
"As Democrats, I can tell you that impeachment is off the table and we will continue to fund policies which we think are detrimental to the American People because we have to support our troops who are dying and being injured. We Democrats understand that the immoral and pre-emptive war in Iraq has lost the support of the American people and the countries around the world. However, the people who bankroll our campaigns, the Weapons Manufacturers and Corporate Contractors, who rebuild what we knock down, think that our invasion of Iraq was good for business. It was so good for business that they are urging us now to move on to Iran. If it will get us elected, we might be willing to support it."
Gordon Brown said that he will not be Bush's or Pelosi's lap dog unlike his predecessor, Tony Blair. "These guys are crooks and criminals," but Brown would not clarify if he was talking about the guys who were trying to bomb the subways or American and former British politicians.
At any rate, the War on Terror is over, and so we will now pursue criminals like Timothy McVeigh unless the Republicans and the Democrats think that it is in their political interest to continue the "War" metaphor. Pelosi, Reid, Bush, Cheney, and Rove seem to agree that the American people are pretty gullible and as long as you keep them living in fear, believing that another terrorist attack is just around the corner, they will surrender their freedoms, their money, and their votes for the protection which they so desperately think they need.