Monday, April 19, 2004

A Dangerous Indulgence 

In the May/June issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, Kenneth Roth makes several good points regarding the "war on terror." Here are two excerpts:

"...the 'war against terrorism' is open-ended and global, allowing the U.S. government unilaterally to designate terrorism suspects as 'enemy combatants,' at home or abroad, and to summarily detain or kill them. That radical proposition jettisons the most basic guarantees of criminal justice, leaving our liberty and our lives protected only by the government's professions of good faith."

"If the government can unilaterally declare a global war without regard to an actual battlefield, there is nothing to stop it from, say, citing the 'war' on drug trafficking--a violent enterprise that kills far more Americans than terrorism--to summarily detain or kill suspected drug dealers. And one can also imagine 'wars' on crime, 'wars' on corruption, and so on. Detaching the notion of 'war' from a traditional battlefield is easy. But it is much too dangerous to indulge."

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