Listening to Bill Maher’s show from last week, the discussion of how to combat ISIL leads the main part of the show. Everyone vociferously argues whether America should be the world’s police, whether ISIL is a threat to American soil, one guy (the general, I believe) says “We cant ignore this fight” because this time it’s the really important, all-or-nothing battle for the preservation and existence of America, unlike every previous really important, all-or-nothing battle for the preservation and existence of America like the fight against the Taliban or the invasion of Iraq.

And no one even brings up the idea that taking the fight to ISIL can be done in any way other than direct military action like bombings. It’s just ‘Should we have a new war against the latest banner Muslim extremists rally around?’ This is what I was talking about yesterday, America’s foreign policy can only look at everything as ‘Bomb this or be considered cowards for not bombing this?’

The War on Terror cannot be ‘won’ because terrorism is not an organization or country or any body made up of specific adherents. Terrorism is a tactic, a tactic that will always be used by people in certain situations and with certain motivations and goals.

We are 13 years into the War on Terror now and it is staggering how few people seem to understand this. I am using this cartoon as an illustration of the lack of understanding but there are many others I could have used. So many other cartoons that present ISIL as a specific, centralized body and our objective as nothing more than to sufficiently neutralize them and then we win.

It’s the exact same mindset we had with al Qaeda for over a decade, until ISIL recently supplanted them as the face of terrorism. And if/when ISIL is put down there will be another group to take their place, whether because they are as efficient as ISIL or because the American media will trump them up to the level of ISIL because, if this isn’t already clear, we need a face for terrorism. We, the American public, need to have this ‘war’ framed as an actual war, America vs. This One Group.

Combatting terrorism, finding and preventing acts of terrorism, is not a movie-ready combat experience like war was in the past. But that doesn’t deter politicians and the media from crafting a narrative like it. And as long as we the public go along with this, we will continue to misunderstand what objectives are and how to go about them. Fighting terrorism does not require the military build-up fighting a war does, but we still spend trillions on aircraft carriers and jet planes and other vehicles and equipment that don’t have the efficacy in fighting terrorism that intelligence gathering and scaled-down operations like the hit on bin Laden do.

It’s the repetition that gets to me. We’ve heard this song before but people act as if it’s new, same as the Eric Holder thing I talked about a couple days ago. American politics is Groundhog Day but none of us are Bill Murray. We’re the people going through the exact same motions again and again and again.

The War on Terror cannot be ‘won’ because terrorism is not an organization or country or any body made up of specific adherents. Terrorism is a tactic, a tactic that will always be used by people in certain situations and with certain motivations and goals.

We are 13 years into the War on Terror now and it is staggering how few people seem to understand this. I am using this cartoon as an illustration of the lack of understanding but there are many others I could have used. So many other cartoons that present ISIL as a specific, centralized body and our objective as nothing more than to sufficiently neutralize them and then we win.

It’s the exact same mindset we had with al Qaeda for over a decade, until ISIL recently supplanted them as the face of terrorism. And if/when ISIL is put down there will be another group to take their place, whether because they are as efficient as ISIL or because the American media will trump them up to the level of ISIL because, if this isn’t already clear, we need a face for terrorism. We, the American public, need to have this ‘war’ framed as an actual war, America vs. This One Group.

Combatting terrorism, finding and preventing acts of terrorism, is not a movie-ready combat experience like war was in the past. But that doesn’t deter politicians and the media from crafting a narrative like it. And as long as we the public go along with this, we will continue to misunderstand what objectives are and how to go about them. Fighting terrorism does not require the military build-up fighting a war does, but we still spend trillions on aircraft carriers and jet planes and other vehicles and equipment that don’t have the efficacy in fighting terrorism that intelligence gathering and scaled-down operations like the hit on bin Laden do.

It’s the repetition that gets to me. We’ve heard this song before but people act as if it’s new, same as the Eric Holder thing I talked about a couple days ago. American politics is Groundhog Day but none of us are Bill Murray. We’re the people going through the exact same motions again and again and again.

Hopefully that last post didn’t turn up on people’s dashboards 7 or 8 times. Kept trying to upload it but Tumblr was having troubles.

"Here are two stories that are in the news right now. I have nothing to say about either of them, but perhaps by combining them into one image I can give the impression I am making a comment about current events."
-Bill Day (and far too many other editorial cartoonists)

"Here are two stories that are in the news right now. I have nothing to say about either of them, but perhaps by combining them into one image I can give the impression I am making a comment about current events."
-Bill Day (and far too many other editorial cartoonists)

"Here are two stories that are in the news right now. I have nothing to say about either of them, but perhaps by combining them into one image I can give the impression I am making a comment about current events."
-Bill Day (and far too many other editorial cartoonists)

"Here are two stories that are in the news right now. I have nothing to say about either of them, but perhaps by combining them into one image I can give the impression I am making a comment about current events."
-Bill Day (and far too many other editorial cartoonists)

"Here are two stories that are in the news right now. I have nothing to say about either of them, but perhaps by combining them into one image I can give the impression I am making a comment about current events."
-Bill Day (and far too many other editorial cartoonists)

"Here are two stories that are in the news right now. I have nothing to say about either of them, but perhaps by combining them into one image I can give the impression I am making a comment about current events."
-Bill Day (and far too many other editorial cartoonists)

"Here are two stories that are in the news right now. I have nothing to say about either of them, but perhaps if I combine them into one image it will seem like I am presenting some sort of opinion."
-Bill Day (and far too many other editorial cartoonists)

"Here are two stories that are in the news right now. I have nothing to say about either of them, but perhaps if I combine them into one image it will seem like I am presenting some sort of opinion."
-Bill Day (and far too many other editorial cartoonists)

"Here are two stories that are in the news right now. I have nothing to say about either of them, but perhaps if I combine them into one image it will seem like I am presenting some sort of opinion."
-Bill Day (and far too many other editorial cartoonists)

"Here are two stories that are in the news right now. I have nothing to say about either of them, but perhaps if I combine them into one image it will seem like I am presenting some sort of opinion."
-Bill Day (and far too many other editorial cartoonists)

"Here are two stories that are in the news right now. I have nothing to say about either of them, but perhaps if I combine them into one image it will seem like I am presenting some sort of opinion."
-Bill Day (and far too many other editorial cartoonists)

"Here are two stories that are in the news right now. I have nothing to say about either of them, but perhaps if I combine them into one image it will seem like I am presenting some sort of opinion."
-Bill Day (and far too many other editorial cartoonists)

"Here are two stories that are in the news right now. I have nothing to say about either of them, but perhaps if I combine them into one image it will seem like I am presenting some sort of opinion."
-Bill Day (and far too many other editorial cartoonists)

"Here are two stories that are in the news right now. I have nothing to say about either of them, but perhaps if I combine them into one image it will seem like I am presenting some sort of opinion."
-Bill Day (and far too many other editorial cartoonists)