March 13, 2013

On "War"

I was watching an interview Obama had with George Stephanopolis wherein GS was asking about the discovery that China was allegedly supporting a surge in hacking and internet based intrusions into American businesses, government agencies and individuals. The PLA (Peoples' Liberation Army) evidently has an entire division dedicated to this process.

George asked the Pres if he thought this meant we were in a "cyber war" with China. Obama, to his credit, declined to call it a "war" but stressed that it could not be allowed to continue.

This post is not about that.

Rather, it got me thinking about the overuse of the term itself. We use the term war so often that it has lost all meaning. No matter what your viewpoint, it seems that anyone that has the temerity to oppose or even attempt to modify it has declared "war" on it.

For example: Every fall, we see from Christians a resurgence of their claim that there is a "War on Christmas!"* Completely disregarding the fact that unless one lives in a cave on a remote island somewhere beyond the reach of flotsam from the developed world, one is going to find some reference to the Christian holiday. Of course, to be even handed, some Christians cite the commercialization of the holiday as one of the battles going on to destroy the "true meaning" of the holiday. whatever the rationale, it does not meet the definition of a "war."

We hear once again of, "class warfare." What exactly does this mean? Are the poor lopping off heads a la 1789 France? Are the oligarchy sending in troops to enslave the lower classes? I think we are long overdue for a re-think of what it means to be successful, and that there has to be some kind of social restructuring but that discussion still doesn't meet the definition of a "war."

Please, people! Stop overusing this freaking word. If you say "war" use the term correctly. It is NOT a debate, no matter how heated, on any subject unless it involves machine guns.

*We won't even get into the whole "War on Christianity" thing. That deserves a post of its own on the Christian persecution complex.

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