This Dog has maintained since September 11, 2001, that the "war on terriors" was just another bit of electionering, fear mongering bogosity intended to raise more money for the "big government" defense and intelligence gathering operations and to provide cover for wars of aggression. Terror, in his view, is a violent act directed at the civilian population in order to frighten, demoralize, and ultimately alienate them from their leaders to such an extent that they force accommodation, if not capitulation, to the terrorists. Traditionally, because they direct their attacks against unsuspecting civilians, terrorists have been treated like criminals. That classification delegitimizes any claim they might have to ideological purity of purpose--properly so, because there is no justification, except perverse ones, for killing civilians, a prohibition that should cover nations at war as well. In fact, the Dog says put the fucks who are hot for a fight in a steel cage on a deserted island and let them have at it until no one is left standing, but that's another issue.
In his "Talk of the Town" for the May 15 New Yorker on the sentencing of Zacarias Moussaoui, the putative 20th September 11 hijacker to life in prison, rather than death, Hendrik Hertzberg observes, almost in passing, that the "war on terriors [sic]" has a large element of 'crime fighting.' Sadly, that's about as far as anyone in the mainstream press travels down the road not to Xanadu but to sanity. Journalists are in the business of reporting what is, after all, and there is a 'war on terriors,' declared by the Emperor Boy George, for whom the world turned after 9/11 primarily because he'd been caught bushbucking and fishing while the Osama schemed. In war, both the ideological idiots got the nonreality based crusade they wanted--a battle in the name of god as well as civilization. That's purity of purpose, to be sure.
But in accepting the Osama's grandiose vision and seeking to trump him--let it be said that the Emperor Boy George was to ignorant and arrogant to do anything else--the Emperor Boy George W., and the politicians and press who gleefully followed him into war--and let it be said that they were too cowed and cowardly, not too mention blindly vengeful, to do otherwise--gave "terror" and "terrorists" a standing as "enemy combatants" they should never have had.
Terrorists are criminals. They should be hunted down and brought to the bar of justice--or in extremis, shot, like mad dogs.
They are not treated that way because the sleeping Emperor Boy George in waking to the World Trade Center towers' collapse had either to admit the full depth of his failure or declare 9/11 the equivalent of Christ's birth--a signal event in world history, which the Emperor Boy George was chosen to interpret and avenge. In doing so, he provided reporters with the story of a lifetime--and no second thoughts in many of those cases until recently. The 'war on terriors' was their war, after all, their ticket to the Show.