War is used as an excuse more many abuses, particularly human rights abuses. War is often used as an argument for the necessity of other actions, usually objectionable.
"One has to wonder also about our tendency to declare war against various blights--drugs, terrorism, poverty, cancer. Too often invocation of the word "war" is used to stifle discussion and to redefine dissidents as traitors. Drug abuse is indeed a scourge, but collective hysteria is one of its most malignant symptoms" (Kellman, Steven G. "Just Say No to Peeing In a Cup." The Texas Observer, 6/20/03, p. 23).
"Like the term “communism” in the 1950s, “terrorism” is the most abused word in the English vocabulary today. In the era of the Patriot Act where all forms of dissent are denounced as terrorism, and terrorism is defined as an attempt to intimidate or influence government, the term is in danger of losing any meaning whatsoever...
"The corporate-state complex uses terms such as “violence” and “terrorist” as smokescreens, so that they can mask the real violence and terrorism directed from their [own] headquarters and legitimate their war against dissent. Once the state captures its target in the semantic crosshairs, they can pull the trigger of political repression" (Best, Steven. Email about ALF. 11-24-03).
7 deadly spins:
Spin #1: The Sleeping Giant: The U.S. minds its own business, but the sleeping giant is eventually provoked.
Spin #2: Good Wars: Once forced into war, the U.S. only does so in the name of Democracy and justice.
Spin #3: U.S. vs. Them: Terrorists, evildoers and more-the U.S. has faced off against the worst humanity has to offer.
Spin #4: Support the Troops: No matter what we think, we all unite behind our troops once the fighting starts.
Spin #5: The Devil Made U.S. Do It: During war, even the U.S. has to play a little rough.
Spin #6: Surgical Strikes: Those billion-dollar weapons can differentiate between the guilty and the innocent.
Spin #7: Only Losers Commit War Crimes: Enemies of the U.S. must be brought to justice. (from the book The Seven Deadly Spins: Exposing the Lies Behind War Propaganda, By Mickey Z).
Colby Glass, MLIS