The expression 'war on terror' just drives people potty. I thought I'd seen everything in the way of feebleness about why you can't have such a thing as a war on terror, but I underestimated the ingenuities of the human thought process.
Timothy Garton Ash is a serious commentator. He writes consistently well, thoughtfully and informatively. In today's Guardian he writes a perfectly reasonable column against banning hate speech. And then he throws in this in his concluding paragraph:
It is as foolish and futile to try to criminalise a whole emotion as it is to aspire to defeat one in a war. (The "war on terror".)
It's news to me that defeating an emotion is one of the aims of the war on terror. Defeating jihadist terrorism; defeating organizations and movements wedded to terrorism as a tactic - these are rational objectives. But trying to defeat fear as such, or hate, or whatever other emotion it might be? That would be rather silly - as is Garton Ash's suggestion that it might be anyone's aim. (Thanks: E.)
(Amended at 8.45 pm. Thanks: MK / NR.)