We need a better definition of war

The US government has declared war on terrorism after 9/11. For George Bush this litterally meant war, including the right to kill anyone suspected of terrorist activities anywhere in the world and so it does for Barack Obama. Terrorists or supposed terrorists have been killed as recently as last Friday on the Arabian Peninsula. From a distance. In cold blood. Without trial. By a democracy.

My question is: how can democracies convince authoritarian states to become more transparent and fair if they behave like dictatorships themselves? Even if terror is to be fought with all means, killing suspects without a fair trial should be out of the question for a president most of us hoped would be different. Different as in more human, against torture, against violent answers to violent provocations, in favor of justice and equal rights. But no. Obama kept Guantanamo Bay, keeps defending the CIA methods of kidnapping, torturing and questioning at large, does not intervene when people are eliminated and all of this because the US has unilaterally declared war on all those who are in its way. We need a better definition of war and of terrorism. Above all, we need to understand that killing suspects endangers the image of the West in those countries where we would like change to occur (e.g. Pakistan, Afghanistan Irak, Iran, Venezuela, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Congo DR, Burma, Chad etc. etc.)  Killing suspects will not stop terrorism, it will encourage it.

Being an example for a better world, like the US and Obama are pretending to be,  means saying no to medieval methods of revenge.  Where are the voices of NGO’s, politicians, intellectuals, artists, students, mothers?

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