The White House says that the War on Terror is over. Does this mean we can stop accosting 4-year old girls at airports now? Does this mean we can stop flying drones over American soil? Does this mean that everyone can come home? Does this mean that we can go back to living the way we did on September 10, 2001? Probably not.
I first read 1984 during the Cold War. At the time, I assumed that it was a cautionary tale about the dangers of socialism and a battle cry for us soldiers of capitalism and freedom. It felt good to be on the winning side. 25 years on, I re-read the book and it felt different. It felt quite a bit closer to home and it made me just a little queasy. "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." Mr. Orwell's cautionary tale was never intended to be a how-to manual for a modern, first-world government. (Let's pray that no one in Washington gets any crazy ideas from Niccolo Machiavelli's Il Principe)
Now, I'm not wearing a tin-foil hat yet and I'm not tuning in to the paranoid rants of Alex Jones or Glenn Beck, either. I do believe, however, that we've given up quite a bit in this "war" and if it is indeed over, then we deserve to have some of that which we have given returned to us. Until we get back the freedoms that we gave up after September 11th, this war isn't over -- even if you want it.