Dismembering the War on Drugs
If wars are irreducible to elements of physical combat and drugs to their chemical composition, then the so-called “War on Drugs” is at best a slippery shibboleth, at worst, a misnomer. If war is a metaphor and if “metaphors can kill,” as U.C. Berkeley linguist George Lakoff famously reminds us, then what would it mean to find ourselves dismembered by a figure of speech? Moreover, if war can be characterized as “politics pursued by other means,” then how are we to offer a non-trivializing account of the lurid and irreversible realities of military combat? Fascinatingly enough, interpretive hints can be uncovered in official U.S. Department of Defense nomenclature.
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