Dismembering the War on Drugs

Posted April 18th, 2012 by Mattfree88

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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