Javier Marías is the author of “Dark Back of Time.”, and makes an interesting argument right at the end of the piece, I am inclined to agree with him.
Here in Spain, we don’t feel as if we are at war because we aren’t. And neither are the inhabitants of the United States, however vociferously many Americans may insist that they are.
War is something else entirely. No semi-normal life can be led while a war is going on. The residents of Madrid who lived through the siege of their city between 1936 and 1939 know that very well. The survivors of the daily bombardments of London during World War II know it, too. And those Americans who participated in that war know it, also.
There is no war against terrorism. There can be no such thing against an enemy that remains dormant most of the time and is almost never visible. It’s simply another of life’s inevitable troubles, and all we can do as we continue to combat it is repeat Cervantes’s famous phrase “Paciencia y barajar”: “Have patience, and keep shuffling the cards.”