the war on radicalisation and where it might lead

In this chilling interview, Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe of Nato and one time favourite of Michael Moore for the Democratic Presidential nomination, rather aggressively floats the idea of interning those who are disloyal to the United States for the duration of the ‘war on terror’:

If we look at this in terms of the Overton window, we’re seeing a disturbing movement from ‘unthinkable’ to ‘radical’ of the idea that compliance with the law is sufficient to avoid harassment by the state. Though offering less specifics, David Cameron put forward a similar principle after the election:


To be deemed ‘susceptible to radicalisation’ increasingly entails a state of exemption. As Wesley Clark puts it, it’s both the right and the obligation of governments to segregate citizens who fall into this category for the ‘duration of the conflict’. But how does one come to be placed in the category? It strikes me as potentially open-ended because it’s defined as a propensity towards being drawn into ‘extremism’, itself understood in opposition to values which are nebulous at best: “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs”. The exact objects of the war on radicalisation are endlessly elastic because the terms upon which their meaning depends are always amenable to situational reinterpretation. Something extremely worrying is happening here.