In this ‘war’, you at last return to a form of ‘total’ war which is much more like the struggle against the witches, which lasted for over three hundred years and is still not really over. The war is perpetual, no side can ever win. It is like the war between the two nebulous states in that infamous writer George Orwell’s 1984, which always requires one more sacrifice, one more effort, one more deprivation in the glorious struggle, but lasts interminably.
Furthermore, whereas in previous wars the enemies tended to be ‘over there’, with only the occasional spy or suspect character here, now the enemy are everywhere, both over there and over here. Children, women, old men and women, all can be witches or terrorists since it requires little skill or strength to detonate a bomb or spread anthrax.
The fact that the war you’re now engaged in can never end may be thought of as distinguishing it from other wars and turning into something more like a perpetual feud. But by calling it a war, it brings into play all the normal extra powers which you need – but for ever.
You can suspend all civil liberties and normal checks on your power for the duration of the war – in other words, as in 1984, for ever. Since it will never be over, as the Devil schemes and plots our downfall through the centuries, you can never rest. Once you have seized the political, legal and military force necessary, you must never let it go.
So the war continues. You are hunting a merciless and cunning animal. He will move his ‘lair’. You may destroy his habitat in one place. But it is an international conspiracy and he will move elsewhere. You must harry him like a fox or tiger, from cover to cover, ‘flush him out’ as you say, destroy his cover (his friends, villages, supporters) and then destroy him.
Your citizens might have grown restless at seeing much of their taxes being used on defence systems if there was no-one threatening you. So it is a great blessing that God has given you the terrorists to revive your morale and purpose in life. In the same way, he gave us heretics and witches to terrify your ungodless populations into supporting our cause. Humans are naturally lazy, self-seeking, even kind and tolerant. This is not a good recipe in a world where Satan stalks. You must ginger them up, keep them on their toes. By proclaiming the ultimate war, which can never be won, but must always be fought with every muscle, you have found the solution. Well done. You have not forgotten Machiavelli’s wise maxim: ‘it is safer to rule through fear than through love’.