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What's the Opposite of the "Homeland"?

09.06.2006 06:33 | DISPATCHES

Many Americans can't quite put their finger on why the word "homeland" makes them queasy. Well, for starters, it invokes visions of the Nazis and the fatherland. Also, homelands are what Russia and South Africa called the out-of-sight, out-of-mind territories they set up for minorities.

But what's most upsetting about appending this modifier to Department of Security is that it suggests there's another department of security from which the DHS needs to be distinguished.

Well, there are, of course. Tons of them. But, as homeland implies, the domain of the DHS's sister agency is not internal but external -- in other words, our other land: our colonies. This second department was set up in November 2002 and it's called. . . Operation Iraqi Freedom. You remember, the one busy playing whack a mole with a new uprising every day.

Now you know why the term "Homeland Security" rubs you the wrong way.


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