English word derived from Greek roots, skia- meaning dark, shadows, machos meaning fighting. Thus, variously it means to fight shadows, fighting an unseen enemy, shadowboxing, a flurry of inexplicable movement like a fit (imagine someone fighting an invisible foe), and from that latter meaning, absurdity. It's also my online nick that I use pretty well everywhere, picked semi-randomly from my big old dictionary :-)
This war on terror is pure sciamachy: we don't know who the enemy is, we have no defined conditions of victory, and it can't be a war as such because wars are conflicts between states.
A futile battle with an imaginary
foe; fighting with a shadow.