Being that we just marked the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attack in NYC the above article should get us thinking about what we have been for these past ten years. Just what is terrorism, lets look at the definition:
- The use of violence or threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
- The state of fear and intimidation produced by terrorism.
Yes, we have almost eliminated a rather significant organization centered around Osama Bin Laden that used terrorism as their weapon of choice but that group is by no means the totality of those who use terrorism. Just look at Oklahoma City as an example of a home-grown terrorist. Are there other terrorists around wanting to harm us? There are probably too many to count. But for terrorism to win it must strike fear in our hearts and as cited above in our political processes. So, has terrorism won??
There was a wanna be terrorist who unsuccessfully tried to assemble a crude bomb and put it in his shoes. We are now so fearful of that possibility the U.S. probably spent $ billions to prevent someone from actually accomplishing that feat. 9/11 seems to be ingrained into our very psyche we have spent literally trillions of dollars and started two seemingly endless wars in response to this event. Much of what we do now, especially in our political process revolved around this event. Could we call this almost paranoid obsession with another potential attacks against us be terror?
I want to pull a few quotes out of the article above:
In case you haven’t noticed, hysteria is what the terrorists want. In fact, it’s the only win a decapitated, weakened al-Qaida can get these days. The only hope that these eschatological conspiracy theorists possess for success lies in compelling the U.S. to spend its way into oblivion and pursue ill-conceived wars. That’s how Osama bin Laden transforms from a cave-dwelling psycho into a world-historical figure — not because of what he was, but because of how we reacted to him…..
It’s much harder to be the one to stand up and say the threat of terrorism is too minor for such expanded surveillance, and the government needs to stop. When libertarian Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) made precisely that case, Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) subjected him to cheap, hypocritical demagoguery. The only way this changes is if citizens change the political incentives for politicians. Two-bit terrorists will always be around, sadly. But when the Harry Reids get major political blow-back for attacking the Rand Pauls, then — and only then — will the 9/11 Era be truly over
One of the things that I think we can learn from our European neighbors, and there are many things they could teach us, is not be terrorized by the possibility of someone successfully doing us harm. I don’t know how many terrorists attacks that have taken place on European soil, the London train incident comes to mind first, but they have not let it affect them as we seem to have. There will always be those who want to do us harm for one reason or another and some will choose to use a terrorist tactics. It is our response to those events that really defines us.
But what do I know….