Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Have They Won

Reading a column in Sunday's New York Times, the writers says, "The best weapon against terror is refusing to be terrorized." Well, consider all the counter-terrorism, intelligence gathering, surveillence being conducted against not just known or suspect terrorists, but American citizen, have the terrorists won?

Have they won because every time they spend a little money in an attack, we spend hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars to counter the attack in the future, the proverbial pre-emptive attack against the attack they sell us may happen.

And fear it will succeed. Each time the terrorists get smarter, ie. shoes, underwear, containers, etc. Sound familar. With all the counterterrorism measures at airports, let's remember no one has yet been convicted of terrorism on a US flight. All the attempts originated overseas.

The writer of the column noted Oklahoma City, which experienced the second worse terrorist attack in hour history and by the way was planned and executed by a white, devout Catholic, commerated the attack with a civic rebuilding of the downtown area.

They set aside the federal building with a park but rather impose measures out of fear, they built a city out of pride, telling any terrorist, we don't fear you. We won't be terrorized by you. We take pride in our city, one which honors and respects people.

And look what's happened in New York City over the World Trade Center site. We commerate and honor those who died in the attack and the first responders who died trying to save people. But then New York City has grown paranoid and fearful.

Paranoid they've expanded their counterterrorism efforts with the federal agencies into the lives and groups of innocent people without cause except fear. They expanded their efforts to extort citizens to be on alert for signs of terrorists, turning citizens against other citizens.

Kinda' smacks of the former Soviet Union when they asked citizens to spy on other citizens, and of course report any suspicious activity?

Well, that fear has spread with the help of the Homeland Security Administration where they're using drones in US cities and conducting counterterrorism excercises with local law enforcement and with the FBI creating faux terrorists groups to arrest them in the name of fighting terrorism.

The government at all levels is selling fear. Fear of each other. Fear of anything left unattended. Fear itself. Just be fearful of your life because someone may steal it.

The truth is the odds of be a victim of a terrorist attack in the US is beyond measure, like the number of inches from here to the Moon. For each of us. The odds are far greater of being a victim of a hate crime, like the one in the Aurora, Colorado theater, than a terrorist attack.

Except of course, they call everything now a terrorist attack to keep the fear level high. The terrorist threat level has never been reduced in many years now from yellow, and it never will because that's what you do when you sell fear.

And we are spending enormous amount of taxpayers' money for the illusion and appearance of keeping us safe and protecting us from terrorists while hunting terrorists around the world, all of whom want to kill us and this country. Like how many?

Well, estimates range within a few thousand in Al Qaeda worldwide and several times more in splinter groups in dozens of countries. And for what? Consider several times more people die every year from terrorists attacks in in the world every year than died on 9/11.

And what do those people do. They grieve, want answers and then get on with their life. They dwell on those who died, especially family, but in the end, they don't cower from terrorists, they cleanup and carry on.

They do exactly the opposite of what we do, and they don't demand their government spend billions to fight terrorists. They value life and standing up to terrorists by living. They refuse to be terrorized.

So, in the end, have the terrorists won here because we now doubt ourselves and are always fearful, but of whom and what? And how much will we spend because of our fear, but what and whom? The terrorists or maybe our own government?

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