The terrorists have already won

Some would argue that we scored a major victory in the battle against terrorism yesterday when British authorities arrested a score of home-grown religious wackos bend on blowing up airplanes. And in the short term, we did. Undoubtedly, lives have been saved by good police work and diplomatic work between UK and Pakistani government intelligence agencies. My kudos go out to all officers involved in breaking up this admittedly nefarious plot.

Still, I can't help shaking my head at the reaction to this somber news. Instead of taking a logical, methodical approach to this new threat (which isn't really new, btw, it's been done by al Queda before), we, in typical fashion for the Bush regime, throw the baby out with the bathwater and ban all liquids, pastes, gels (even Speed Stick-type deodorants), and electronics from flights. Passengers are made to dump all of these potentially dangerous items into common trash receptacles at airport security posts. Soon, presumably, we will all be forced to fly naked.

Meanwhile, the terrorists have gotten what they wanted all along. The object of terrorism is, logically, to instill terror in a population. You would be hard-pressed to show that this objective has not been achieved here in the U.S. We are a nation engulfed in irrational fear, which is propagated at all turns by the media and, especially, our own government. The latter, in despicable fashion, uses it to further their own political gains, The former uses it to sell papers, laundry detergent, and cars.

You have a MUCH higher likelihood of being killed in a car wreck on your way home tonight than of being killed in a terror attack. In fact the likelihood is so small as to be almost nonexistent. So people, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, QUIT BEING SO AFRAID!


TheSarc said...

New Article: Terrorists "1 for 2" in Airline Murder Plots, Tie Breaker set for 2011

Anonymous said...

While it's true you are more likely to die on the roads (trust me, have you SEEN Ohio drivers?!?), the loss of life and families affected are far fewer in your worst car wreck, than in a passenger plane capable of carrying hundreds of people. Am I still going to fly? Yes. Do I mind the regulations? Not really. If it means safer travel, I don't mind not having mositurizer on board with me. I guess if a person is willing to risk their life so they don't have to give up their Dr. Scholls Gel Inserts, that's their own choice. I would prefer to fly safer. Of course, I also like the idea that we all get little individual tubes and a little knock out gas so we sleep the whole flight, but that's was in the Fifth Element and maybe the TSA isn't ready for such forward thinking yet. :)

Xose said...

Well, I'm definately not here to somehow trivialize the deaths of 3,000 people and the effect it had on their families (or the nation's psyche, for that matter.) I'll leave that to Ann "Superbitch" Coulter.

But, I have to disagree with your point. The worst car crash, by itself, might not have the kind of impact that a jetliner full of people going down has, but when you have 10,000 car crashes (as we have since 9/11), all that grief tends to add up to some serious suffering.

My take on it is this: The terrorists have basically succeeded in scaring the bejeezus out of an entire nation of people. The vast majority of whom have a better chance of being struck by lighting than dying in a terror attack.

And let's face it, unless you live in D.C., NYC, L.A., Chicago, or another major city with a population over 1 million AND major tourist attractions, your chances of being attacked approach nil very quickly.

So, why, given those incredibly tiny odds, are we so collectively freaked out, to the point of spending BILLIONS of dollars on security measures that in the best of times don't make us any safer? It doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

I think one other key thing that is scaring the "bejeezus" out of the nation is the reactive nature of our "security" measures. And there is a lack of public confidence anyway in the "safety" measures put in place at such high times of threat. Does anyone remember that kid who planted the box cutters on airplanes? Has anyone traveled with a kid? Each airport seems to have different standards...one more thing that just erodes at the seemingly stricter safety precautions...

But just my two cents...