Are We Letting the Terrorists Win?

{The political lamp is lit}

The world in general, and the USA in particular, is overcompensating about terrorist attacks. Yes, terrorist attacks are terrible. Yes, we here in the United States need to take precautions that events similar to those that happened on 9 September 2001 are less likely to succeed. But at the same time we should not embolden terrorists by overreacting.

By definition the goal of a terrorist is to inflict terror, with the goal to disrupt and change how we behave.  From where I sit the terrorists are winning.

But I am wondering why the collective “we” are overreacting?  Part of it has to do with our media that makes every news story item sound like it is the end of the world.  Over the holiday’s four French citizens were killed in Mauritania.   Local law enforcement have given “an al Qaeda cell” credit for the attack.  This attack, added to the constant threat talk of all terrorist groups, resulted in the cancellation of the 2008 Dakar rally motor race.   In a quick search I found two news articles in which four people were killed by gangs here in the USA on the same day (I am sure there were more, but I stopped looking at 4.)  Should we have canceled the BCS Championship Football Game because of this threat?  What if local law enforcement had give an al Qaeda cell credit for the gang slayings?  How about then??

People get angry at me when I toss statistical facts at them to show how out of proportion their, and our government’s, reactions are.  Back to 9/11.  Yes it was tragic, should never have happened, and should have caused us to be more vigilant.  But do you know what else is tragic?  Statistically every month more people die from auto accidents here in the USA than died on 9/11.  So why hasn’t more government time and money been spent on better automobile safety regulations and more effective traffic law enforcement?

But, no.  Our government does exactly what the terrorists wants.  It overreacts.  It changes its foreign policies.  It attacks a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11 and had no capability to mass-destruct anything.  It holds people, indefinitely thus far, in prisons technically not on our soil, for the sole purpose of circumventing our own rule of law, and leaving these suspects to rot in prison without a fair USA style, honest to goodness, day in court.  Our popularity world wide has fallen drastically.  And it is all because our government’s reaction to 9/11 was to become thugs; which is exactly what the terrorists wanted.  They wanted to prove our government was evil, and it worked.

I could rant even more, but I think the core of my point has been made.  We are letting the terrorists win.

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