Here we go again folks, with the “War on Terror”. Not to diminish the seriousness of the attempt to blow up a commercial airliner over Christmas, but it seems to me that luck, and not skill or planning has been the determining factor in the last few attempts by al Qaeda to “terrorize” us. Indeed, without even being successful, al Qaeda has managed to terrorize us – with a little help from their friends at Fox News. We have been lucky in that al Qaeda apparently can only recruit incompetent and mentally deranged men to do their dirty work. First, a man named Reid gives himself a hot foot, and now another “terrorist” self-inflicted burns on his legs and crotch. It makes me wonder who should be more afraid – us or the “terrorists”. There have been two spectacularly unsuccessful attempts in over 8 years of millions of commercial flights. The odds of even witnessing a terrorist attack are so remote that you have a greater chance of being struck by lightning.
So what’s really going on? America’s military-industrial complex needs a boogey man – without the fear of war there is no profit. When the Communists faded into the sunset, Cheney-Bush came to the rescue with the never-ending war – the “war on terror”. I took my family on a vacation over the Holidays and we flew. I wasn’t afraid and I didn’t fly out of a sense of bravado. I am not going to allow fear to dictate what I do with my life. In fact, the thought of a terrorist attack never even crossed my mind.
Some people benefit from the fear of terrorism – people make money off of the FEAR of terrorism. As far as I am concerned the people who make money off of fear are more despicable. A fraction of all terrorists are motivated by ideology, but most “terrorists” are impoverished, illiterate and desperate, and/or they are mentally ill. While their violence is inexcusable, they are understandable in human terms. It is the people in the media and the military-industrial complex that exploit terror for profit that I find not only more despicable, but also more dangerous.
Consider this: we have suffered more self-inflicted losses as the result of the FEAR of terrorism than any act of terrorism. We voluntarily forfeited rights and liberties to the government after 9/11. More Americans died and more families were destroyed in an unnecessary war in Iraq than have been killed by all acts of terrorism against the USA, combined. We went from a booming economy and a budget surplus to a virtual depression in terms of unemployment and loss of income – primarily due to this “war” – and there is no end in sight. How many people realize that we have more “contractors” (i.e. mercenaries) fighting in Afghanistan than we have troops at an exponentially greater cost?
Fear of terrorism has created a dangerous symbiosis among the media, defense industries and politicians and al Qaeda that has already been far more damaging to our country than any act of terrorism. All al Qaeda has to do is have some deranged individual set fire to his crotch and then watch as our politicians and media pundits trip over themselves to tell us that we should live in fear unless we spend unaccountable billions and forfeit our freedoms. Dick Cheney and virtually the entire (mis)cast of Fox News are more dangerous to our Country than Al Qaeda.
What happened to the “home of the brave”? The only thing we have to fear – is fear itself.