Overreacting To Terrorist Acts
since the 9-11 attacks, the United States has been over-reacting to terrorism. George W. Bush and his administration adopted
the radical Patriot Act giving police and federal agents freedom to tap private communications and violate our First Amendment
launched unnecessary wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that consequently provoked more hatred among Islamic extremists than existed
before 9-11. And because passenger planes were hijacked and turned into flying bombs, airport security become so intense that
people were almost loathe to board a plane.
also created an Office of Homeland Security and merged numerous other federal agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard, the
Secret Service, Office of Inspector General, Transportation Security Administration, Citizenship and Immigration Services,
Customs and Border Protection, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The culmination of all of those eggs in
one basket created an agency that was so complex it failed to function when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast. In short,
it was probably not a good idea.
taking these steps, President Bush assured the nation that we would be safe from any more terrorist attacks. He reasoned that
by taking the “war” to foreign soils, he was preventing it from coming to America.
should never underestimate the creative genius of angry and radical people in third world countries wishing to bring death
and destruction to a financial and military monster like the United States has become.
when we thought we had it all figured out, along came Richard Reid with a plastic explosive packed in the hollowed-out bottoms
of his shoes. On Dec. 22, 2001, three months after 9-11, Reid boarded American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami. Fortunately
he was caught attempting to ignite his shoes. After that, all airline passengers were asked to remove their shoes for inspection
they have all of the bases covered then? Heck no. On Christmas Day 2009, the infamous “underwear bomber” Umar
Farouk Abdulmutallab, was caught trying to ignite a bomb device hidden in his underpants on a Northwest Airlines flight as
it was coming in for a landing at Detroit.
we have now high-tech screening devices at major airports that see through people’s clothes as well as their luggage.
No more privacy for anyone wishing to fly.
seem to be very good at locking barn doors after the horses have escaped.
The latest scare, a failed car bomb attempt by Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad on New
York City’s Times Square, was an attempt by a man living in America to manufacture a car bomb and explode it in one
of the most crowded places in New York. It was only after he tried to escape by boarding an aircraft bound for Dubai that
he was caught. Had the bomb exploded he might have gotten away with it.
We have to wonder what additional freedoms and what new inconveniences our government will
devise to make sure we don’t have any more car bombs tried on our sovereign soil.
Fortunately, all three incidents were interrupted by citizens who noticed something out
of the ordinary and did something about it. In the New York City case smoke coming from a parked car was noticed by a street
vender who reported it to police.
Citizen awareness is the best defense America has against terrorist attacks. It won’t
always protect us, but it has been scoring high marks so far. All of the screening and cross-checking of names on no-fly lists
in the world can’t be as effective as a good set of eyes and ears and citizens being on their guard as they go about
their daily business.
Another thing this nation can do to ease the terrorist threat is to stop making people all
over the world hate us enough to want to do something as radical as explode a bomb in a crowded place.
A good way to start is to shut down the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, do all that we can
to repair the damage we caused, and leave the people of these nations alone to work out their own affairs. Nobody likes to
live under occupation by a foreign military force.
Another thing that might ease this threat is to find out why Osama bin Laden went to such
extremes to attack us the way he did. Once we know that, we might be able to treat the cause of the anger instead of shooting