Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Not Terrified

Terror. Seems a simple thing on the surface, but is it? defines it as

1 ) Intense, overpowering fear. See Synonyms at fear.
2) One that instills intense fear: a rabid dog that became the terror of the neighborhood.
3) The ability to instill intense fear: the terror of jackboots pounding down the street.
4) Violence committed or threatened by a group to intimidate or coerce a population, as for military or political purposes.

Hence a terrorist is someone who attempts to cause the above... From a techincally linguistic point of view, any military action (such as Israel's invasion of Lebanon or the US's incursion into Iraq or Afghanistan) can be viewed as Terrorism under point 4.

Now, the question that comes to my mind, can you defeat terror by causing terror? Technically the War against Terror is not only unwinnable, but self defeating. As by waging war, you CAUSE terror. In fact, the opening "Shock and Awe" salvo that was so widely touted is indeed a terror causing methodology.

In my opinion, the best way to defeat terrorism is to STOP BEING AFRAID!!! Statistically, we in America have a far better chance of dying due to a drunk driver (86,103 from 2000 to 2004) than a terrorist attack (2,752 from 2000 to 2004). Once we stop believing the fear mongering that is coming from both within and without of our government, perhaps we would have a chance to rationally pacify those who would actually harm a tiny percentage of our population. Our current policy is akin to an elephant being stung by a bee and then flattening the village he lives in. The bee just flitters away, and the elephant isn't REALLY wounded. But woe be to those who catch his angry eye.

I'm not saying that I have all the answers. But I do know that destroying the world/nation/religion to save it is NOT the right course of action. There are those that say we are fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here. Can you explain to me how to stop "terror" with troops and bombs? According to a Johns Hopkins study the CIVILIAN death toll is over 100,000 (directly and indirectly attributed to the war. More here : Now that I find terrifying.

As the great Albert Einstein once said, "You cannot simultaneously desire peace and prepare for war." I would extend that thought to include you cannot defeat terror by causing it. Frankly, I'm through being scared. I find the fluid restrictions on airplanes ridiculous. What's next, martial artists can't fly because they can kill... All nude flights for security reasons (actually... I LIKE that idea... maybe Hooters air can use that as a promotion)... all passengers to be handcuffed on boarding the flight? We are dangerously close to the absurd.

The sad part is that we (as a global community) STOPPED the most recent threat without these insane restrictions. Yet they are imposed on us in the vein of "making us safe." That very phrase implies that we weren't before and is intended to scare us. The number of people I've heard saying "I was just starting to feel safe again, but now..." Feels like an election year to me.

Defeating "terrorists" is a police action. NOT a military one. What stopped the Brittish plot was good police work, and that is ALL it will take to prevent future attacks in this country. Not crazy restrictions (I still like the idea of nude bondage flights... but that isn't for everyone), and not bombing nations that had nothing to do with this. You can't declare war on nationless people, and you certainly can't fight terror by causing it.


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Location: Thornton, Colorado, United States

I'm a geek, plain and simple. I used to fence, I play poker when I can, and am learning to play lacrosse. I also work WAY too much.

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