“Fear is a tyrant and a despot, more terrible than the rack, more potent than the snake.” Edgar Wallace
Americans have been afraid for a long, long time. We were frighten in the 1950’s when Joe McCarthy announced that there was 205 Communists serving in the State Department. We were frightened during the presidential election of 1962 with words like the “missile gap” when in reality at the time, the Soviets only had 4 working ICBM’s
We were afraid when thoughts of countries falling like dominoes was the reason given to be in Vietnam. We were afraid when Reagan announced the “Evil Empire” and started the Strategic Defense Initiative at the cost of several billion dollars.
We were afraid of the Soviets when they invaded Afghanistan so we formed a group to fight against them… the Mujahideen or as we called them, “Freedom Fighters”. Lots of money, CIA training, and stinger missiles went their way.
After the Soviets got out of Afghanistan, we suddenly withdrew any kind of support as well. To the “Freedom Fighters” and their war ravaged country… you’re on your own.
After that came the horrific crime of September 11, 2001, committed by a well trained and financed small group. The effect on this country was immediate and profound, expanding the fear factor to an unlimited scale.
The aftermath of this is a never ending war on terror, a death toll that is probably around a million or so, and a Homeland Security agency that no knows exactly how big it’s gotten. Thousands of private contract companies scattered across the country and billions of dollars.
But has it reduced the fear? Does anyone feel safer? When 8 year old girls are frisked and terrified at the airport gates by TSA agents, do you feel any more secure from those scary foreigners?
Just as a thought, what do you think the effects would be in this country if a “dirty bomb” came over by boat and went off near the coastline contaminating thousands of square miles of coast? My opinion is that immediately afterwords, somewhere a country would be bombed to destruction. Hundreds of thousands of people would die. Schools, bridges, and roads would be blown to smithereens by our state of the art Air Force.
Or how about a cyber-attack on the financial system? What would our response be if somehow some terrorists attacked our networked financial system, causing the loss of a couple of trillion dollars of Americans hard earned savings? I think the resulting response from us would be essentially the same as with the dirty bomb” example. Blow them to small pieces and burn the rest with phosphor.
But the 2 examples listed above HAVE happened. In the Gulf of Mexico, when the BP well head exploded, it leaked hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil over several months. Then they poured huge amounts of toxic dispersant to break it up before it got to the surface. Granted, it was an accident but when there is lax policy at the MMA and oil drilling permits are granted like free coupons without much oversight, some culpability must go to the drillers and the regulators responsible.
The real problem one must ask is… has anything changed? If you have the exact same consequences of spoiling of ocean waters and coastline as if a dirty bomb went off and the first company that gets a drilling permit afterwords in the Gulf is BP, does that make it better? Are the rules that if a terrorist cause the damage and destruction, there is going to be hell to pay. But if a white capitalist causes the same thing, it will get over looked and possibly rewarded? Isn’t this terrorism by neglect?
If the consequences caused by the actions or in-actions of someone creates situations that are just as bad or even worse than any of the terrorist actions, why is that any better?
When the financial meltdown occurred because of the consequences of the gambling schemes of Wall Street, was there any extremists involved? Were there any Middle Eastern bombers involved in that one? But the damage to the country was extreme none the less. It has been years and a lots of people still have not recovered. Countless numbers of people… families lost their jobs and homes because of it.
Were there any repercussions from the actions of those that caused this calamity? No. They profited enormously from their acts. They even got more money from TARP to improve their reward.
Terrorism by neglect.
How many of us have heard of bridges collapsing or gas pipelines blowing up or some other infrastructure in this country failing lately? Every couple of months or so something usually fails and it’s so mundane it doesn’t make the news unless a large number of people die.Water treatment plants are scrounging for every dime and the street lights are being turned off in some cities because they can’t afford to keep them on.
Those items weren’t blown up by suicide bombers from far away lands or failed because of some hideous plot. Those items failed because they are 60 or 70 years old, about 40 years past their lifetime. Just gave out because they aren’t being replaced with new items.
Terrorism by neglect.
We are throwing so much resource at our fears that we are ignoring the consequences of our priorities.
This spiral of fear controlling our actions and swirling this country down the drain has to be stopped.
If not for us, let’s do it for our children.