Five years ago yesterday a horrible thing happened to America. We were terrorized. Osama Bin Laden claims (and it is the general consensus as we are told by our officials) that he organized attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center which killed approximately 3000 people. This act changed the direction of our nation's government from dealing with long-standing needs, such as health care, tax reform, and the increasing disparity of incomes which will eventually eliminate the middle class entirely, to dedicating all of our resources to fighting the war on "terror".
Our leaders act as though "terrorism" is a word they created and they don't hesitate to use it whenever a diversion is needed. This particular time is a legitimate opportunity for the nation to commemorate the tragic losses of that day but today is 9/12 and time to get back to work as usual.
No more chanting, "They're terrorizing us because they hate our freedom!" (Just what exactly does that mean?) "We must fight "terrorism" at every turn." "We must fight these terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them here". That's gotten stale. If we don't want to be terrorized we won't be — just simply ignore people who would distract and "terrorize" you at every turn. Go to work, travel, have fun, live your life. Ignore the doom and gloom of this administration. Fighting terrorism is the government's job and they supposedly work for us. Imagine yourself at work with several tasks needing to be addressed. Now imagine that instead of doing your job you were fixated on the toner in the fax machine because it may run out any day now. Do you think that your boss would accept that flimsy excuse for not having gotten any work done that day? It's not likely.
We now have a color-coded terror alert to keep us on our toes and it seems that every time Bush's ratings begin to wane, which is getting more and more often, the color goes up a notch. Almost every week we're coming up with a new substance or article banned from flight. We are reminded every day how much danger we would be in if Bush were not in office. Bush has dedicated his entire administration to "fighting the war on terror" and neglected all else.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition terrorism is "the systematic use of terror, violence, and intimidation to achieve an end." Would this not mean then that we, the prople, are being terrorized? After all, there is no one else making us more afraid than the government who reminds us constantly how much danger we are in and how much we need them to protect us.
Has any other foriegn entity actually committed or attempted to commit an attack of terror on the United States in the past five years? The answer is categorically no. Is this a result of tighter security measures being implemented at our airports and public buildings? I'm sure it has some minor impact but the fact is it's been shown time and again that specific banned items have been succesfully carried on board planes. Is this because we have faulty security systems? I don't think so. I believe that dangerous articles, often times quite innocuous, are impossible to detect 100% of the time, so it's safe to say that if someone wanted to attack us, whether in the air or in our country, it could have been accomplished many times over.
If you agree with this so far, than it should be easy to deduce that no one has even attempted an attack on America in the past five years. So, are we succesfully fighting a war on terror? It appears that the only terror in America is "the systematic use of terror, violence, and intimidation" being used by our leaders on us.
Why, you should ask, to what end is the government committing such a deceptive act on its own people? That answer is very obvious. In the first nine months of the Bush administration, our president could be found most of the time on his ranch in Texas, clearing the brush and playing with his dogs or making his pals rich. He had absolutely no idea as to what duties his position demanded. The events on 9/11 were his "manna from heaven", so to speak. He immediately (after the initial confounded horror wore off and he recognized the potential of the events) hopped over to New York, pulled on his 'fireman' jacket, grabbed a bullhorn and threw his arm over a fire chief's shoulder (I believe the fireman was there for Bush to pull in front of him if things were thrown or shots fired) and began his long journey of photo ops and his "War on Terror".
Had 9/11 never happened, I believe it's safe to say that Bush would have never won another election for anything in his life. He had no plan; he believed, as he obviously still does, that as president, he answered to no one. He could do anything that he wanted, he was above it all, "top of the world, Ma", even above his own position as president. He could make up new laws, throw tons of money to his cronies, even invade a few countries he didn't like. (Saddam tried to kill my Daddy!)
It never occurred to him that sooner or later someone would question his actions, that even fellow Republicans weren't hanging on that evangelical limb mixing the law with their own religious morals and would eventually distance themselves from him. That's fine though, he would survive, he was on a mission from God. He confused blind luck with divine intervention, seeing that whenever he was at his worst God would throw a lightning bolt from heavan to distract his detractors.
Yeaterday, as we mourned the five year anniversary of the attack on 9/11 it should be noted that the only terror occurring in America is on our streets in the form of drive-by shootings, car-jackings, robberies, rapes, etc. We should not turn our backs on danger but we can't walk around spinning in circles, afraid that an attack may occur from any direction.
We are each responsible for our own safety. We should speak out and tell the government that we have a police force to provide for our safety on a local level, and would prefer that they direct their attention to other matters which we cannot control and which is what we elected them to do. We did not elect Texas Rangers or military combatants to protect us 24/7; we need our communities mainained, our schools and teachers held up to higher standards, our local economies adressed — these are the jobs of our politicians. Protecting us is a job for our police.
We are facing, as we always have, death, disease, attack, every day of our lives. Now, if you want to call that terrorism and let this administration terrorize you into submission, that's all well and good. Like a bully in a school yard, as soon as they see that you have been terrorized, they own you. Stand up for yourself. Make the government accountable for what they were elected for and do not elect anyone whose platform is terrorism — that's like walking up to the bully and saying "hit me." Now, that wouldn't be a smart thing to do, would it?
The terrorism will only end when we stop allowing the government to frighten and distract us.