How Not to Behave After a Failed Act of Terrorism

Of course, a much discussed and over-reacted-to, attempted terror attack benefits two groups.  The terrorists who succeed in scaring people and letting their enemy enact more restrictive and possibly fascist rules, and the government who then gets to use fear to push through all sorts of agendas, from civil liberty forfeitures, to declaring wars, to tax policy.  It sort of creates a cycle that is hard to break.

If, however callous and seemingly irresponsible, we treated every terrorist attempt with a shrug of the shoulders and a flippant statement to the effect of “that’s the cost freedom and civil rights”, or even a less lofty “that’s the cost of being able to fly conveniently from coast-to-coast, at an affordable price”, I bet terrorist would have to think twice about whether or not they were getting any bang out of their bombs.

That’s not to say that each and every attempt, breach, threat, mention, suspicion, etc. shouldn’t and wouldn’t be investigated thoroughly. And we’d create individual profiles and histories that we’d try to match to travelers while looking for anomalies and inconsistencies, in patterns and statistics. On the public- and terrorist-facing side though, we’d act like, “No biggie.  Too bad that happened.”  In fact, I wonder whether this kind of attitude and a false air of carelessness, wouldn’t in turn make terrorists sloppy.

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~ by mz on September 12, 2008.

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