Terrorism “will not change our way of life” and the loss of freedom

* WARNING * WARNING * WARNING * WARNING *
This is a politically charged and scathing diatribe on the state of terrorism and the western world’s response to it. Please do not read this if you are severely patriotic, absurdly racist, frantically extremist or in any way biased. It may cause offense. Also, it will be quite long winded and boring.

* WARNING * WARNING * WARNING * WARNING *

Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the western world has truly tasted fear and the horror of terrorism.

Although the acts of terrorism have been a daily part of the lives of many middle-eastern, eastern European, sub-continent and south-east Asian populations … this was the first time that the west was hit – or so the media reports went. So the Trio of the willing (President Bush, Prime Minister Blair and Prime Minister Howard) would like us to believe.

Technically, that’s not true either… The IRA attacks perpetrated on England for many years were considered acts of terrorism – as were the acts of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party across Europe (primarily Germany).

The people of the US in particular were caught by surprise by the attacks. Apparently, the US Government were also surprised. They didn’t realise there was such a huge anti-US sentiment. Didn’t they? Let’s look at the five years prior to the Twin-Tower attacks:

  • In 1996, there were 296 acts of international terrorism with 314 persons killed and 2,912 wounded. 23 US citizens died and 510 were wounded. Approximately 25% (73) were anti-US attacks.
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  • During 1997 there were 304 acts of international terrorism. 221 persons died and 693 were wounded. Seven US citizens died and 21 were wounded. Approximately 33% of the attacks (101) were against US targets.
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  • There were 273 international terrorist attacks during 1998. The total number of persons killed or wounded in terrorist attacks, was the highest on record: 741 persons died, and 5,952 persons suffered injuries. Twelve US citizens died, eleven other US citizens were wounded. About 41% of the attacks (111) were directed against US targets.
    .
  • In 1999, 392 international terrorist attacks occurred. 233 persons were killed and 706 were wounded. Terrorists targeted U.S. interests in 169 (44%) of attacks.
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  • There were 426 international terrorist attacks in 2000. 409 persons were killed and 791 were wounded. 21 US citizens were killed. Terrorists targeted U.S. interests in 200 (47%) of attacks.
    .

Does anyone else except me see an emerging pattern here? An ever increasing rate of attacks against “US interests” … 2001 also saw 346 international terrorist attacks of which (twin-towers not included) nearly 52% were targeted U.S. interests.

It’s also interesting to note that since 1968 (when the United States Government began keeping such statistics) more than 7,000 terrorist bombings have occurred worldwide … and not once, with each of the US citizens being killed, nor with the huge death toll that was being mounted with each statistical report at the end of each year, did the US government ever decree to wage a “war on terror”.

Was it so unimaginable to these people that terrorism would strike their homeland? Considering that all of the statistics laid out above come from the Patterns of Global Terrorism reports from the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, US Department of State … I think not.

However, all that said, it’s not the main thrust of my rant today … My issue is with the resultant loss of freedom, the actual change to our lives that have been perpetrated by this trio of the willing in the name of the War on Terror.

We’ve all felt it – the increased stupidity at Airports (no, not just the confiscation of the keyring nail clippers – but severe fines for bad “terrorist related” humour), the introduction of questioning laws which supersede civil liberty rights, the talks of introducing national identity cards, the ability to keep track of which library books you borrow as a “pro-active” surveillance … the list goes on.

If we are truly not going to allow terrorists to affect our way of life, then when are the governments going to stop doing so?

Come on, get a grip … all that any of these laws do, is make it a 1984 society for the common folk … and in absolutely no way hampers those sick minds that wish to perpetrate terror. Instead, why don’t the holy trinity of the willing look at what is the cause of over half of the worlds terrorist attacks to be aimed at them and try to resolve those issues?

Time for my Xanax …

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