September 11, 2006

Reflecting on terror

Interesting editorial in the Washington Post:
Losing the War on Terror. Hard to argue with that. But I prefer the front page article of De Standaard. It too is a review of the war on terror. It starts with a bunch of eye-catching, big-lettered statistics. "75,238 is the number of people that died in the past 5 years in terrorist attacks (of whome 2,973 in the US, 202 in Balid, 191 in Madrid and 52 in London)" The obvious discrepancy in the numbers is immediately turned into the next two statistics "59,600 civilians died in Iraq since may 2003, 2.641 American soldiers died there" and "5,308 civilians died in Afghanistan since October 2001, 477 foreign soldiers died there". The statistics continue, "464 suspected terrorists in jail in the American base at Guantanamo" and "50 billion dollars, the annual rise of the American defense budget since 9/11". Interestingly, the last statistic is "17,000 is the number of children that dies of hunger every day", which I think is a great way of relativating the previous numbers.

Now, these statistics flank a box containing 4 big names, and their fate:

"Osama bin Laden. Still no trace"
"George Bush. Reelected in 2004, still popular with 42 percent of Americans"
"Saddam Hussein. Captured and brought to court."
"Taliban. Driven from power, but not defeated."

I don't know, but I like the presentation. Barely 3500 western civilians have been killed in terrorist attacks, over the last 5 years. About as many western soldiers have died over the same time. But 10 times as many dead Iraqi and Afghani civilians ...

I think that the most important number - with respect to the safety of the US - is the increase in the defense budget. No, not because it secures the US in a military sense. It secures the US because it fulfills the desire of Al-Qaeda. As long as the US spends more than it can afford on its military, there is no need for Al-Qaeda to attack it. Especially if it can continue to kill Americans in other countries.

Americans can rest easy. As long as they keep increasing the defense budget by 50 billion per year, they will be safe. I figure that Al-Qaeda doesn't need to attack the US mainland more than once in a decade in order to keep the US on its self-destructive path. Waddayathink?



Blogger Alice said...

The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men.

- Rod Serling, in The Twilight Zone

9:17 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

Sure, they can just sit back and let us defeat ourselves.

Thanks for comment on granny. I sent your BB gun link on to a parenting blog I comment on quite often. I hope they pick it up.

The plastic pellet guns are legal but I may start making waves here about it. Nothing that fires anything (except possibly water) should be in the hands of unsupervised kids.

I was furious (and sad about the kid who at nine thought he could get away with anything).

9:50 PM  

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