Monday, May 12, 2008

Can We Stop Now?

The best reason ever not to be concerned with terrorist "threats."

"Real terrorists don't write letters; they just kill you."
Josef Joffe "Here's How America Looks to the World"
In many ways, al-Qaeda is literally phoning it in. They've barely bothered to blow up to a henhouse in the years since the destruction of the World Trade Center, but half the country still seems to be running around like headless chickens anyway.

For many people, that becomes a compelling argument that the common narrative of what happened back in 2001 is a thinly veiled, government-perpetrated fraud, set in motion to justify military adventurism (itself simply barely disguised resource theft in the minds of some) and a totalitarian-lite assault on civil liberties. (Say what you want, the Feds have nothing on Burma.) And you can make the argument that if we hadn't bothered with Iraq, the "bad guys" would have missed the chance to add another several thousand Americans and Iraqis to the body count.

But it's just as likely that Osama bin-Laden and company are sitting in cave in Outer Buttcrackistan, sipping tea and laughing themselves silly at how they've managed to scare the living daylights out of what was supposed to be the most powerful nation on the face of the planet. We're spending ourselves into a thousand years of debt, and convincing half the planet that we're completely out of our minds. The Dollar's been falling faster than bowling ball dropped from Low Earth Orbit, but the feeding frenzy of foreign tourists one might expect hasn't materialized, in part because two European guys with slightly dark skin and a camera who've never been on a ferryboat before can prompt the FBI into kicking off a multinational manhunt. (Note the the ferry people and the FBI - about 90% of the United States has never been on a ferry either, and might find them interesting. Just so you know.)

It's time that we quit jumping at shadows. We've got better things to do.

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