Fear and Terror

How many Americans have been killed in the last 5 years by Islamic Extremist terrorism? Our government’s approximately $20 billion anti-terror budget would leave you thinking that we are under siege from radical Muslim terrorists. But the truth is that 4 times the number of people were killed by being struck by lightning. Now, some of the discrepancy is almost certainly due to vigilance by our intelligence and counterterrorism apparatuses, but what it truly highlights is how successful a terrorist attack September 11th was. If the goal of the attacks were truly to inspire fear in the American people than they succeeded tremendously. The attacks were horrific and devastating, and are permanently seared into the memories of our generation. And the attacks forced change, much of it effective and necessary. But with the benefit of hindsight it is clear that the United States overreacted to the threat of Islamic terrorism. A permanent war on all terrorists all over the world is impossible to sustain effectively and indefinitely. It erodes the moral position of the United States and undermines our democracy as all war, no matter how necessary, eventually does. Terrorism is not am existential threat to the United States, and we have been deceived and mislead by our unreasoning fear.

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