Re: A dose of reality...
- From: "Jerry Okamura" <okamuraj005@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 23:14:00 GMT
"Islander" <nospam@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Jerry Okamura wrote:
"Islander" <nospam@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in messageNor mine. Neither are they doing anything to eliminate the root cause of
Jerry Okamura wrote:
"Islander" <nospam@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Alan Lichtenstein wrote:
At this fifth anniversary of 9/11 and as we remember that event, the
pain that it caused, and the aftermath, perhaps it is time that we
faced up to a few realities that the politicians seem reluctant to
1. We will be hit again. No matter what defenses we mount, whatever
near term changes that we make in our world policy, the reality of
terrorism will be with us for the foreseeable future.
2. The next attack may be worse than 9/11. We cannot underestimate
the imagination, creativity and simple luck of the terrorists. There
are many ways to cause more and longer lasting damage and we cannot
defend against all of them.
3. Our defense options are limited. While it may make a good
political speech to "spare no expense," in reality we have to make
hard decisions about what we can afford and what we will have to risk
because we cannot afford all defenses.
4. We need to anticipate and plan for what we will do when the next
attack occurs. This is much more than just mobilizing emergency
forces. We know from the past 5 years how people will react. We need
to anticipate that and plan for how we can minimize the real danger
of terrorism, the reaction by the targeted population.
5. We need to work hard to put this in perspective. We will do
ourselves no good to respond in the way that terrorists want us to.
It is easy to respond in anger, without thinking of the consequences
to ourselves and our way of life. While terrorist acts are designed
to have enormous emotional impact, the reality is that very few
people are actually killed or injured.
6. The fear of future attacks is more harmful than the actual
events. The more we allow ourselves to be drawn into a climate of
fear, the more we are vulnerable to those who would, for political or
economic advantage, exploit that fear. In many ways we are more at
risk from those who claim to want to help us than those who would
As we listen to the politics this fall, I wonder if we will hear
anyone ask us to demonstrate a tougher constitution. We need to be
able to take it and carry on without destroying everything that we
hold valuable. It seems to me that it would be much better for us to
say, "OK, we can deal with whatever they throw at us and move on. We
refuse to allow their strategy to succeed. We will keep our heads
about us and not destroy ourselves in panic."
Islander, I'm surprised that you would post such a pessimistic
outlook. Your post almost goes so far as to suggest that we impose
other serious constraints on our freedoms in order to better monitor
My post is exactly the opposite. a) This is not pessimism, but facing
what is ahead with courage and rationality. b) I argue that we *not*
throw out what we hold dear with the bath water but that we defend the
freedoms that those who have gone on before have fought for.
You should know me well enough by now to know that I would never trade
liberty for security.
Liberty is only worth something if you are alive to appreciate the
liberties you have. If some terrorist succeed in killing you, you can
talk about preserving your liberties, but it will do no good, because
you won't be around to enjoy those liberties.
Being mindful of the paraphrasing of Ben Franklin's adage, 'those who
trade liberty for security, obtain neither,' I would like to think
that there are things which can be done to preclude other attacks,
without having to trade our liberty for that security. Right now, we
need to respond the way we're doing, to at least provide some modicum
of security so that we can work on the underlying threats which are
some time away.
By adopting a more optimistic outlook, we can preclude the unthinkable
and defeat the homicidal Muslim terrorists who would tear down
civilization so that they can take the world back to the 4th century.
If we proceed by telling people that we will protect them unfailingly
from terrorism we do not prepare them or ourselves for the attack that
will almost certainly find a way through our best effort at defense. I
think that it is time to work hard to protect ourselves, but to also to
anticipate the time when that will not be sufficient.
That is just fine an dandy, "if" you are able to hold down the number of
attacks to some acceptable level, it would seem to me. Of course the
trick is to define what is an acceptable level.... What do you think
would be the "peoples" response, if some future attack is even bigger
and more deadly than what occurred on Sept. 11th? What would be the
"peoples" response, if that kind of attack occurred more often?
Jerry, would you prefer to be lied to by our government so that people
think that they are protected when they are not? Would you prefer that
politicians and corporations exploit fear to their advantage? Neither is
acceptable to me no matter how many attacks or the severity of those
The "government" lies to us all the time. The people of both political
parties may not tell outright lies, but certainly do not tell the truth,
so it seems to me, asking if I prefer to be lied to is kind of
meaningless, since that is what they do to us all the time. As for
"protection", anyone who believes the government can "protect us" is a
damn fool. No one can protect us. They can improve our odds of
surviving, but there is no way the government can prevent us from being
killed by these people. The terrorist have the advantage as long as they
are around, bent on hurting us. As for "exploiting" fear, I am not
convinced that whether it is the "government" that does that (which I
will readily admit they do all the time) or you and I doing the same
thing, is any worse. So, it may not be acceptable to you, but the simple
fact is, the government does it, businesses do it, and "we" do it.
We know from the history of 9/11 something of how people will respond.
Needless to say, the response will be worse if we do not prepare the
citizenry for another attack, especially if the attack is more severe.
Would you rather that we not prepare for that?
I do not think that you can change how people react. After all, just
think of how we react when a commercial airliner crashes and kills
hundreds of people. Whether we like it or not, we are all irrational at
times, and in that moment, we do irrational things. But having said
that, I have no problems with "trying" to prepare people for what is most
likely inevitable. And "yes" I would agree that our politicians are
basically telling us, they can protect us, when they must know that they
are not capable of protecting us for all possible terrorist threats.
Think about what happened after the hurricane hit New Orleans. I have
argued that there are some simple solutions to preventing or at least
minimizing the impact that hurricane caused. Are the citizens of the
United States, clamoring for policies that would minimize the damage of
such an event occuring again? Are the political leaders supporting
policies that could greatly improve the odds of a recurrence of such a
tragedy? Not from my vantage point.
most of the casualties, namely poverty.
What do you think is the root cause of poverty? How do we elimnate poverty,
or at least minimize the number of people who are poor?
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