By Tom Kando
The Aug./Sept. issue of the Dutch magazine Maarten!, contains an article by Max Westerman which I feel compelled to share with you. It’s depressing and aggravating, but I am afraid that it rings terribly true. Sorry. Here is an excerpt:
Ten years after the 9/11 attack, Ground Zero and Memorial Plaza are developing beautifully, and becoming an inspiration. What Al Qaeda did on 9/11 should never be forgotten or trivialized.
However, the greatest damage to America resulted from the subsequent War on Terror, i.o.w. from America’s reaction to 9/11:
Sure, Al Qaeda is a total failure. There is no worldwide Islamic Caliphate, no following whatsoever among Arab youth.
But by some measure, the 9/11 attack by 19 soldiers armed with box cutters can be viewed as the most successful military operation in history:
1. It brought the world’s greatest superpower to the edge of bankruptcy.
2. It caused America to weaken many of its liberal ideals.
3. It created a permanent feeling of angst, fear and paranoia. George W. Bush put Osama Bin Laden on a pedestal, as if he possessed the power to threaten the Western way of life. The President announced a struggle without end against terrorism, and dragged the rest of the world along.
No mean achievement, for a bunch of cave dwellers!
Look at what else America wrought onto itself:
4. Two exorbitantly costly wars, one of which had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, the other one still dragging on at a cost of $2 billion per week.
5. Is America entering a period of stagnation? Is it now even more likely to be overtaken by China in the near future? Has Bin Laden speeded up American decline? The answers are not clear, but the questions are valid.
6. America has transformed itself into a national security state. There are 1,270 government agencies and 1,930 companies spread over 10,000 locations involved in the fight against terrorism. 30,000 employees do nothing but monitor telephone calls. Homeland Security produces 50,000 reports per year. Nobody knows how many people and how much money are devoted to Homeland Security, or how many organizations, many of which duplicate each other.
An example of the paranoia which has overtaken the authorities: After the Katrina hurricane, the feds built a prison in New Orleans more rapidly than they came to the rescue of the victims.
The probability of an American dying from terrorism is 1 in 6 million - far lower than accident, illness, a stray bullet or almost anything else.
At least, if all of this worked! But it often doesn’t. It took a Dutch passenger to overpower the Detroit underwear bomber on Christmas 2009, after the authorities had missed him.
Terrorism must be fought through pinpointed commando action. That is how the single greatest success of the war on terror was scored - killing Bin Laden. Had America heeded this lesson, it could have spent the wasted $1.2 trillion on its crumbling infrastructure, its growing poverty, its unemployment - all the things which threaten to rob it of its number-one status.
Now, ten years later, change is in the air. Perhaps the cranes and the steigers at ground zero can inspire America to return to the constructive spirit which made it great. leave comment here
Friday, December 2, 2011
By Tom Kando