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Home » Archives » September 2006 » Our Biggest Enemy?

Our Biggest Enemy?

Monday, September 11, 2006 Posted: 09:38 PM JST

"There's still an enemy out there that would like to inflict the same kind of damage again." -- George Bush, after visiting Ground Zero in New York on September 10, 2006.

"The war on terror is more than a military conflict—it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. And we’re only in its opening stages." -- George Bush on September 7, 2006.

"Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror." -- Franklin D Roosevelt, 1933

Is Osama Bin Laden the biggest threat to our way of life?
Look at the numbers:

· People killed by foreign terrorists in the USA on Sep. 11 2001: 2,973 (24 missing)

· Murders in the USA in 2004: 16,137 (Source: FBI)
· Rapes in the USA in 2004: 94,635 (Source: FBI)
· Aggravated Assault cases in the USA in 2004: 94,635 (Source: FBI)
· Victims of hate crimes in the USA in 2004: 9,528 (Source: FBI)
· Highway fatalities in the USA in 2005: 43,443 (Source: FARS)
· Projected cancer deaths in the USA for 2006: 564,830 (Source: NCI)

You'll have died of cancer, murder or a traffic accident many hundreds of times before you have the chance to even meet a foreign terrorist.

"This public panic benefits the terrorists whose work is made easier by an overactive government response that magnifies their efforts. In an odd way this puts the government and the terrorists in league with one another. The main loser, alas, is the terrified public." -- Mark Juergensmeyer, director of Global and International Studies at U.C. Santa Barbara, 2006. Source: San Francisco Chronicle

"When you have media organs viewing fear-mongering as a payday, senior politicians seeing fear-mongering as sound political strategy, and terrorists considering fear-mongering as a victory unto itself, where are citizens expected to find a voice of reason?" -- Matthew T. Felling, media director for the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C. Source: San Francisco Chronicle

"... how the government counts international terrorism incidents profoundly affects the credibility of the Bush administration's claim that the United States is engaged in a "Long War" against international terrorism. [The National Counterterrorism Center's] accounting methods, which show that international terrorism is rapidly getting worse, motivate government officials eager to promulgate their theatrical vision of the conflict in which the United States is now mired. Omitting the NCTC's more questionable incidents -- those in the conflict zones of Iraq and Kashmir -- shows terrorism reached its zenith in the mid-1980s, and has been declining since." -- The Center for Defense Information (a respected independent military research organization).

"If al Qaeda operatives are as determined and inventive as assumed, they should be here by now. If they are not yet here, they must not be trying very hard or must be far less dedicated, diabolical, and competent than the common image would suggest... . The evidence so far suggests that fears of the omnipotent terrorist … may have been overblown, the threat presented within the United States by al Qaeda greatly exaggerated. The massive and expensive homeland security apparatus erected since 9/11 may be persecuting some, spying on many, inconveniencing most, and taxing all to defend the United States against an enemy that scarcely exists." -- Ohio State University's John Mueller in Foreign Affairs

Keywords: opinion_item

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3 comments so far post your own

1 | At 12:59am on Sep 12 2006, José Alberto wrote:

The blog Estados Gerais (General States) await your visit and comment on this day that the world cannot forget.


2 | At 03:28pm on Sep 30 2006, Kjeld Duits wrote:
Some more figures to make you think:

An animated Ben Cohen uses Oreo cookies to show how much the US spends on defense and social programs. Sobering...

A real Ben Cohen disappears behind a wall of bb's representing the US nuclear arsenal. See for yourself how crazy the US nuclear stockpile is.

How much is the US spending on fighting the 'war on terror' anyway? USD 550 Billion and counting says Military.com!
3 | At 05:08am on Oct 10 2006, Shawn wrote:
Not all people support the mass build up of nuclear weapons. I don't like it cause it is very dangerous.
The crime is in certain areas. Not all of America is so dangerous. Often you will hear of the same areas that keep having murders or traffic accidents.
I like Japan and the Japanese people. Japan is full of beauty that can be seen in their crafts, art, buildings, and many aspects of their culture.
I am a young man that is working to pay for my college education, and when I have time read and learn about Japan, the Japanese people, the language, and your customs. I only hope that if I am able to visit Japan some day then I would like to get along with Japanese as a friend instead of as a danger. I try to understand and coexist with others but it seems to be a view few people share.
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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
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