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
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