Myths about Terrorism

Few aspects of recent American politics have been as frustrating to me as the use of terrorism to justify just about any crooked, self-serving political agenda.  Terrorists are the root of all evil, and we must do whatever we can to erase them from the face of the Earth.  And they’re everywhere – be sure to look over your shoulder!  What a load of crap. 

It could easily be argued that George Bush is responsible for far more pointless killings than could any terrorist hope for.  Add in his claim that God told him to do it, and I think it’s really hard to see the differences between the “evil” terrorists and the one that’s ruling the U. S. (at least in name).

WashingtonPost.com reports on 5 Myths About Terrorism, to help address some of the misconceptions held by Americans.  From the introduction:

Six years after 9/11, all too many Americans still have only a vague idea of what does — and doesn’t — motivate terrorists. It doesn’t help that many politicians exploit the anxiety that terrorism evokes to promote their own agendas. Here are five key urban legends:

And on the topic of the source of terrorists (it’s not just brown people):

After all, it was not long ago that homegrown villains such as Timothy McVeigh and the so-called Unabomber were the most notorious terrorists. That makes sense; the vast majority of terrorist incidents are local, motivated by local concerns and carried out by natives. Even international terrorist events tend to be local affairs, most frequently carried out by local militants who target foreigners who happen to be in their country. (Just think of last week’s foiled plot to attack U.S. targets in Germany.) This suggests that the likelihood of attack by homegrown terrorists is far greater than the threat of another 9/11-style attack by foreigners.

Personally, I question whether terrorism was ever one of the biggest problems in this country.  It certainly helps politicians and CEOs complete their agendas, but aren’t issues such as healthcare and the environment at least as relevant?  The United States has easily blown a trillion dollars on chasing these “evil-doers” and on curtailing our civil liberties.  It’s time for people to realize these myths and take a more rational, less emotional look at terrorism.  Hopefully then we can stop its misuse as a justification for performing equally terrible acts.

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