Friday, August 11, 2006

Papers, Please

No link is necessary for this one. Everybody knows what happened with the terrorists in Britain.

- Britain captures terrorists trying to do harm to America.
- America tightens its air travel restrictions yet again.

It's hard to know where to begin. I guess I'll start with what (to me) is the Obvious Question. If they caught these guys using security and intelligence measures that were already in place before August 10th, why is it necessary to come up with more restrictions after the fact? Does it strike no one as a pathetic commentary on the American state of affairs that our response to terrorism is always a REACTIONARY GRAB AT MORE FREEDOM?!?!

It was with no small amount of disgust that I watched the news last night. There at my own local airport were plenty of sheeple lined up in a nice row applauding the government and its pathetic, totalitarian reactionary response. One woman even went so far as to do the Feds' propaganda work for them. Quoth the sheep: "It's for everybody's own protection."

We have allowed the Federal government to state (and act on) the following: "The Constitution [Bill of Rights] no longer applies in air-travel situations. If you wish to travel by air, you will be treated as a subject and suspect rather than a citizen. You are assumed to be guilty until we can prove otherwise by unreasonably searching your person and property. Your right to defend yourself against any actual wrongdoers is hereby revoked. You will behave in an orderly fashion. If you say something we don't like, we will arrest you. This is for your own protection."

Now a lot of people's response is to say, "Well you don't have to travel by airplane. Really they're restricting a privilege more than a set of inalienable rights."

In reality, that's very near-sighted. They are restricting rights - just in a certain arena. We (the public) have agreed with the government that the risks of air travel are great enough that we are willing to (completely) hand over our rights in the interests of our safety.

So where am I going with this? Well, it's not where I'm going with this - it's where the terrorists are going with this. I don't think they understand just how much damage they've done. Without the American freedom-loving Constitutional point of view, they cannot possibly understand just how much and how subtly they have eroded our freedoms. They'd be dancing in the streets if they knew the real consequences they can net with a simple attempt at a terrorist act. The only tangible result they can hope for is a big pile of dead bodies - but they've done more lasting damage than that.

So what happens when we successfully clamp down on air travel to the point that a terrorist act is a totally impossible? At some point, air travel will consist of willing passengers being strip searched and then handcuffed to their seats. What then?

What happens when the sleeper cells wake up? What happens when car bombs start going off? What happens when suicide bombers start blowing up buses and grocery stores and movie theaters in the Midwest? What happens when sleeper agents go into action and start randomly shooting people?

My point is this: if the terrorists are ever smart enough to change tactics and truly terrorize the American public, it will be decision time. We can choose to keep our freedom, or we can do what we have done at the airport and say that safety is more important.

Metal detectors, surveillance cameras, and government listening posts. Those are all in our (very grim) future unless we make radically different choices when the terrorists make a tactical shift.

2 Comments:

Blogger Reason said...

One must ask oneself, "Who is the foremost threat to our way of life?"

It's not the camel-jockeys, if that's your first inclination.

11/8/06 1:17 PM  
Blogger MartiniMartini said...

Adam, I'm in a hurry and on my way to class (i read only bits and pieces from your post), but I want to point out a couple things you missed. 1)It doesn't matter if the measures in place before Aug 10 worked just fine--these new measures are NOT about preventing terrorism. These new measures are purely for the "sheeple" you mentioned--they just want to keep the natives from getting restless. The only surefire way to prevent terrorist from destroying planes full of people is to cavity search every passengers and force them to board planes naked with no personal possessions. At which point the terrorists will resort to other methods (bombing subways, poisoning water supplies, car bombs, etc)
2) The terrorists know EXACTLY what they're doing. You think they don't see the psychological ramifications on the US from their actions? Look at the ways they've planned to kill people. They really haven't tried to kill a HUGE number of americans. This is psychological warfare for them. They are called TERRORists for a reason: they are trying to terrorize people until they voluntarily give up their rights and submit in fear. That is how the terrorists plan to dominate. Gotta go. I'm late.
-Laura

11/8/06 2:08 PM  

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