Why you shouldn’t be afraid of terrorists.

Americans have been turned into pathetic little cowards jumping at their own shadows.

In my last blog I talked about why most of the people in guantanamo should be set free just as any other prisoner whose rights were violated.  But the reason this will most likely not happen as it does every day with rapists and murderers and pedophiles whose rights are violated, is because we’ve been told terrorism is “the” threat we must fear, and terrorists are some kind of super-criminal.  We are to believe Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is the veritable Lex Luthor of criminals, and that if we even put him in an american supermax prison (which no one has ever escaped from) he would somehow still be a threat to us.  Congressmen and women are lining up to say “you’re not sending these people to my district”, as if a prison designed for serial murderers and rapists is just too good for a… terrorist.

I have news for you, 3,017 people died in the 9/11 attacks, most of them in the twin towers.

That same year drunk drivers killed 17,448 people.  That’s 6 times as many.

Drunk drivers are 6 times as dangerous as terrorists.  Actually that’s not true, they *were* 6 times as dangerous as terrorists in 2001.  There hasn’t been an attack like that since, so if we assume roughly 15,000 people have died per year since then then as of january this year, drunk drivers are 40 times as dangerous as terrorists.

Getting into your car without buckling your seatbelt is more dangerous than getting on an airplane with 100 muslim or arab passengers.  So why aren’t we terrified of both?  Because we are not rational animals.

We have been told that terrorists are “the” threat we need to worry about.  Why?  Why has this mad notion gained acceptance?  It has gained acceptance because we’ve been beaten over the head with it for almost a decade to justify the illegal actions of the Bush administration.  We are all lining up ready to excuse major violations of the law, illegal wiretapping, torture of prisoners (many if not most of whom are innocent and were later released), invading iraq without that pesky “declaration of war” from congress.  Huge, gigantic violations of the law here, and we are ready to excuse them.  Why?  Because desperate times call for desperate measures.

And if we weren’t pissing ourselves that the terrorists might get us we might realize that torturing terrorists because they’re so much of a threat that the geneva conventions, the constitution and basic morality no longer apply makes about as much sense as hooking a drunk driver’s nuts to a car battery because they’re just so dangerous.

We’ve been reduced from a proud, strong people into a bunch of cowering wimps, and all in the name of protecting a bunch of criminals.

Don’t ever listen to someone trying to make you afraid.  When you hear people on the news telling you “boogie boogie boogie” you do the right thing and change the channel.  Listen to people who are concerned or worried, not people who are trying to make you shit your pants or think the sky is falling.  And always, always stop and think about what people are telling you.

Otherwise you’ll spend your life frightened of your own shadow.  And we will run out the rest of our country’s possibly short existence doing whatever our leaders want us to, instead of the other way around.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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60 Responses to Why you shouldn’t be afraid of terrorists.

  1. agnophilo says:

    @SilentSeekr – So the more evil someone is, the less rights they have?  Is that how it works?@randaness – Well thanks : D@HumanTouches – Yeah,  That too, while horrible, killed what like a few people?  And we were all pissing our pants as if al qaida was going to target any of us specifically.@WyomingSheepRanch – So you’re agreeing with me?@Losertastic – : D

  2. Anonymous says:

    @agnophilo - No, the more evil someone is, I have less sympathy for them. And their rights have to be commuted to help the authorities find out what they know concerning any crimes about to happen.

  3. epiginoskete says:

    I appreciate your ire. You make some good points about the irrationality of fear (and thus, the need to evaluate what is being said rather than simply reacting emotionally to pundits). Enjoyed reading this.

  4. agnophilo says:

    @SilentSeekr – Yeah, that’s illegal.@epiginoskete – Thanks.

  5. Anonymous says:

    i think we agree on some points.torture is unacceptableviolating the constitution is unacceptablei’m ambivalent about what to do with the prisoners

  6. agnophilo says:

    @WyomingSheepRanch – My blog was actually more about the spirit of the law than this particular situation really.

  7. Anonymous says:

    what do you mean?

  8. agnophilo says:

    @WyomingSheepRanch – I wasn’t disagreeing with you, I was saying the blog is more about why we let bad guys go when their rights are violated than about this particular situation.

  9. Interestingly, while I’ve been pondering your last two entries, I’ve been trying to think of anyone I know who is “afraid” of terrorists.  I know plenty of people who are enraged by them.  I know lots of people who are disgusted by them.  I don’t know really *anyone* who is scared of them.  But it still makes no sense to compare crimes committed by terrorists to crimes committed by individuals.  And, I guess I could say the statistical probability that I, or anyone I love, will be waterboarded any time soon is much smaller than the possibility they might, say, encounter an aggravated robber.  So I shouldn’t be worried about CIA agents in remote makeshift dungeons waterboarding people I don’t know, eh?

  10. agnophilo says:

    @ordinarybutloud – “Interestingly, while I’ve been ponderingyour last two entries, I’ve been trying to think of anyone I know whois “afraid” of terrorists.  I know plenty of people who are enraged bythem.  I know lots of people who are disgusted by them.  I don’t knowreally *anyone* who is scared of them.”  So why did george bush get re-elected by scaring the piss out of the electorate and running all those ads about if you vote for kerry the terrorists will get you (remember the “wolf” ads?)  Why are there so many people arguing that we have to torture because terrorists are such a daaaaangerous threat?  The fact is a lot of people are buying into the fear mongering, whether you know any of them or not.”But it still makes no sense tocompare crimes committed by terrorists to crimes committed byindividuals.”  Terrorists are individuals.  And I compared the threat to the individual.  If I said you’re more likely to die in a car crash than you are to die in a plane crash if you flew to work every day you probably wouldn’t have any objection, even though one is an individual accident and the other is a large accident that kills lots of people at once. It doesn’t matter if plane crashes kill a thousand people at once, flying is still safer.”And, I guess I could say the statistical probability thatI, or anyone I love, will be waterboarded any time soon is much smallerthan the possibility they might, say, encounter an aggravated robber. So I shouldn’t be worried about CIA agents in remote makeshiftdungeons waterboarding people I don’t know, eh?”The chance of you being waterboarded by the CIA is almost zero.  You can’t criticize my argument by making up one that doesn’t make sense and comparing it to mine.

Speak yer mind.

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