The Terrorists Have Won

by francine Hardaway on February 11, 2009

I was out in the park with the dogs this morning talking to my friend Carolyn-the-Constable about the miserable state of the economy and how it affects not only both of us, but literally everyone we know. We couldn’t think of a single soul who was not affected in some way by, if nothing else, the atmosphere in the country.  And then it came to me: the terrorists have won.

Think about it for a minute.  What did the terrorists want? They wanted to punish America for its ungodlike, lavish lifestyle, and the way it was spreading its culture around the world. The terrorists thought, and still think, that we deserved to die simply because of the way we live.

So they flew their planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and they accomplished their purpose. We don’t live that way anymore. They destroyed the uniqueness of America: its optimism, its upward mobility, and its entrepreneurship. And they did it the way terrorists always do everything: by creating a climate of fear.

Into that climate walked George W. Bush, the perfect insecure dry drunk, and his sidekick Dick Cheney. Out of fear, they created two wars, one against the Taliban, and one against  God-knows-who in Iraq. We spent dollars and lives in both wars, with inconclusive results. And despite what everyone says about the American people not being asked to sacrifice, we have sacrificed a lot: our current comfort, our social contract, our futures, and those of our children. As a people, we have given our all, and the terrorists have still won, because they have frightened us.

We now have a political system polarized and stalemated by fear, and a Treasury decimated by debt. (And I mean that word almost literally. Our treasury has been cut to roughly a tenth of what it was, and we are drowning in debt) Our country is crumbling, and we can’t get up the mental energy to come together around a solution to rebuild it.

This also comes from fear. We are cowering in a corner. The Republicans are fearful that we will burden our children with debt and the stimulus won’t work. The Democrats are afraid the stimulus won’t go far enough, and will omit things like education and health care. Those of us on the sidelines are afraid the government will cease to function and NOTHING will be done.

In behavioral psychology, this used to be called “operational neurosis,” and was confined to rats on a grid who were delivered electric shocks on an intermittent, unpredictable basis.

As a country, we have lost the basic philosophical underpinnings of our existence: the social contract. And we’ve lost the basic theological underpinnings of our existence: the Golden Rule. We are all trying to save ourselves, and letting the guy next door hang. And that is how the terrorists have won.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

P. Webb February 11, 2009 at 10:02 am

Surely it’s not true that only WebPixie, our neighbors, our friends, and I are not the only ones in the US who aren’t living in fear (despite the continuing hardships we’re currently enduring)!

Might I recommend a good book? It was written by Steve Gillmor’s dad. TheWebPixie will be happy to send you (or anyone) the title! Just ask her on twitter (@TheWebPixie).

Smile, Francine, friend of the love of my life. Things WILL get better.

Dabir Dalton February 12, 2009 at 4:53 am

“They wanted to punish America for its ungodlike, lavish lifestyle, and the way it was spreading its culture around the world. The terrorists thought, and still think, that we deserved to die simply because of the way we live.”

This statement misses the mark by a long shot…Ever since Napoleon the west has interfered in the Middle East which became a battle ground between Germany and Britain during WW II…After which Britain took control of Palestine only to be run out like cowards by the Zionist Terrorists…Britain then handed Palestine over to the UN who then caved in to the Jewish Terrorists and created the modern day nation of Israel which led directly to the displacement of the Arabs who’d live in Palestine for the past 2000 years…

Then comes along the good ole US who helps Israel become a nuclear power and provides the military support that allows Israel to bully it’s neighbors…Israel bombed Libya’s nuclear reactor and has threatened to bomb Iran’s which is one of the reasons that Iran is now developing a ballistic missile capable of not just hitting Israel but the US as well…

Remember Saddam well the CIA sparked a coup in Iraq that led to the power vacuum that allowed Saddam to come to power…Nor did Reagan, Bush 1 and 2 or Clinton care if Saddam killed his own people as long as he danced to our tune…It wasn’t until Saddam threatened the oil fields when he attacked one of his neighbors that the Bush 1 decided to stomp him and then Bush 2 has wrecked our economy to finish the job his daddy started…

When the US gets smart and weans itself from its dependence from oil and stops interfering in the Middle East by refusing to prop up Israel and quits spreading its morally decadent culture the Terrorists won’t be a threat to us any longer…Until then the American people can expect to get a bloody nose from time to time until our leaders learn to stop sticking it in the business of other nations where it doesn’t belong…

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