Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Terrorists Are, Indeed, Winning

As you've probably heard, the Obama administration has decided not to hold the trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in New York.

What does this mean? In a nutshell, it means that the terrorists have won.

The goal of terror is to terrorize a population into changing their behavior in ways that you could never achieve through conventional warfare.

They have clearly done this.

The United States, which spends as much on its military as the rest of the world combined, is now, literally, too terrorized to hold a trial in its biggest and perhaps most heavily defended city.

Think about that for a moment.

But this didn't have to happen. Terrorists need two other things besides successful terror attacks. They need to attack a country that is easy to frighten, and they need that country to have leaders who are willing to exploit that fear.

If the United States wasn't full of people who are too frightened to defend their way of life, we would not be moving this trial. Not would we have been scared into invading Al Qaeda's (and Iran's) enemy, Iraq. We wouldn't have been scared into giving our government the power to literally put people in cages forever, with no evidence or trial. We wouldn't have legitimized the use of torture, whether on innocent people or on guilty. We wouldn't have allowed our government to spy on its own citizens phone conversations and communications.

In short, we wouldn't have given up the things that made America great.

America is changing. We are becoming more and more similar to those totalitarian societies we love to criticize-the kind of place where we allow our government to do what it wants to because we're too afraid to say no.

The terrorists have won. Blame them, if you like. Blame our politicians for exploiting your fear. But blame yourself most of all, because someone as scared as you doesn't deserve the country you are losing.

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