“With respect to airport security, it is remarkable how we have come to place Sept. 11, 2001, as the fulcrum upon which we balance almost all of our decisions. As if deadly terrorism didn’t exist prior to that day, when really we’ve been dealing with the same old threats for decades. What have we learned? What have we done?” (from News Flash: Deadly Terrorism Existed before 9/11)
I remember how just after 9/11 I was totally shocked, like everyone else, and fully supported the steps that were taken, the wars even, and continued to feel that way for a while…
Not long after 9/11, maybe January of 2002, I spoke to an Isreali who was visiting in the US, who described how in Israel the threat of terrorism (and the reality of it) was far greater than in the US. While they feared it and deplored it and did not accept it, still they had grown to accept it as a fact of life that could not be eradicated. Just like whenever you get in a car you accept that accidents happen and in fact kill many people every day. You fear it, maybe, deplore it, do everything you can to prevent it, but in the end, you grow to accept it as a fact of life.
…I have to say that now I find that line of thinking persuasive.
The article concludes:
“In the 1980s we did not overreact. We did not stage ill-fated invasions of distant countries. People did not cease traveling and the airline industry did not fall into chaos. We were lazy in enacting better security, perhaps, but as a country our psychological reaction, much to our credit, was calm, measured and not yet self-defeating. This time, thanks to the wholly unhealthy changes in our national and cultural mind-set, I fear it will be different. […]
“The terrorists have won” is a refrain I don’t like using. It’s sensationalist and ignores inherent complexities. But for the moment, I can’t think of a better way of putting it.” (from News Flash: Deadly Terrorism Existed before 9/11)