Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Great Thing About Terrorism

The great thing about terrorism is that you don't have to be effective to be successful.

Look at Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the bumbling idiot who made a complete mess of blowing up Northwest Airlines Flight 253. The plane landed safely and undamaged; the passengers and crew were all alive and unhurt; in fact, the only person Umar managed to injure was himself. And even then, he couldn't even successfully kill himself. A suicide bomber who doesn't bomb anything and doesn't even commit suicide is, by definition, a failed suicide bomber.

Oh, but look at the reaction: Fear, alarm, panic in the streets. Weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Demands that something be done. More inconvenience, more delays, more economic dislocation. Headlines everywhere about the need to do more to protect us from terrorists. The Ivory Madonna, who makes it a policy never to watch TV news, can only imagine the fearmongering histrionics that are filling the nation's airwaves and cables. In short, we have allowed ourselves to succumb to terror.

Umar must be thrilled.

Sure, he's a failure as a suicide bomber. But boy, is he a success as a terrorist!

People, what are you all afraid of?

Nobody got hurt (except Umar). Nothing got bombed. For Percy's sake, the plane even landed on time.

Oh, but next time....

Next time you could die in a car accident on the way to the airport. Next time you could get struck by lightning. Next time the plane's engines could fail, or it could crash on takeoff or landing.

All of those threats are much more likely than dying in a terrorist attack. Yet you manage to live with them without succumbing to terror.

The goal of terrorism is not to kill people. The goal of terrorism is to cause terror. And they can only be successful if we let terror spread.

Stop being an accomplice to terrorism. Stop spreading terror. Turn off the tv, don't read the fearmongers. Use your intelligence. Grow up and start acting like an adult. Get a grip on yourself.

Stop being afraid.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.
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