Are you scared?

Are you scared of terrorist attacks on American soil?

Do you feel safe because American troops are fighting the war against terrorism? In Iraq?

Are you scared of the way America has changed since the attacks?

When America was hit hard, I did not feel afraid… I was pissed off. I wanted action, I wanted unity, I wanted defense. America was on the right track and I was extremely proud of my county and proud of my president. America was strong and united. Until..

Something odd happened. The Taliban supposedly had bin laden. The U.S. made an offer to them, if they turned over Bin Laden,the U.S. would provide aid to them and support them in Afghanistan, even recognize them as the legal government. They Refused. Then Almost overnight, the Taliban themselves were branded terrorists, and the public was made aware of what kind of government the Taliban really was. They needed to be ousted. So, America, we are going to war.

My first thought was, ‘Fucking right, lets get that motherfucker!’ but questions nagged at me: How could the government offer them aid if they were terrorists? If they had turned Bin laden over, would they still be in power today? Would we think of the Taliban as our allies? We picture a Talaban fighter the same as we see a terrorist, could that have all been different. Who cares?… minor detail, right? Time to fight.

And so we went to war.

The biggest mistake was made in the history of the united states. It began with an important question that was never asked: ‘Are you scared?’ Instead we were told that we were scared.

I remember the first time I saw a terror warning level on television. What possible use could this be? All I could see was that it made sure the thought of a possible attack was in our minds at all times.

I remember the president telling us time and time again that we would do what it took to make Americans feel ‘safe’ again! Were we scared to begin with?

“They that can give up liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

My god, it worked too. Slowly our appointed representatives begin to see the America was unsafe and drastic measures needed to be taken to defend the county. Laws were passed that took away liberties, and everyone seemed fine with that.

The patriot Act. Yes, it sounds very ‘Patriotic’ doesn’t it? The naming was brilliant. If anyone questioned or opposed the act, then naturally, they must not be a patriot, right? There was so much discussion about what they were going to name this act and hardly any of congress actually read the whole thing before passing it into law. Does that seem right to you? Hardly anyone questioned it.

Using this new power, agencies could gain intelligence on a person without having presented evidence against a person to a count. A right many Americans took for granted.

“If your not doing anything wrong, then you don’t have anything to worry about.” -fools

I hear that statement or something like it all the time. Try to think of it this way, suppose that someone thought you were guilty of murder. They had no reason to suspect you of the crime, but in their eyes, you were guilty so they did what they needed to do to make you apear guilty. How would you feel then?

We have a right against unlawful search and seizure… I guess I should say, we had that right…

Has an innocent person, been falsely condemned as a terrorist due to this change? not to my knowledge, but now it could happen.

But our attention was drawn to ‘a bigger threat’. Iraq is working with terrorist. They have weapons that can kill us. America is unsafe. They must be taken down. O.k. I’m In, Let’s fuckin’ do it.

Saddam, Saddam, Saddam… Bin laden… Bin Who.. who’s that?

Less and less we heard about the threat of Bin laden and eventually we stoped hearing about him almost completely. Why can’t we catch this asshole? Don’t have time to think about that right now, we are in the middle of taking down Iraq.

At the time I never thought the government would mislead us. It needs to be done. Let’s take down Saddam. We Came, We kicked ass, We searched, Found nothing, Liberated and Procrastinated. The people love us, the people hate us.

The simple truth of the matter is that I supported going after Saddam on the evidence given, however after everything that has happened, I also believe we were deliberately mislead. Did he need to go? yes. Was it the right time or way to go about it? No fucking way. It happened so fast I wondered if they even had a plan. Four years later, people are still wondering the same damn thing.

We are there now though, so we can deal with that. People want to know why we are there. First it was weapons of mass destruction, then it was that we were really liberating Iraq, and now its ‘fighting terrorist there, so we don’t have to fight them here.’ Sounds great, but smells like bullshit.

Does this logic work: Leave troops fighting an insurgency that places road side bombs, and our troops get blown up when they cross them. Spend an obscene amount of money to keep the war going on. Let the body count rise along with Haliburton’s profits. What do you think?

We won the war. Its over. Armys are meant to fight other armies and can never defeat an ideology. Iraq’s army has been defeated, we have no enemy there that an army can successfully fight. I’m an idiot and even I can figure that out.

Bring the guys home, spend the money on border protection and homeland defense. I’m pretty damn sure we can stop 99% of those terrorists bastards getting in if we do it right.

Some people even think it is Un-American to criticize and to ask questions.

“A true American questions his/her government, and holds them accountable for their actions. Allowing the government to run rampant because you mistakenly think it makes you safer is not American; it is the behavior of an ignorant coward.” -Unknown

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public”- Theodore Roosevelt

Even when phones were illegally taped, hardly anyone raised a fuss. What if it was your phone?

How many other lines must be crossed. How about if the government could call anybody including U.S. a citizen a threat and toss them in jail without the possibility of defending them self in a court against the charges? It’s happened.

Without proof, without a trial, you could be held. Indefinably.

If something like that did happen to you, the Geneva Conventions prevent mistreatment and torture of prisoners. Only now it’s the president who gets to say what IS and what ISN’T torture.

Anything, that is said under their ‘treatment’ can and will be used against you. Who honestly thinks information gathered under duress is accurate? Worked great during the witch hunts, cause enough pain and someone would tell you they are Santa clause as long as they think you would STOP.

Nobody not even the worst of the worst deserves to be treated that way. That is part of the foundation of our constitution and what America stands for. No one seemed to care.The rules of conduct and the laws of our nation have been bypassed.

The terrorist set out to change America, and it looks like they have. This has become a disgrace. Things need to be set right and I know I’m not alone in this belief.

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“We will be judged by history not by how we treat the best among us, but by how we treat the worst.” -Unknown

“I for one want us to stand up for what we believe in and show the rest of the world that we are not willing to compromise those beliefs in the interest of protecting them.”-Unknown

“Every single American lost a little liberty today. What the Congress and this administration have said is that in the interest of a little security, we are willing to abandon the fundamental tenet on which America was founded, and I quote – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Not only have they made a clear statement that in America, not everybody is created equal, but they have abandoned a fundamental right originally established almost 800 years ago with the Magna Carte – the writ of Habeas Corpus – the right to challenge the evidence against you.” -Unknown

“This may not effect you, your family or your friends today, but are you so certain that it won’t tomorrow that you are willing to sit by idly and not challenge your own government when they take away a right that has served humanity well for almost 800 years “-Unknown

“It takes a true act of cowardice to sign into law the permission to treat other human beings in such derogatory fashion. What separates us from terrorists (of all shape, color, and political persuasion) is that we value life, all life, whereas they do not. More than that, we value the ideals that protect life and dignity. Today it’s clear that Americans value their lives over their just ideals that they are purporting to spread throughout the world.

The remarks of members of the current American administration, and other political figures in support of dehumanizing treatment in order to “protect” American lives will forever be remembered as the moment America clearly said “we value our lives over yours, and our dignity over yours”.

Any American, any free person, any human being not willing to lay down their life to defend the ideal of good treatment for all others, including criminals, is a true coward, and history will remember this administration and the people of this time as true cowards that acted out of fear. -Unknown”

I love the United States of America. I am saddened by the direction we are heading. When I ask myself, ‘am I scared?’ The answer is…. Yes.

So tell me… are you scared?

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Comments

  1. NMS  October 19, 2006

    I think your analysis is quite a bit off. First, I had never heard of our offer to the Taliban that you mentioned. I am not sure that actually happened. I know that happened with Sudan in the 90s, but I do not think it happened with Afghanistan and the Taliban.

    How can you not say that the United States was unsafe. A major terrorist attack destroyed the World Trade Center, cause serious damage to the Pentagon, and murdered 3000 people. That does not sound safe to me.

    As for the Patriot Act, it does not get rid of the right from unlawful search and seizure. The Patriot Act still requires permission from a judge. To get a wiretap, you still need the okay from a judge. It does not give law enforcement open season on wiretaps or other invasive investigative tools.

    On the Iraq war, you are the one misleading. All major intelligence agencies in the world believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. It was not just American intelligence. Secondly, to believe that the president deliberately misled the American people is to assume he is stupid. The truth was going to come out eventually, no rational person could have expected the truth to remain hidden.

    On the number of troops killed in Iraq, they are high yet not historically. At the Battle of Iwo Jima, more Americans died then have been killed in Iraq. I am not saying that American soldiers dying do not matter. It is not just a statistic. However, I just wanted to give some perspective.

    Who ever said it was un-American to criticize America’s policies? Please give me an example.

    On coercive interrogation, we do not use “torture”. We use loud music, temperature extremes, sleep deprivation, psychological intimidation, and occasionally waterboarding. By the way, these tactics work. According to Brian Ross of ABC news, the CIA used these tactics on Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. In addition, these tactics worked and these two terrorists ended up giving up information on some of their associates. Coercive interrogation works, and information gathered under duress helps in the war on terror. On the facts, you are wrong.

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  2. Kris  October 19, 2006

    “I think your analysis is quite a bit off. First, I had never heard of our offer to the Taliban that you mentioned. I am not sure that actually happened. I know that happened with Sudan in the 90s, but I do not think it happened with Afghanistan and the Taliban.’

    It happened. It was widely reported on news stations and on the internet. It was a short lived offer but it was made.

    “How can you not say that the United States was unsafe. A major terrorist attack destroyed the World Trade Center, cause serious damage to the Pentagon, and murdered 3000 people. That does not sound safe to me.”

    Well if we were unsafe the day of the attacks and after the attacks then clearly we must have been unsafe long before the attacks. But it wasn’t that we were unsafe, it was being told to be scared. were you scared?

    “As for the Patriot Act, it does not get rid of the right from unlawful search and seizure. The Patriot Act still requires permission from a judge. To get a wiretap, you still need the okay from a judge. It does not give law enforcement open season on wiretaps or other invasive investigative tools.”

    Only problem is that the president interpreted the act in such a way that led him to wire tap people with out a court order.

    “On the Iraq war, you are the one misleading. All major intelligence agencies in the world believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. It was not just American intelligence. Secondly, to believe that the president deliberately misled the American people is to assume he is stupid.”

    All major intelligence agencies? who? I don’t recall a single voiced being raised about Iraq. Was it the right time to go after them? If you were president would you have done the same. Do you deny the that the reasons we are there has changed time and time again? Yeah saddam was an asshole. He had a number in line but we pushed him to the front when we didn’t need to.

    “On the number of troops killed in Iraq, they are high yet not historically. At the Battle of Iwo Jima, more Americans died then have been killed in Iraq. I am not saying that American soldiers dying do not matter. It is not just a statistic. However, I just wanted to give some perspective.”

    True. Iwo jima was against an army. Every war we have ever used our military against has been against an army. My point is that a Military is not capable of winning against an Ideology. To fight and win against that you need to be smart, a well developed infiltration of terrorists groups is needed, small anti-terrorism fighting forces are needed. Good will and American Ideas are needed. Soldiers patroling down a street are nothing but targets. We need to be smarter.

    “Who ever said it was un-American to criticize America’s policies? Please give me an example.”

    People say that dumb shit all the time.

    “On coercive interrogation, we do not use “torture”. We use loud music, temperature extremes, sleep deprivation, psychological intimidation, and occasionally waterboarding. By the way, these tactics work. According to Brian Ross of ABC news, the CIA used these tactics on Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. In addition, these tactics worked and these two terrorists ended up giving up information on some of their associates. Coercive interrogation works, and information gathered under duress helps in the war on terror. On the facts, you are wrong.”

    In WW2 the Germans had amazing interrogators that followed the geneva conventions. They were successful without being harmful. Now, you can give examples of some of the things the U.S. does use, but how do you know they are not going beyond that?

    Why would the president need authority to say what is and isn’t toture? think about that. For the most part it’s common sense what should not be done to another human being. Except now the rules can be bent and eventually broken.

    Thank you for you comments.

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  3. Joe  October 19, 2006

    My comments :)

    Anyone who thought that WMD was the only reason to go into Iraq was kidding themselves, Iraq was always a WMD threat, but it had been put in a box, still they were capable. The reason WMD was mentioned at all is that it was a much better reason to sell to the UN and congress. The real reason was to oust Saddam.

    More on WMD & Iraq. Back in the day, remember the axis of evil, my first thought was the most dangerous member of the axis is the DPRK (that’s North Korea). While we’ve been pissing away troops and money in Iraq, DPRK has been actually making the bomb. It is only a matter of time before Seoul and Tokyo get nuked, those are our closest Asian allies, and they are critical to our economy.

    Speaking of pissing away troops and money. If we would have went to Afghanistan with over 100,000 troops, the likelihood of catching Bin Laden would have been much greater. Now he is in Pakistan, where we refuse to look for him. Sure, the Pakistan government says they are looking for him, but that isn’t working out. Pakistan should be put on notice, produce Bin Laden, or we will come find him ourselves, and if the Pakistani army tries to stop us, we’ll have no problem defeating them too. Oh yeah, Pakistan has nukes, but using them on US troops would be a major mistake that only DPRK (if you forgot, that is North Korea) would actually make right now.

    Anyway, it seems odd that the most powerful military force on the planet is incapable of catching Bin Laden. What does that mean? Maybe our military isn’t as great as we thought it was?

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  4. Joe  October 19, 2006

    Got to respond to this:

    “On coercive interrogation, we do not use “torture”. We use loud music, temperature extremes, sleep deprivation, psychological intimidation, and occasionally waterboarding. By the way, these tactics work.”

    You know how they make police get maced before they are allowed to use mace? That would be a good idea here, anyone using or authorizing these tactics should first be subjected to them.

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  5. Kris  October 19, 2006

    \”You know how they make police get maced before they are allowed to use mace? That would be a good idea here, anyone using or authorizing these tactics should first be subjected to them.\”

    I agree Joe. You would be surprised what you would consider torture after being exposed to it. I can\’t really talk about what I experienced in Survival training and P.o.W. resistance. I will mention that If I knew I was going to be captured, I would rather eat my last bullet, than go through being a prisoner of war in a country that may use torture, or even one that can even interpret the Geneva conventions rules.

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  6. NMS  October 19, 2006

    The offer to the Taliban was made before 9/11 occurred. It was made in a time when the American government did not correctly assess the threat we face from Islamic terrorism. From the Reagan administration on, the Islamic jihadist threat was not given the magnitude it needed. I’ll give you that. The reason the offer was made, was because the Bush administration was following the American tradition of manipulating repressive governments for one’s ends. It was a mistaken policy and I’m glad Bush has gone away from it somewhat.

    The reason people began to say that the United States was unsafe, was because they finally understood we were unsafe. They did not just make it up. And no, I was not “scared”. I was worried about the risk of terrorism. But I was not hysterically frightened, and I doubt many Americans were hysterically frightened.

    In World War II, the Germans were no followers of the Geneva Convention. I have a relative who remembers the Germans repeatedly divebombing ambulances, with obvious red crosses. They did not follow the Geneva Convention. So to believe that they mostly follow them is to go against history.

    On the issue of bin Laden and the mistake at Tora Bora. I agree, we screwed up in that issue. We should’ve brought in more special forces and a show of force. That was a mistake. But now, we cannot go into Pakistan. If we did so, the Musharraf government would be overthrown and replaced with an Islamic fascist state very antagonistic to the United States. And guess what, that country would be a nuclear power. That is not good. For that reason, American troops should not go into to Pakistan in a search for bin Laden.

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