Why do we fear terrorism the way we do? - Page 2




 
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Boots
 
August 6th, 2005  
Young Winston
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
Some people have this great fear of death, as they seem to think that theirs is only life with value to it. Now if they brought back some form of military call up then they might just a slightly more fatalistic view on the whole matter, and would learn to enjoy life while they around.
August 6th, 2005  
Irishone
 
 
An example of why people fear terrorists would be the Beslan School Siege. It was some of the kids first days in school, they were held hostage for 3 days. Over 300 civilians killed and more than half were children. (Figures not accurate cant remember exactly)
I think the main fear people have when it comes to terrorism, is that they feel that the terrorists are winning and think that they are unstoppable. When they go to a school and kill innocent kids that makes people scared and think what if it had of been my kid. There are so many of these cases happening and this scares people.
August 6th, 2005  
Young Winston
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishone
An example of why people fear terrorists would be the Beslan School Siege. It was some of the kids first days in school, they were held hostage for 3 days. Over 300 civilians killed and more than half were children. (Figures not accurate cant remeber exact)
I think the main fear people have when it comes to terrorism, is that they feel that the terrorists are winning and think that they are unstoppable. When they go to a school and kill innocent kids that makes people scared and think what if it had of been my kid. There are so many of these cases happening and this scares people.
Good point.

The enemy is not always that well defined.
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Boots
August 22nd, 2005  
mmarsh
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabs
No, I think UBL would slaughter every American if he could. Sure they have long term goals. Kill everyone that thinks diffrently than they do.
I don't think thats his goal at all. His ultimate goal is to create a single arab caliphat run by a version of Islam that would make the Spanish Inquistion look like the Golden Age of Reason.

He kills Americans as a means to that end. Why? because many of the worst dictators in the ME Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt are sponsored by the US. The US is also the sole backer of Isreal which is another object of the Arabs rath.

His strategy is simple Kill Americans and that will cause Washington to loosen its ties with the ME. He did make one mistake that was 9/11. The muslims were shocked at the lost of innocent life and rebuked him. Unfortunatly when we invaded Iraq his public support swelled. He has since learned his mistake and limited his attacks to either military targets or civilian targets in which the government supported the US.

Those countries that didnt support Iraq shouldnt take heart while although they arnt on the target list, should OBL wildest dreams come true he would virew those countries as ripe for conquest. He has already made comments about recapturing land once owned by Muslims (he fails to mention of course, that those lands were never Muslim to begin with but were taken by force).
August 23rd, 2005  
mzspaztastic
 
 
personally, i blame the media. terrorism has always been a threat, but it wasn't until relatively recently (as in the past 4 years), that it has become a fear engraved in everyone's mind. now, i'm only 23, so i could be wrong, but i know that growing up as an army brat, i knew what was going on in the world, and i never had that nagging fear, nor did i know anyone else who did.

i still dont have that nagging fear. i live in boston, and on september 11, 2001, i was working in boston's number one targeted building. the point is, i should have had that fear. i was working for MEPS, enlisting a guy into the military as we were called out to watch the news. but i didn't. while we can never make our country 100% secure, we are just as likely to be killed by a terrorist attack as we were 10 years ago.

as for the statistics of deaths, yes, thats a ton of people dying each year from things that are completely unrelated to terrorism. but i think the reason fear terrorism is that they cant control it. you can control the car you are driving, the ladder you climb, the lawnmower your push, the matches you light. we are accustomed to flu season now, most cases are mild, and we can control going to the doctor (please dont go into a health care debate on that one, im just saying). so yes, there is always the possibility of these things happening, but you have control over the situation, or at least think we have control over the situation. but you never know with a terrorist attack.

still, i think its a terrible fear to have, because it will follow you everywhere you go, 24/7, and there is no escaping it. but the chances are pretty unlikely.
August 23rd, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzspaztastic
personally, i blame the media. terrorism has always been a threat, but it wasn't until relatively recently (as in the past 4 years), that it has become a fear engraved in everyone's mind. now, i'm only 23, so i could be wrong, but i know that growing up as an army brat, i knew what was going on in the world, and i never had that nagging fear, nor did i know anyone else who did.

i still dont have that nagging fear. i live in boston, and on september 11, 2001, i was working in boston's number one targeted building. the point is, i should have had that fear. i was working for MEPS, enlisting a guy into the military as we were called out to watch the news. but i didn't. while we can never make our country 100% secure, we are just as likely to be killed by a terrorist attack as we were 10 years ago.

as for the statistics of deaths, yes, thats a ton of people dying each year from things that are completely unrelated to terrorism. but i think the reason fear terrorism is that they cant control it. you can control the car you are driving, the ladder you climb, the lawnmower your push, the matches you light. we are accustomed to flu season now, most cases are mild, and we can control going to the doctor (please dont go into a health care debate on that one, im just saying). so yes, there is always the possibility of these things happening, but you have control over the situation, or at least think we have control over the situation. but you never know with a terrorist attack.

still, i think its a terrible fear to have, because it will follow you everywhere you go, 24/7, and there is no escaping it. but the chances are pretty unlikely.
And to my mind that's ostrich type thinking.

Be in constant fear? No, certainly not, but be cautious and be aware most certainly. I think level headed people can handle caution vs. fear well enough - it's the many more who cannot tame their fear that causes concern. How do you keep people informed and not scare the living out of them? That's the line that we must walk.

As for 9/11, I was both stunned and had concerns I'd felt since the early 1980s confirmed. I have seen what Beirut looked like in the early '80s, saw the bombings in Israel and those of the Red Brigade in Europe and I knew that our's was only a matter of time before such came to our shores. I grew up on the border with Canada - I know how easy it was and still is to get in here. So I was stunned that it actually had happened finally, and yet surprised only that it had taken this long to happen.

The fact is, the rest of the world lives in a very different set of concerns and values in many ways than we do and the distances of the world are now so shortened in this modern era, that we can no longer live without recognizing this and making some kind of ways of dealing with it.
August 23rd, 2005  
mzspaztastic
 
 
i get your point. constant fear was a poor way of putting it. but people are afraid. and while, yes we should be be cautious. but it's much more than that.
December 19th, 2005  
Duty Honor Country
 
 

Topic: "We have become a nation that cries"


"We have become a nation that cries"

That line was taken from a column I read over the weekend. It is quite long, but if you enjoyed my ramble that started this thread, then you will mostlikely enjoy reading the piece below. Happy readings and I look forward to people's reactions.

Today's Americans have everything to fear but fear itself
By Linton Weeks
The Washington Post
Published: Sunday, December 11, 2005

The battle against terrorism has even come to little Ridgely, Md., a quiet gameboard of a town (population 1,400). It has street names such as Park, Railroad, Sunrise and Sunset. It is pretty far from everywhere.

City police recently installed three sleek white surveillance cameras, paid for by a homeland security grant. Two, mounted at the town hall, keep a cross-eyed vigil up and down Central Avenue. The third peers down over the door of the police station.

''You can't ever tell,'' Police Chief Merlin Evans, 59, says. Terrorists just might pass through Ridgely on their way to a bigger target, he says.

Terrorism. Weapons of mass destruction. Bird flu. Hurricanes. Sex offenders. New and terrible forms of cancer. Sexually transmitted diseases. Alzheimer's. Crystal meth labs. Lawsuits. Prison breaks! Female suicide bombers! Wildfires! Identity theft! Terrifying toys! Falling branches! Insurance fraud! Killer cold weather! Searing heat! Flash floods ... exploding gas tanks ... erupting volcanoes ... capsizing boats ... train wrecks-famines-pestilence-ice storms-global warming! Deadly parade balloons!

This is a land in lockdown. Seventy years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt told the country: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Today, we are told to fear everything but fear itself, which we embrace with widespread arms, outstretched hands and an open wallet. We treat fear like Caesar victorious. We allow fear into our homes, our heads, our hearts. We build whole industries around it.

Let's admit it: We are living in Fraidy Cat Nation.

If you are a girl, you'll be abducted! If you are a boy, you'll be molested! If you are a tourist, you'll be robbed!

This never-ending barrage of warnings and bad news eventually becomes an indistinguishable, indecipherable din, says Marc Siegel, a New York doctor and author of ''False Alarm: The Truth About the Epidemic of Fear.'' He believes we need to redirect the nation's, and our own, response to danger warnings. ''I'm not against preparation,'' he says, ''I'm against alarmism.''

The core problem lies in the amygdala - the little bobsled-shaped part of the brain that processes fear. The amygdala is at the center of the brain's emotional network. Primal feelings - and stress - come from here. But the crucial area can handle only one emotion at a time. ''The same amygdala that processes fear,'' Siegel explains, ''also processes positive emotions. So if you are busy fueling your amygdala with fear, then courage, passion, laughter can't get in.''

In other words, if the brain is always on a yellow (elevated alert) threat level, it is not able to rest or relax or even prepare properly for the next real onslaught.

So it is with our national amygdala - Washington.

Here in the fear center of America's brain, the government, the corporate lobbyists and the media converge. (Prime example: In February, MarketWatch reported that Tom Ridge, the former head of Homeland Security who urged us all to buy lots of duct tape, was joining the board of directors of Home Depot, megasellers of duct tape.)

Washington has the same challenge our brains do: separating real threats from perceived threats. The triage, Siegel says, is not going so well. ''If you are constantly putting the worst-case scenario out there,'' Siegel says, ''you are communicating to people that that's the most likely thing to happen.''

That, he says, ''is the reason you have a scared nation. Everybody believes that the worst thing is going to happen tomorrow. That's not true.''

We should prepare for all scenarios, both worst and best, he says. Instead, ''we are constantly personalizing risk in ways that are not realistic.''

Says Tom Finnigan of Citizens Against Government Waste, ''Humans have a tendency to overestimate small risks while underestimating big risks, and politicians and special interests are very good at taking advantage of it.''

The world is a dangerous place - and it became even more so in the wake of Sept. 11 - but it couldn't possibly be as treacherous as the government and corporations and media would have us believe. Consider these events, as documented by Finnigan's group and others:

• Kentucky received a $36,300 Homeland Security grant in October to thwart the possibility that terrorists might infiltrate the state's bingo parlors.

• Grand Forks, N.D., used $145,000 from Homeland Security to buy a bomb-dismantling robot. In September, the Grand Forks Herald reported that the robot, five police officers, a sheriff's deputy and an X-ray machine were deployed to check out a suspicious nylon backpack left by vagrants under a tree. It contained bricks.

• Skittish Boston Harbor officials have a dinner cruise yacht doing double duty as an anti-terrorist vessel.

''There are plenty of cases where the public's fear of over-exaggerated threats leads to government spending on projects and programs that are wasteful or of dubious merit,'' Finnigan writes in an e-mail.

Fear may be good for business, but it's bad for the national psyche. If the president is not reminding us that his administration is fighting terrorism abroad and ''doing everything we can to disrupt folks that might be here in America trying to hurt you,'' then he is warning us that avian flu ''may be the first pandemic of the 21st century.'' Actually, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded that trophy to SARS. Remember when we were scared of SARS?

Members of Congress are familiar with fear. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., told an appropriations subcommittee that one ''huge problem that worries me'' is ''a possible earthquake where I live in the New Madrid Fault in Missouri and the fact that I suspect there isn't a plan in place to deal with the aftermath of that.''

Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, opined about the danger posed by illegal immigrants from Mexico. ''It's frightening,'' he told colleagues.

Homeland Security is in the business of preparedness in this fright-fraught culture. On its Ready America Web site (www.ready.gov), the department stresses preparedness by reminding us: ''Don't Be Afraid, Be Ready.'' Brian Doyle, deputy press secretary of Homeland Security, says that since it was formed in 2002, his agency has done ''a million different things'' to make the United States safer. On Sept. 11, 2001, there were some 33 air marshals in the skies, mostly flying international routes. Today, according to DHS, there are thousands on flights everywhere. Hundreds of airline pilots have been trained to use guns. Cockpit doors have been secured on 6,000 aircraft. Every single piece of checked baggage is screened.

A robust ''student and exchange information system,'' Doyle says, ''has been tracking where every foreign student is.''

Corporations have jumped on the fraidy-cat bandwagon. In promotional material, Lockheed Martin warns us that a new generation of fighter jets is being developed by our enemies, putting ''the United States' ability to gain and maintain air superiority, much less air dominance, at increasing risk.'' Showtime is producing a your-neighbor-may-be-a-terrorist series called ''Sleeper Cell.''

The media buy into the hype and hyperbole. Night after night, you see the hysteria on TV news and talk shows. We have become a nation that cries: Wolf Blitzer!

The government also uses scaredy-pants tactics with young folks. The Federal Emergency Management Agency Web site for kids, for instance, features a hermit crab mascot named Herman, who, when faced with flood or fire, scurries like a scared crab to find a new shell to hide in. Couldn't the mascot be a wise, muscular Saint Bernard that helps people in disasters?
''Or a bald eagle?'' suggests Marc Siegel, ''that soars above it all?''

On this recent day, only crows are seen in the overcast sky above Ridgely, the little town that fear remembered. Chief Evans plans to place a camera at the town park, one near the water tower and another at the nearby waste water treatment plant, in case any terrorists might try to tamper with the supply.

''That's a secured facility,'' he says. ''It's called `target hardening.' ''

He welcomes all the cameras because they help him keep an eye on things and, he says, ''because Homeland Security paid for them.''
December 19th, 2005  
mmarsh
 
 
Doody

I hate to tell you this, but I'm afraid I am going to have agree with you again. (I'll try harder not to in the future, I promise).

We are SPOOKED at the very mention of terrorism, and its funny because we are less afraid of things that could actually hurt us much more than what the dastardly minions of Osama could think up. I mean who is honestly afraid of the polar icecaps melting and having Tennesee becoming beachfront property (yes Im exaggerating slightly, but you get my point). We could cause critical and irreversalable damage to our ecology and yet most people are worried about a few bearded religous fanatics who live in caves in Pakistan, 5000 miles away. The fact our government seems to be the only country not taking it seriously is another thing that scares me.

I dont want to sound too partisan, but the Administration and Media have done a really good job in trying to scare people from its color coded alarm systems to its tactics of trying to scare everybody with false threats. Chances are you are much more likely to be killed in a auto accident than in a terrorist attack.
December 19th, 2005  
FULLMETALJACKET
 
 
People are scared of the unknown, plus we build them up to be bigger than they are.