Today we live in an historic time. One where nations of the West
are pushed into a turmoil where they have to decide what is best for the
public. The Nations is split. The Governments are. In many respects the World is however right now we [the people] have to forge through and begin to
question what terrorism truly is and to decide which sort of terrorism needs to be crushed now - before it is too late.
Over the last few years, especially in the years since September the 11th  I have been questioning many things. In these few years my political
views have shifted - from being a out and out Labour support to someone who is more firmly routed in the centre.
But one major question has bugged me; “Is the War on Terror being fought correctly/properly”? And recently I have began to ask myself this very
question. In my honest opinion, I do not think it is and the point of this Op/Ed is to display why I do not think this.
Terrorism is an immensely broad term. Ranging from Governments to the individual and I wish to only take a small portion
of this and address
it. Which is the fear which terrorism places onto that of innocent people. I then wish to address if the War on Terror is something that is really
Global like the Government’s claim or more closed and internal. A conflict which would be better fought in our own nations instead of in external
I came to my conclusion, recently after reading something GradyPhilpott [someone who I hardly agree with on any issue] posted about the area of
American he grew up and how children can’t go out to play on the streets anymore because of what has happened to this area. [Although the post
escapes me at this time] But it got me into thinking.
Violent crimes pose a serious threat to people's lives. According to a report released by the Department of Justice of the United States on Nov. 29,
2004, in 2003 residents aged 12 and above in the United States experienced about 24 million victimizations, and there occurred 1,381,259 murders,
robberies and other violent crimes, averaging 475 cases per 100,000 people. Among them there were 16,503 homicides, up 1.7 percent over 2002, or
nearly six cases in every 100,000 residents, and one of every 44 Americans aged above 12 was victimized.
The Associated Press reported on June 24, 2004 that the number of violent crimes in many US cities were on the rise. In 2003 Chicago alone recorded
598 homicides, 80 percent of which involved the use of guns. The Washington D.C. reported 41,738 murders, robberies and other violent crimes in 2003,
averaging 6,406.4 cases per 100,000 residents. In 2004 the District recorded 198 killings, or a homicide rate of 35 per 100,000 residents.
Detroit,which has less than 1 million residents, recorded 18,724 criminal cases in 2003, including 366 murders and 814 rapes, which amounted to a
homicide rate of 41 per 100,000 residents.
Which got me to thinking; in 2003 there were 16,503 homicides in American alone. This is without including rape, robbery or drug dealing. All of which
can result in a massive level of fear
upon the population. But it also had me thinking of this as an act of Terrorism. Not by as massive
organised group [although you have exceptions like MS-13] but of individuals and smaller groups. Terrorising the people. Forcing people to live in
fear in their own homes. To me that is real terrorism. To me that makes it as though the terrorists have already won even without launching another
attack on American soil.
Surely the only purpose of a Government is to protect its people from crime? Surely the most important aspect is our ability to lead a safe life and
to not be fearful in our own home. To me, the sole purpose of any Government should be to give its people freedoms and to protect these freedoms and
It's fair to say, however, that it is unusual for foreign policy questions to be so high in the public's mind. The Pew Research Center recently
concluded that this is the first election since Vietnam where foreign policy outweighed domestic issues.
So why has terrorism became such a major issue? As an external one. My personal view is that the Media has created an almost hysteria around
Terrorism. It was shown over in the British Media just prior to the Iraq War with claims of Saddam being able to attack British Soldiers with WMD and
even the United Kingdom in less than 45minutes. Almost creating a vacuum from the real problems in Western
The problem being one of crime. Crime is terrorism in its finest home. We have all heard the story of the old woman being mugged in her own home -
even murdered for what many people would say is pocket change for the majority of us. Only to then be spent on drugs [heroin] which grows in places
like Afghanistan. This money then of course going on to fund large scale terrorist organisations - including Al Queda.
However, I am not trying to belittle September the 11th in anyway. The loss of nearly 3000 peoples lives is something that none of us ever want to
hear about again - at least innocent people [or I would hope this]. However the loss of 16,503 in a year is a lot worse to me. From a purely
mathematical standpoint that’s the outcome of September the 11th, over 5 times or 45people per-day. Again, the millions of robberies and hundreds of
thousands of rapes have to be taken into account again to really show the true evil that is going on in Society - not just American, but many others
all over Europe.
Thus, I think the War on Terror is an internal issue not external. There will always be people willing to do harm against another Nations Government
and/or even the people because of some deep felt prejudice against them. However, gangs like MS-13 do more to create a fear in the people then Al
Queda and any other terrorist organisation could ever hope for. They have the ability to make a large [shock factor] that lasts for several months.
However for the people that live in areas controlled by gangs, they have this fear constantly. Innocent people who can’t let their children go out
on the streets to play.
Which brings me to another question “Could the money spent on the War on Terror thus far have been better spent on protecting the American people
from internal crime?”
This I think creates a resounding “Yes” in my mind. I am not one of these who thinks infringements on our Civil Liberties to protect us is a good
thing but let us assume the war on terror thus far has cost between $230-500billion USD. This money could have been spent in the Law Enforcement,
tighter border security and funded more legal cases against groups like MS-13. It could have been used in larger international [sting] operations on
drug dealers. Helped speed up the immigration process, tighten up the borders and speed up deportations of Nationals who honestly pose a threat to the
American public and their way of life.
An international expert on the illicit drug trade has warned that the world's focus on terrorism in recent years has meant that many countries have
taken their eyes off the war on drugs, allowing the multi-billion dollar illegal industry to thrive.
The War on Drugs, was the true War on Terror.
The War on Crime is the needed War on Terror.
Until the days we have more Police [law enforcement officers as well as legal staff] people
will live in fear.
Until we have a level of information sharing between the intelligence community and law enforcement we will live in fear.
Until we have a immigration system which can afford to give speedy and efficient turn over of immigrants the rouge element will slip through and God
forbid another tragedy happens before we realise this.
This fear will only increase and spread internally until our way of life changes for the worse and mark the day the terrorist win.
Related News Links:
Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
American Police Are Out in Full Force! Do You Feel Protected or Invaded???
Who Here Would Support A War Against Terror?