The post below regarding George W. Bush has reminded me of a thought I've had brewing for while now...
The terrorists are winning.
The proof is in the reaction to the latest "liquid bomb" scare. They've known this was a possibility for a long time. A very long time. Yet now people can't take their water or their shampoo or their goddamn coffee with them on a plane.
And the public outcry is nearly nonexistant. It's probably more accurate to say the public have become sheep, even more blind than ever before. The rumblings I hear now are along the lines of, "Well why is it such a big deal? You don't need to take that much stuff with you on a trip," or, "Whatever it takes to keep us safe, I'm for it."
The goal of the terrorists is to change life as we know it - to strip us of our freedoms and our feeling of being safe in our own places. They are absoutely, undoubtedly winning in this regard. We do not feel safe in our own homes or cars or on planes full of other Americans. We lose more and more freedoms everyday, and the people just turn a blind eye, going about their day and hoping that when Christmas time rolls around their spouse buys them something nice.
As we sit around trying to get used to our new less-free, less-safe lives, the terrorists are achieving their goals. They are willing to sacrifice everything to this end, and it's why they have been so successful.
And really, I'm not telling you anything new here, but I want you to think about something:
Say you're on a plane and a group of hijackers announce they're taking over. There are several things which are a given in this situation. First, the hijackers will show their force. If they've managed to get some sort of weapon on board, they might threaten or kill a crew member. They will claim they have a bomb. The 9-11 hijackers made that claim to keep the passengers calm. But there wasn't a bomb.
There is a world of difference between a box cutter and a bomb. Somebody on those planes should have known the bomb was bullshit.
In the sense of some kind of mixable liquid bomb -- Even if these people get on a plane with some kind of makeshift device, they're going to have to get control of the plane before they can assemble and use it. They're going to use the threat of the device - which is not yet functional - to maintain the cooperation of the passengers.
If you sit there like sheep, you're going to die. If you give them the time to put their device together or allow them to take over the plane's controls, you are going to die. They don't want to re-route your Flight from London to Boston to Lebanon to secure the release of hostages. They want to cause a scene of death and destruction. They're willing to die to see this through.
The people on United 93 stood up to the terrorists. United 93 did not cause thousands of deaths. Yes, the people onboard died, but it's possible that they saved many more lives. I'm certain that if that plane had hit another U.S. target the emotional damage to the country would have been devastating. I'm proud of the people who gave their all to save so much.
And that's where you come in.
If a group of assholes tries to take over your flight, fucking take them down before they get started. Yes, you might get hurt. Yes, you might die. But if enough people stand up against box cutters and sharp bits of plastic then the major tragedies can be averted.
Use your laptop for a shield. Chuck some kid's gameboy at the dickhead holding a ball-point pen to the flight attendant's throat. Take these motherfuckers out and show them that you're not afraid to die for what you believe in.
If enough people have the conviction to stand up to these playground bullies, then eventually they will see that their actions do not affect us. If we're not afraid of them, then their "terror" becomes bullshit.
In this kind of situation, I would fight back at these fucking zealous idiots with everything I had. I would not stop until they had broken the last bone in my body and beaten the last breath of life out of me.*
If you can't say the same thing - if you would sit back in your seat, avoid eye contact and hope for the best... well, then maybe the terrorists are right. If we don't fight back we're all just a bunch of spoiled rich cowards trying to bully the world into seeing things our way.
* and this is exactly why the situation in Iraq is the way it is. Pretend Iraq is a 747 flying from Baghdad to Madrid with a plane full of Muslims. In the eyes of the "insurgents" the U.S. led military forces in Iraq are the exact equivalent of a group of radicals at the front of the plane trying to break down the cockpit door so they can take over.
If I'm willing to die for what I believe, why is it so hard to understand that they're willing to die for what they believe?