Thursday, July 07, 2005

That False Sense of Homeland Security

Buying Into The Big Lie Threatens Us All

We all woke up this morning, in a world already rocked by the violence and vitriol of extremists, to find that our sense that we are somehow safe from the repeated acts of terror has been shaken to the core once again.

No shock or surprise here. The Underground in London. A railway in Madrid. A financial center in New York. All prime – and, unfortunately, easy - targets for those who value fanatical ideologies over human life.

Fact is, we abhor terror. Indeed, we must condemn such acts against humanity and civility whenever and wherever they take place, hunting down the real “evil-doers,” not so much in the name of democracy, but in the hope of preserving what little is left of civilization on this now shattered planet.

We, as New Yorkers, commiserate with Londoners, and with the victims of terror everywhere. Know this: Londoners are among the most resolute people on the face of the Earth, and it will take a whole lot more than a few bombings to bring about their capitulation.

None of us will surrender to the will of those bent on the destruction of the human race and of society’s mainstream values (wherever those “values” may be holed up in the era of extremism, both at home and abroad). Yet, we must not be blinded – or, for that matter, sidetracked – into a false sense of homeland security, buoyed and perpetuated by a systematic propaganda machine that posts color-coded alerts, asks us to be vigilant as we go about our business (meaning: turn in your neighbor if he has a foreign sounding name), and tells us, with exuberant confidence, that we are “winning the War on Terror.”

We should be afraid – and very afraid – not of terror or of terrorists – F--- them! We should be afraid of the Big Lie. The lie told repeatedly by those we have elected (okay, that someone elected. We can’t seem to find anyone willing to say he pulled the lever for “W”) to lead us. The lie that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The lie that Iraq’s insurgency has anything to do with Al Queada, with terrorism, with 9-11, or even with an effort to restore a brutal dictator to power. The lie that we are forging democracy, this in a nation that doesn’t want it and wouldn’t know what to do with it if they had it. The lie that a war that has already cost us billions of dollars and tragically claimed thousands of young, useful lives has made a dent in breaking the will of the terrorists, or in hitting them where they live, where they train, where they continue to plot – over the Internet, no less – their next vicious, savage attack.

The terrorists aren’t in Iraq. Question whether they ever were. No, they’re in London. They’re in Madrid. They’re right here among us in New York. Pay no attention to the fact that our bridges and tunnels are vulnerable (why, a terrorist could, with ease, hide an explosive device in one of the many abandoned vehicles that sit beneath bridges and underpasses along heavily traveled arteries, taking out perhaps but a few, yet terrorizing many). And just drive by any of our government buildings – including those in our own backyard – and ask how difficult it would be for anyone to drive a tanker truck full of explosive material right up to the doorstep. Ah, but don’t worry about that. The action is in Iraq. Yeah, that’s the ticket. We’ve got Mosil and Takrit covered.

We’d like to believe that we are safe, that our children are out of harm’s way. We are not safe, and every one of us continues to be a potential target. We’d like to believe our government – on all levels – when they assure us that they are doing everything possible to protect us, to find and destroy the terrorists, as much as we’d like to believe that those in attendance at the G-8 Conference really give a hoot and a holler about Aids in Africa, about an impoverished world where millions die of starvation, and about the threat posed to our very existence by global warming. Sorry, but they really aren’t, don’t and, if the world wasn’t watching with half an eye, would probably be off somewhere drilling for oil or trading food for dollars. Heck, they do that even when we are watching.

As we will not submit to the wanton will of the terrorist, we must not buy into the Big Lie. For the dangers to democracy, to society, to the freedoms we so cherish and all too frequently send other people’s children off to die for, come not so much from Al Queada or Bin Laden, but rather, from within.


  1. I think you've been watching a little too much Michael Moore. Your puerile comments have placed yourself squarely out near the lunatic fringe.

  2. Jacob isn't realistic. Where are those "W.M.D."'s we've been promised to see in Iraq? They were NOT THERE for many years. It's all about OIL. Saudi Arabia is the breeding grounds for Al Queda and we've become friendly with them (unfortunately).

  3. That is, in fact, a pretty fair criticism and one we could debate ad infinitum (although we would have to pose the same queestion to a good majority of democrats and a large portion of the world who all were convinced that WMDs were in Iraq).

    Actually, I was directing my comments at reckless statements implying that the Bush administration is a bigger threat than the terrorists themselves, and that the brutal thugs that our service men and women are fighting against in Iraq are not terrorists. Statements like those, I'm afraid, do a tremendous disservice to our military and, for that matter, the fire, police and security personnel who risk their lives every day to keep us safe.

    Comments like those are undoubtedly a product of the lunatic fringe.

    Side question of the day - what does Bush bashing have anything to do with "Community Alliance"?

  4. Quit the flag waving and the God Bless the President nonsense, Jacob. You sound like one of those "America, Love It Or Leave it" loons back in the waning days of the Vietnam War - when, if you recall, Nixon, a cloth-coat Republican, was in the White House.

    You need to open your eyes as to why we are in Iraq - Oil and Daddy. That's it.

    As for your "reckless statements" comment, I doubt the writer intended to disparage, undermine or belittle the service of our fighting men and women "who risk their lives every day to keep us safe." Rather, I read this as a statement condemning those who, without just cause, unnecessarily place these brave men and women in harm's way. Now that, Jacob, is reckless.

    With respect to what this has to do with The Community Alliance, well, I suppose we are all a part of the community of man, and what happens globally impacts as greatly upon our quality of life -if not more so - than what happens locally.

    The message implied (if not expressed) in this blog is clear: We have to watch our backs, and not take everything that our leaders say - whether in the White House or at Town Hall - as gospel. We have to open our minds and actually think for ourselves, and not believe only what we are told - which, as the evidence bears out, is not always consistent with the truth. We have to protect freedom and democracy, without destroying liberty in the process.

    Concerning the security of our nation and the preservation of our freedoms, I think Benjamin Franklin, who one can say lived in tumultuous times, said it best - " They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Of course, you'd probably place Mr. Franklin among the "lunatic fringe" as well!

  5. I read another message in this piece. There have always been terrorists. There will always be terrorists. They will always fail by their own unwitting devices.

    Democracy, on the other hand, is sustained and will endure not by virtue of the homage we pay to it in vague patriotic sentiment - and certainly not in putting down dissent - but rather, in what we do to preserve those "inalienable rights" our forefathers gave their lives for.

    In my view, those who trample upon the rights enumerated in our Constitution do little to either perserve freedom or promote democracy.

  6. First of all, how can you be so sure of "the writer's" intention was if you don't ask him? Why doesn't "the writer" just answer for himself?

    That you don't find a just cause in taking out a brutal dictator who has used chemical weapons to kill thousands of own people, who has paid upwards of $50k to families of homicide bombers in Israel, who has threatened to annihilate the US if he had the chance, I find rather sad.

    As for Bush bashing in the guise of Community Alliance, "the writer" has pulled off quite possibly the biggest bamboozelment on Long Island since the Lufthansa heist. He has taken what was originally a coalition of aploitical public advocacy groups invited to participate in addressing local quality of life issues and has unabashedly hijacked its agenda. The chicanery involved in claiming to be the voice of "some 38 local organizations" and then using that voice to belch out such leftist drivel, is beyond reproach.

    I'm sure that if he were a Marxist, he would also spew his propaganda and then say, "well, we're all part of the community of man....implementing a Marxist realpolitik impacts greatly on our quality of life".

  7. "Leftist drivel?" "Hijacked...agenda?" "Realpolitik?" And now you drag Israel into it?

    I'll tell you, as a native of Israel, Bush is no friend. How short the memory is. Before 9-11, Bush swore off the Road Map to Peace. In fact, he washed his hands of the entire mideast peace process and turned his back on our Israel.

    Face it, every President since Truman was a "friend of Israel." That's been American policy since the beginning. Truth is, if being a so-called "friend of Israel" wasn't in the strategic interest of the U.S., bet your bottom dollar that Bush and his Right Wing pals would have sold the Jewish State down the river long ago, much like Rwanda, the Sudan, and a host of other nations that don't merit the President's "friendship."

    It is good that we have a place - here in our community - where we can freely post ideas and opinions. Seems you take exception to this? My parents emigrated to Israel from the Soviet Union. The leaders in that country likewise took exception to the expression of contrary viewpoints.

    Don't worry. The terrorists will not "annihilate the US." Suicide bombers and Hamas will not destroy our Israel. And opinions offered on the Internet will never have a negative effect on our society, until we decide to supress them.

  8. Wow! Quite an interest in an opinion piece. Nice to see that folks are reading, writing, and - just maybe - even thinking!

    The "intent" - as that word has been bantered about in the commentary to this piece - is not only to engage the reader and stir the pot, but moreover, to encourage debate. That, it appears, we have done.

    Agree. Disagree. All views are welcome (just keep it clean and free of those unnecessary personal attacks), whether from the Left, the Right, or dead Center. It really doesn't matter. That we read, think and suggest is what this Blog is all about.

    That The Community Alliance is concerned about quality of life locally - bringing to the fore issues with which some may agree and to which others may take great exception - does not preclude discussion of univeral issues, or otherwise vitiate our obligation, to address more global concerns.

    We are not isolated [although at times it may seem that way] in the Town of Hempstead or County of Nassau from that which impacts upon us globally, and should not adopt a provincial posture when much more than just local politics is at stake.

    Speaking of politics - and yes, as in life, it is ALL political - how about those Sanitary Districts?

    Let's hear as much chatter on the topics that knock upon our front doors as we do about those that stealthly try to enter through the rear.

    -The Community Alliance

  9. Truesabre -

    OK...that's and interesting point of view, sordid and factually inaccurate, but interesting. But at least you don't claim that you're speaking on behalf of SOME 38 LOCAL CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS!

    Your satisfaction that we finally have a place "here in the community" to Bush-bash makes it seem that you consider this blog as some kind of underground resistance publication of the Soviet Union circa. 1939. Don't worry about that here - nobody will send you to the Gulag for expressing your views. All I ask is that you don't pass your views off as my views (which is effectively what the Community Alliance does by claiming to be the soundboard of a group with which I am affiliated).

    "to blogwatcher1" - Ben Franklin was very opinionated indeed, but he never had the audacity to pass off his views as those of his political adversaries.

  10. You concern yourself about "Bush-bashing?"

    I'd be more concerned about John Q. Public having to deal with an administration that has given us so much debt our great-great-great grandchildren will still be paying it off.

    What's there to rave about under Bush - or the GOP invertibrates that dominate the political scene. A so-called "Patriot Act" that stands the Constitution on its head? A resounding "NO" to stem cell research that could lead to cures for cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's - Why, even Israel is legions ahead of the US on this front? A President whose advisors come from the extreme right, where cartoon characters - like Sponge Bob Square Pants - are demonized as homosexual? Or how about a President who leads America much like he led the great armpit of Texas - Last in education, first in executions? Now that's something to be proud of?

    Jacob, I fear it is you who is out of the mainstream, a mere tool of that ultraconservative, evangelical "lunatic fringe!"