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Helping the Terrorists?
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Bruce Schneier apparently thinks we're just playing into the terrorists hands, what with all these security measures, news stories, and whatnot in response to failed bomb plots.

What would have been the right response? How to keep the terrorists from winning?

Imagine for a moment that the British government arrested the 23 suspects without fanfare. Imagine that the TSA and its European counterparts didn't engage in pointless airline-security measures like banning liquids. And imagine that the press didn't write about it endlessly, and that the politicians didn't use the event to remind us all how scared we should be. If we'd reacted that way, then the terrorists would have truly failed.

Ah, right. So the best response to an attempted terrorist plot is to sweep it under the rug? What...the...fuck.

Yeah, I'll go along with your little thought experiment here, Bruce, because it does provide some key insight into the kind of thinking you see among reactionary opponents of Bush these days.

If we just didn't hear about terrorist plot, we'd be living in blissful ignorance. Let the police and FBI do all the work catching them. The best way to "win" is to ignore that there is any kind of threat and carry on exactly as we did before. Isn't this really pre-9/11 thinking? The idea that if we ignore them, they'll go away?

We wouldn't actually want people keenly aware that there are people who want to kill them, would we? We wouldn't want people keeping an eye out for strange behavior or odd-looking bags, right? Schneier points out a list of false alarms over the past month. Would we rather have a couple of planes diverted on suspicion of strange behavior than risk them being blown up?

Seems to me there's a decent balance to be found between pretending that everything is hunky dory and curling yourself into a weeping ball in the corner. That balance, it seems, is one that several of our politicians, including Bush, have stated repeatedly. Live your lives. Don't change the fundamentals. But keep your eyes and ears open.

Doesn't seem like fearmongering to me. Seems like common sense. Then again, maybe I'm just one of those paranoid, bloodthirsty Bush-lovers who'd like to keep us in a perpetual state of war. Yeah, that's the ticket.

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