We let the terrorists win

ter·ror·ism /ˈtɛrəˌrɪzəm/ –noun
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

Shortly after the events of September 11th, 2001, two things happened:

1) Cliche bumper stickers saying shit like “Support our troops” and “These colors don’t run” suddenly appeared on almost every vehicle as if from nowhere.

2) “Freedom” suddenly started to mean something else.

I remember talks and commercials about how we weren’t going to let them win, and how yes, they changed America, but they made us closer, and all that bullshit. But we really did let them win. We let them inspire terror.

Now we get to take off our shoes at airports and subject ourselves to paranoia for the sake of “safety.” We allow them to treat us like cattle, sending us one-by-one through metal chutes in order to search our entire bodies for potential weapons. Maybe they should just gas us all before we get on the plane. It would at least alleviate the boredom, make the trip seem shorter, and render us almost incapable of performing a mid-air hijack.

Our phones are wire-tapped, and our internet search history is logged. God only knows who all sees the shit you put on Facebook. And we tolerate it. Afraid of dying in a freak incident, we instead hand the keys of our lives to our government. The fact that the government encourages, coerces, or forces us to do so should scare us worse than any suicide bomber.

My sister refused to go to the mall on the Halloween after 9/11. “They say the terrorists are going to blow up the mall.” I remember snorting and telling her that yea, they were totally going to blow up a tiny mall on a random holiday in an obscure town they’d probably never even heard of for no good reason. As opposed to making a deliberate attack on a well-known political or economic symbol or strike a target that would actually cause political or economic damage.

This is the kind of fear that the government has used in order to restrict those that say things the government would rather them not say. This is the kind of fear the government has used to bypass our rights as citizens and human beings.

The terrorists wanted to scare us. They succeeded. More than they ever could have dreamed, in fact. They claimed that the US hates Muslims and Islam. Instead of proving them wrong, we proved them right. My Pakistani classmate was gone for the rest of the year after 9/11. Her parents didn’t feel she was safe in the school. A mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero on private property has started a controversy. Because all Muslims recruit for terrorists and they’re all in cahoots trying to destroy ‘Merica. Totally.

On September 11, 2001, we rolled over like a beaten dog and showed our true colors.


2 Responses to “We let the terrorists win”

  1. Dargon Says:

    We didn’t let them win. We fucking helped them out. Terrorism isn’t about blowing up a building. It’s about fear. And what did we do? We made a terror alert system that constantly reminds up that “they” want to kill us. We started all kinds of bullshit security theatre in the airports, reminding us the planes “aren’t safe.” And every time this day rolls around again, we go about reminding everyone what happened, that it can happen again, and that they should be scared.

    The Islamic terrorists don’t even have to do anything anymore. The US Government took over their job and has been doing a much better job than they ever could.

  2. 10 Brief Responses To 700 Comments About Refusing To Answer Questions At Passport Control


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