October 14, 2004

"The United States of Fighting Terrorism"

Thomas Friedman's op-ed Addicted to 9/11 today was right on the money. He addresses Kerry's hope that America can get back to a state where "terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance", and says, "The idea that President Bush and Mr. Cheney would declare such a statement to be proof that Mr. Kerry is unfit to lead actually says more about them than Mr. Kerry. Excuse me, I don't know about you, but I dream of going back to the days when terrorism was just a nuisance in our lives."

I would certainly like that, and having lived in England through the IRA's mainland bombing campaign I can remember what it felt like. I can still recall the moment when I caught myself looking at a package in the sidewalk and, for the first time in years, didn't immediately think panic "Bomb...?". It's a good feeling. Naive? I don't think so; just getting things into proportion and being careful rather than obsessive.

Friedman concludes, "Lastly, politicizing 9/11 put a wedge between us and our history. The Bush team has turned this country into The United States of Fighting Terrorism. [...] I want a president who can one day restore Sept. 11th to its rightful place on the calendar: as the day after Sept. 10th and before Sept. 12th. I do not want it to become a day that defines us. Because ultimately Sept. 11th is about them - the bad guys - not about us. We're about the Fourth of July. Just so.

Posted by geoff2 at October 14, 2004 10:18 AM

Interesting parallel, I doubt even in our hyper state of alertness that many people in the US think twice about unattended packages, I do, but I was in Europe a lot during the 80's.
I wish I felt more safe with the new security measures, when they were first announced I thought it would be like Germany or Ireland during the 80's where everyone and everything was searched and less like random searches by seemingly minimally trained personnel.

Posted by: Susan in St. Paul at October 14, 2004 12:16 PM

In my above comment I was referring to the new "airport" security screening. Sorry.

Posted by: Susan in St. Paul at October 14, 2004 03:25 PM