Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Terrorists Have Won!

If terror is the goal of terrorists, then the terrorists have won because terror is driving politics and policy in the United States. Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that this post is being written by a bleeding heart liberal, let me give you my credentials in the form of my voting record. Reagan-Reagan-Bush Sr.-Bush Sr.-Dole-Bush Jr.-Bush Jr. I will say that if President Bush had the opportunity to run again, I would most likely vote against him. Why? Because he has over-reacted to the event we all call 911 and in his drive to provide us with safety and security he has trampled on the U.S. Constitution.

Obviously, some reaction to 911 was necessary. We needed improved intelligence, tighter security at our borders, at airports and at all important military, transportation and industrial facilities. Terrorists needed to be tracked down and brought to justice.

Whether we should have gone into Afghanistan and Iraq is not as important to me as it is to some people. Both of those countries enjoy a greater degree of freedom today than they did before 911. The important question to me is—do we as Americans enjoy greater freedom today than we did before 911? I don't think so.

Americans have been spied upon without the government getting subpoenas, internet search engines are being asked to tell the government what information we have been searching for and Americans have been held without being charged with a crime or being provided with a lawyer. Equally troubling is that we are actually debating whether we should use torture to get information out of people, a debate I never thought I would hear in my lifetime.

Many Americans are willing to accept all of this because they believe it keeps us safe. History proves that these frightened rabbits are correct. In pre-World War 2 Germany, terror was the order of the day. Bombs, riots, and assassinations took place on a regular basis. When Hitler came to power, he stopped the terror and brought law and order to Germany. Everyone was safe. Everyone rejoiced, except for Jews and those who opposed the government. The majority of Germans traded away the rights of a minority of Germans in order to be free from terror. In the long run, no one was free from terror—it's just that the new terror came from the government.

If we are going to give the government increased, and even unconstitutional powers, to combat terrorism, we should not be surprised if the government uses those powers against us. The men and women who fought in the American Revolution fought against a government that misused its power and terrorized its own citizens. They would not trade freedom for safety. Neither should we.


  • Well put, and these thoughts need to be stated and circulated.

    I'm enjoying this blog regularly. Thanks!

    By Anonymous NumberWise, at 9:27 PM  

  • Thanks for your comment. Your comments encourage me to keep blogging.

    By Blogger Dan Weaver, at 5:29 AM  

  • This is one of the most thoughtful essays I've read about the so-called debate and I thank you for sharing your views on it which are, incidently, identical to is your conservative/libertarian persuasion.
    It has troubled me for some time that we are, in fact, engaged in a "debate" about torture and killing. How in the world, in our lifetimes no less, has this madness come to pass?
    What has become of our sensibility and sanity? Why aren't more men of character speaking sense to this nonsense? And, sadly, what good can possibly come from this paradigm shift in our consciousness of brotherhood?

    I'm not optimistic, and, as a parent myself, I share your concern for the world we are bequeathing our children.

    However, it was very good to happen upon your site, thanks to the mention in ALBANY EYE.
    Although I live in Lake George, I've always had a fascination and love for the Mohawk Valley. Traveling through Amsterdam to Cortland and back, I frequently take side-trips through the area. The links you provide are educational and much appreciated.

    I also enjoyed the postings by Dave Weaver and responded earlier to your speculation about the German "Offer from Schenectady" film.

    As I'm brand-new to blogging, I had no idea there were intelligent things like this happening out there. What a nice surprise!
    Perhaps, as I get more comfortable with this medium, I'll eventually shed my anonymity (and learn to considerably shorten my contribtions).
    Meanwhile, I hope you maintain the energy to keep UPSTREAM going and I wish you well with your surgery.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:49 AM  

  • Thanks anonymous for your comment. The internet can be a scary place, so it's okay to remain anonymous if it makes you more comfortable. I used a pseudonym for a few months on this blog before I dared use my real name. As you can see I actually started this blog a year ago but then quit for awhile. One of the problems was finding an audience. Now that I have found one, it makes it easier to keep it going.

    By Blogger Dan Weaver, at 6:25 AM  

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