In the wake of this past weekend's 911 memorials, Lawrence Martin asks a question which some might consider heresy:
How long is America going to be held hostage to what happened that day? How long, owing to our modern dial-a-threat form of so-called warfare, is it going to bleed the U.S. Treasury, ratchet down its liberties and humiliate its citizenry by undressing them in order to get on an airplane.
What happened ten years ago was a body blow to the United States. But so was the attack on Pearl Harbor. Perhaps what is different is that the Second World War came to an end. This war seems to have no end.
Regardless, Martin writes,
Leaders have a choice. Given that terror can never be fully eradicated, they can establish a climate that inflates the threat with all its corrosive consequences, or establish a climate that puts the threat in a realistic perspective that allows the country to move forward.
But the paranoia continues to grow. Americans -- and Canadians -- keep watching their backs. Stephen Harper plans to reintroduce terror legislation which expired in 2007. The truth is that paranoia pays political dividends. It doesn't matter that, in North America, more people have died from snowmobile accidents since 2001 than died on September11th. Fear stifles opposition.
The danger is there. But we are cowering because we lack perspective.