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Commentary Last Updated: Sep 7th, 2006 - 00:29:07

Has the American homeland been free from terrorist aggression?
By John H. Burgess
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Sep 7, 2006, 00:26

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President Bush keeps reiterating that if we don't confront the terrorists in Iraq, we'll have to fight them here in the streets at home. Yet the reality may be that we are fighting them here already.

An open question, however, is still why, in the light of our vulnerability here in America, have we not been subjected to any major terrorist attacks since 9/11?

Congressman James Walsh, in defending the Bush administration, recently claimed that the Bush anti-terrorist campaign has been most successful, as indicated by the main criterion of success that there have been no attacks in this country. He heralds this as a success, even though internationally, and in Iraq, terrorist attacks have increased tenfold since 9/11.

Considering the widespread vulnerability of American ports and lack of control over the content of cargo imports, the open areas of land crossings where terrorists could easily penetrate, and the many targets in this country available to them, one might conclude that the terrorists are, indeed, up to something. Either that or the "terrorist" success of 9/11 proved to them to be such an outstanding victory, that through it alone they are accomplishing major goals in destroying the American economy and breaking down our long-standing democracy without a single further move necessary; especially when fear can be so easily invoked in the American people who yield to almost anything the government wants to impose on them in the name of security.

Our alleged chief enemy, al-Qaeda, once again is attempting to induce a vague fear in us by threatening "dire consequences" if we do not convert to Islam in this country. Is al-Qaeda not so weakened, however, as a tiger without teeth, that their victory still resides in the success of 9/11? They have helped to trap us in Bush's spend-and-borrow economy. In the Bush administration, our freedom of movement and right to privacy have been curtailed, as the imminent terror danger has been politicized to the point of defeat. (Some observers contend that we have already lost the war to al-Qaeda.)

As a criterion of success, viz., the absence of terrorists attacking us in the streets and any further terrorist attacks in this country of any consequence, it hardly seems to be a valid measure that we have been free from terrorist aggression in this country. The latter seems most true since, in the name of war against the alleged Islamic terrorists, while operating under the rubric of "patriotism," we have knowingly or unknowingly been giving up our freedoms and privileges that we previously treasured so highly as Americans.

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