Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Fear itself

What is the very worst that the people so far questioned in the UK could have inflicted against us?

OK, let us assume that they could have seized control of ten aeroplanes- say Jumbos- carrying about 450 passengers. Let us further assume that each mission was "successful"- so they kill a maximum of 4,500 people over the Atlantic. Horrific.

I think we should view this in context: last year the death toll on British roads was 3221. In the USA the death toll from road accidents in 2005 was 43,443.

Now, according to New Republic, the USA regards the UK as a hornet's nest of terrorism- Pontiac, I notice, gets off without censure.

At the end of the day, Osama Bin Laden lives in a cave. He is not an evil genius- he is a delusional maniac- a poor little rich boy who was sent round the bend by seeing the violence of the Anti-Soviet Afghan war.

His follwers are delusional "Islamic" nobodies- they may be mad or bad or both, but mostly they are just sad- losers in the lottery of life. These are not and should not be treated as bigger enemies than Hitler. If we think that they are then I really think that both History and Maths should be better taught in British schools!

We live with risk every day, and we have clearly changed our behaviour since 2001: "the terrorists have won". However, if we continue down the line of restricting freedom then maybe we have already proved our decadence by our inability to count- that we have lost our sense of perspective.

"Thewaarontear"! George Bush's insult to free people- and the biggest danger to democracy since the end of the Cold war.

It is not what the terrorists can do to us that we should be afraid of- it is what our fear of terrorism can do to our society that we should worry about:

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself".

1 comment:

Dr Maybe said...

I've seen it pointed out that the terrorists' record in the UK - 40 something innocent deaths and transport chaos - is comparable to that of Railtrack.