A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
America has lost the War on Terror.
I can hear the exclamations now: "Whoa! Wait a cussed minute, Longstreet!" How EVER did you come up with that idea, huh?"
It's not exactly an Idea. It's more like a fact. In fact, it IS a FACT!
All America has accomplished, so far, anyway, is to "wall" ourselves in. Heck, we have barely scratched the enemy, the terrorists. Each week, or so, we take out a few desert dwelling bomb-makers and terrorists out in the wilderness of the Middle East with Hellfire missiles from a circling drone, pat ourselves on the back, and then go right back to monitoring the phone calls, and email of American citizens.
The average American citizen has had far more freedom taken from him, denied him, refused him, since the so-called War on Terror was declared than any of the countries aiding and abetting the terrorists themselves.
In the dozen years since 9-11-01, America has become a police state, a surveillance state, a state in which citizens are as surely caged in as any criminal in any prison in the country.
All the "walls" America has built, electronic and otherwise, intended to keep the terrorist out have the equal and opposite reaction of keeping Americans in! Each of the new national security laws forces American citizens to give up more and more of our freedom and liberty in exchange for promised security.
It strikes me that national security laws are in many ways akin to gun control laws. They limit the freedom of the citizen but do next to nothing to deter crime or terrorism. Summed up, it is the American citizen being shafted - not the terrorist.
Look. All governments seek power and then MORE power. It is what they do. It is the nature of the beast. Anything that will assist them in accruing more power is sought after continuously and vigorously.
The citizens of any country are most at risk when their country is under threat of war. Sadly, those citizens are equally at risk from the enemy AND from their own government.
The at risk citizen's government quickly learns that fear of a looming threat knocks down all sorts of walls erected to hold a government at bay and protect the freedom of citizens. Oft times they will embellish and inflate the threat to create a sense of fear and a longing for security which they can then use and manipulate to expand the power of government. That power will outlast the threat and eventually become a part of the so-called "New Normal." We have seen it -- right here in the United States -- since 9-11-01.
Ted Koppel, in a piece he wrote for the Wall Street Journal in August, said the following: "Terrorism, after all, is designed to produce overreaction. It is the means by which the weak induce the powerful to inflict damage upon themselves—and al Qaeda and groups like it are surely counting on that as the centerpiece of their strategy." SOURCE: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324653004578650462392053732.html
Our beloved constitution has been steamrolled in the name of national security. Law abiding citizens are monitored by the government 24/7. For the first time in our lives, and in the life of the country, we have a sense that Big Brother is hovering, just over our shoulder, watching and listening to everything we say and do. As we now know, the feeling was/is correct.
Terrorists live to create mayhem, mischief, and discord within their enemy's camp. They have been wildly successful in doing just that in the camp we call America. They have met with success in their efforts while we are in a state of denial seeking more and more security provided by the federal government. The federal government could not be happier!
The terrorists have clearly won.
Americans have surrendered our most precious freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism. In the past decade we have called for -- and gotten -- some of the most anti-freedom and anti-liberty laws in the history of America.
I'm not alone in my assessment of America's defeat in the War on Terror. Consider the following: "And the terrorists have won. If a primary purpose of terrorism is to induce fear, and Americans are willing to give up their most precious freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism, how is this anything less than a monumental victory for our enemies?" SOURCE: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/02/the-terrorists-have-won/#ixzz2dZKTrIqs
Freedom, once lost, is almost impossible to regain. I didn't say that. One of our Founding Fathers (and later President) , John Adams, said that! The freedom and liberties we are giving up today in the name of security are, for all intents and purposes, gone forever.
It has long been thought that the demise of America would be at her own hand. By voluntarily giving up freedom, some dating to the Magna Carta, Americans are making certain that a new America is aborning. It is not an America your father, nor your grandfather would recognize. Alas, it will not be included among the "free" nations of the world.
© J. D. Longstreet
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