Status of war on terrorism

Jamie DeLoma

President George W. Bush constantly tells America that we are decisively winning the “War on Terrorism.” But how can he be so sure?

While the government claims that no terrorist attack occurred in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, does that give the President the right to claim a decisive win?

Bush also likes to accredit the arrests of several “key” Al Queda members to our decisive victory, but the man he wanted “dead or alive” is still very well alive.

Prior to the “act of war” by Al Queda on Sept. 11, 2001, Americans lived their lives pretty free from worries of an impending terrorist attack.

Sure, two American embassies in Africa were targeted in 1998 and the USS Cole was struck in 2000, but nothing big happened on the shores of America, except one pretty minor attack in retrospect.

The aforementioned attack happened at the World Trade Center where six people died in 1993. While any loss of American life is something to mourn over, six deaths is minuscule compared to that of 3,000.

While Al Queda may not have been unable to strike the U.S. again since Sept. 11, fear was surely inflicted numerous times on the fearful nation.

When a commercial airliner crashed in Queens, N.Y., just a few weeks following the massive terrorist attacks, bridges, tunnels and skies over and around NYC were shut down. America was fearful of another attack by bin Laden.

Two times since that fateful day in NYC, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania has the U.S.’ terror alert meter reported a “high” threat of terrorism.

Many believe that Al Queda realized that instead of attacking the U.S. now, all it would have to do is make the U.S. believe an attack was imminent and cause as much, if not more fear in the streets. After all, terrorist groups are based on inflicting fear in order to bring attention to their cause.

One man, Osama bin Laden, was able to send the “Leader of the Free World” flying from one military base to another on Sept. 11. He managed to send the world’s mightiest economy into a recession. He managed Americans to loose many of their civil liberties at airports and in many major cities, all because he has proven he is not afraid of attacking again.

If you still need another example, look at America today. Thousands, if not millions, of Americans have flocked to hardware stores to purchase duct tape and plastic wrap to cover up their homes, windows and very lives. The terrorists are suffocating everything it means to be American and we must not allow it.

While I wouldn’t say that we are loosing the war on terrorism, I wouldn’t say that we are winning decisively either.

As the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, said immediately following the attack on Afghanistan, this will be a long war and it may take many years before the U.S. proves that it has won decisively.

America will only win decisively when we don’t run to get duct tape, refuse to head to major cities because of fear and when there is no longer a need for a terrorism meter.