Where we let terrorists really hurt us

Ron Hart Ron Hart is a libertarian humorist and author who can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com.
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With the TSA handling more packages than Fed-Ex this holiday season, we need to revisit our overreaction to the sucker punch that was 9/11.

We know that the 9/11 hijackers were a loose band of religious zealots carrying out the commands of Osama bin Laden. They had no army and not many followers. The only way to elevate themselves in their own minds was to pull off a high profile attack on “Zionist-supporting” America. Muslims are historically not able to amass a major army. Even during their greatest period, the Ottoman Empire, their efforts apparently revolved around putting their feet up on something comfortable.

They have never been able to get along among themselves, much less organize into a formidable military force. Even their religious sects have ethnic sub-groups which hate each other. For goodness’ sake, they don’t even have grocery stores, cable TV or an “Al-Qaeda’s Got Talent” show.

We give these thugs too much credit. Why is it when we kill or arrest a terrorist he is always called a “mastermind”?  As far as I can tell, all their leaders ever do is tell a scared and unstable young boy to strap a bomb to himself and walk into a crowd of “infidels” and explode it, all in the name of Allah. Not exactly James Bond villain-type creativity.

Until we went to war with radical Islam, they had never been galvanized into any unity of purpose, nor could they ever accept a single commander to marshal them in battle. In short, their own ethnic, religious and tribal prejudices keep them from being a real threat to the USA, much like what might keep Mitt Romney from winning the GOP presidential nomination in 2012.

When we are aligned with NATO, the UN and other freedom-loving countries, the Islamic terrorists stand no chance of conquering any major nation. Annoy, yes. Conquer, no.

Not to minimalize 9/11, but what the terrorists did reminds me of what bullies on my high school football team would do to others they considered weak. Guys would, once or twice, raise their hands and slap someone.  News of the act of unmeasured violence would quickly make the rounds at school. From then on, maybe a hundred times or so, those same bullies would take pleasure in raising their hands like they were going to hit someone and find it funny when their target recoiled in fear. They would always say “sike” when the person flinched. The sinister, sophomoric, sadistic pleasure it gave the bullies who thought this was “fun” somehow made them feel better about their manhood. This is what Bin Laden has done to us.

After learning as recently as Vietnam that we do not fight guerilla ground wars well, we got lured into Afghanistan and Iraq. When our enemies are indistinguishable in dress and deportment from our allies, time is on the side of the enemy.

To show you how much it is a part of human nature to “bow up,” as we call it in the South when unfriendlies come onto our land, consider that in the War of Northern Aggression fewer than 5% of Confederate soldiers owned any slaves. In cases such as our occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, history teaches us that we create more enemies than we coax to our side. It seems we should have learned this by now.

Protecting our homeland as they should, FBI agents adeptly caught Mohamed Osman Mohamud (a guy so nice he is named “Mohamed” twice) attempting to set off a bomb that would kill thousands of innocents during a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland. The nation was shocked; Portland allowed a Christmas tree lighting? Gosh, I hope the FBI did not “profile” Mohamed, or the case will be thrown out of Portland, Oregon’s courts.

Male TSA officers have been reduced to patting down other agents’ crotches.  It makes the Tony Awards look like a Bruce Willis movie. But at least Barney Frank now has identified his dream job.

Lastly, we have caused the deaths of more Americans with TSA screening than have quantifiably been saved. According to a Cornell University study, TSA screening procedures are so troubling to air passengers that more people are choosing to drive to their destinations, a more dangerous form of travel. As a result, 130 inconvenienced travelers die every three months as the unintended consequence of the overreaching TSA.

All bullies who raise their hands like they are going to slap us do it for the same reason — to get a reaction. Let’s stop giving them the satisfaction.

Ron Hart is a syndicated op-ed humorist, author and TV/radio commentator. Email Ron@RonaldHart.com or at visit RonaldHart.com.