Over the past ten years, I have had my doubts about the ‘War on Terror.’ I have often questioned whether or not we were actually winning. I remember the Terror Alert System devised by the Department of Homeland Security after the September 11th attacks. Every so often, the Bush Administration would raise the threat level from Yellow, which was cautious, to Orange because they claimed they had “credible evidence” that a terrorist attack was likely.
Each time the administration raised the threat level state and local governments would take precautions, security check points would be set up at government buildings, and airports would be delayed significantly. People would start to panic to panic and worry that there would be another attack. Eventually the threat level would be lowered back to Yellow after “the threat” had passed and no actual attack occured. Everyone would make an effort to go about their business; a little more scared each time the Administration raised the threat level.
Each time the Administration would claim Al-quieda was planning an attack and each time an attack never came. Bin Laden didn’t need to launch another attack after September 11th because the Bush Administration was doing a pretty good job of making the American people scared for him. Looking back on it now one has to wonder, whether or these “threats” were really threats at all. Perhaps Bin Laden was using the US Government to spread fear, by planting false information. If so, it wouldn’t be the first time.
When I was younger, I took a course on Political Psychology. The one thing I learned was that the threat of violence was just as effective in spreading fear as the actual use of violence. Terrorists don’t have to blowup buildings to achieve their political goals. They just have to threaten violence and people will become afraid. All Bin Laden had to do was hint that there was a chance ofviolence and the American people would be come scared.
I can remember getting angry each time the Administration did this. I can remember getting upset because if they really wanted to fight the war on terror they wouldn’t have publicized each threat. By keeping quiet, people could have gone about there business and the “War on Terror” could have been waged just as effectively. Instead, Bush chose to publicize each ‘threat,’ which helped Osama Bin Laden war on the United States. In doing so, the Administration gave aid and comfort to the enemy, and quite possibly hindered the “War on Terror.”