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News How Dangerous Is Terrorism?

  1. Aug 12, 2005 #1
    Is terrorism really that big of a problem in America? Of course 9/11 was awful, but does it really prompt so much fuss? I mean how many offical terrorist attacks have happened in the US in the last decade? I can only remember two: 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing. But I'm young and only recently started watching the news. I couldn't find any type of list on the internet so I thought we could discuss it here. I was going to make a poll but I forgot how.

    So here are my questions:

    1. How many offical terrorist attacks have there been on US soil?

    2. Does this justicify how the media and the administation have reacted to terrorism?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2005 #2
    terrorism is definately not as big of a deal as it's made out to be. It's somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy in that the more it's talked about, the more it's thought about, and the more people think about it, the more ways they think terrorism can manifest, and then they get to the point where they start putting metal detectors in schools and adding more rules to fight the terrorists (homeland security, the patriot act), and making our lives more complicated and stressful, thus leading to more people freaking out and causing a terrorist attack.

    in short, it's paranoia. Do you think a paranoid president which is supposed to lead by example is what we need right now?

    americans are paying way too much money per day for an insurance policy against terrorism. the risk of dying in a terrorist attack is less than the risk of drowning in your bathtub filled with only an inch of water. Do you have an insurance plan for that? When you go out driving, you're at a far greater risk of dying than you ever would be from dying in a terrorist attack. The administration is very bad at risk assessment.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2005
  4. Aug 13, 2005 #3
    You have to consider more than just 'risk of dying'. There are the issue of widespread panic, demoralization, and the huge economic impacts. It's a very serious concern, even if it doesn't happen to kill you specifically.

    ? So terrorism is caused by, stressed-out people? Do you look at the screen when you're typing these things, or is it a stream-of-conscious thing?
  5. Aug 13, 2005 #4
    How many? You mean like.. ever? Hmmm, what's 'US Soil'?

    The answer is A LOT man! I mean.. haha.. funny story.. but a while back me and my mates dressed up in these british uniforms and rowed out to one of their big capital ships right... :rofl: DUDE! We set off sooooo much gunpowder the whole thing was up in da flame in under a minute yo!
  6. Aug 13, 2005 #5
    Like in the last decade. "US soil" would mean on US land, specifically homeland, military bases/embassies don't count.
  7. Aug 13, 2005 #6


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    Well thats a rather odd statement. Is it not frightening when a frigate blows up? Is it not a danger? I mena we DO consider it an act of terrorism. If we considered it an act of war... oh man we would have been bombing countries left and right.

    But lets see.. terrorism simply in the last decade? Why only the last decade?

    Since its only right to include military adn embassies, we can include the kenyan embassies, the USS Cole, Oklahoma City, Atlanta bombing, WTC on 9/11, WTC in '93 (ok so 12 years...), Khobar towers, Tanzanian embassies...

    I feel you might have your own agenda here because narrowing down the subject means your simply looking for something to agree with or to make a point with. I mean lets get real here. The last 10 years is the same as hte last 100 years and embassies are the same as downtown Chicago.
  8. Aug 13, 2005 #7
    Well, if everyone wasn't afraid of terrorism then there wouldn't be widespread panic. If everybody is paranoid about it, then many people are afraid of it and there is widespread panic. How moral is it to kill over 100,000 people in an effort to stomp out terrorism? How much of an economic impact is there from spending hundreds of billions towards this effort?

    I don't know what it's caused by. People freaking out? people going insane? what do you think?

    Most of the time I'm in a specific mode of thought.
  9. Aug 13, 2005 #8


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    So are you saying that if everyone wasn't afraid of AIDS, it would cease to exist? The rest of what you say is just rhetoric.
  10. Aug 13, 2005 #9
    no, thats not the same thing.

    AIDS is a syndrome caused by a virus. the equivalent connection would be:
    everyone wouldn't have AIDS if HIV would cease to exist.

    Terrorism is caused by fear is it not? hence the root word "terror"

    ok, well it's not fully caused by fear. It's meant to convey fear into the enemy. Whould desire to make someone fearful would still exist even if the people weren't afraid of your antics? well I guess you've got a point. At least I've helped show that terrorism can't be stomped out.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2005
  11. Aug 13, 2005 #10
    terrorism is an effect caused by many things. Some of them could be hatred, the desire to feel powerful, jealousy, envy, selfishness... what else?
  12. Aug 13, 2005 #11


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    Fear is caused by terrorism, you have it backwards. You dont fear say, Al Qaeda and THEN have them make a tower fall down. You fear them after they do it. Their actions create fear in the general public. The basis of people arguing that terrorism is only terrorism if you fear them is in general, a false basis. If we chose not to fear a terrorist, then these actions are now only correctly described as acts of war. Without the resulting fear, you simply reduce it down to gangland violence and what do you do with gangs? You find them, you arrest them or kill them if need-be.

    Whether or not we can define it as terrorism, we must still fight it and we must protect ourselves against it and make the public aware that it exists
  13. Aug 13, 2005 #12
    What just happened? I read a whole post by Pengwuino, and I entirely agreed with it! :eek:
  14. Aug 13, 2005 #13
    The point of this thread is to find out wheather or not American citizens are in any significate danger from terrorism to the point where a war against terror is warented. Attacks on military forces in foreign lands doesn't count in this discussion because military forces are intentially putting themselves in harms way.

    What? That's like asking if someone in Idaho is afraid of being attacked by Iraqi insurgents. If I'm not on the frigate or in the navy, then no, it's not that frightening.

    Because events lets say in 1941, during WWII don't really apply today. Do you think Nazi's sinking American supply ships has anything to do with today's world?

    I'm trying to build some statistics on [Islamic] terror attacks that have happened in the recent pass so I can see if the war on terror is justified. Is America in any real danger!

    Okay, so how many people died because of these? Maybe 6,000? The death of 6,000 innocent civilians over a 10 year period isn't enough to prompt a multi-billion dollar war that has no gaurantee of working.
  15. Aug 13, 2005 #14
    You're talking to a species whose reaction to a single man's death was a war in which 15 million died.
  16. Aug 13, 2005 #15
    yes, I realized that as soon as I posted, but I would say that terrorism is partly caused by fear. If terrorism is caused by hate, and fear is complimentary with hate, then fear is partly to blame.

    Are human beings estranged in essence? There are two different answers, yes or no.

    If yes, then people view other people as strangers right off the bat, and therefore there is an element in every person to be feared. Also, if we are estranged, then we're all on our own, and we've gotta look out for ourselves and love ourselves, we've got no room to love others when they get in the way of what we want for ourselves, a comfortable life.

    If no, then people view other people as friends right off the bat, and therefore there is no element of fear in every person. Also, if we aren't estranged, then we're all here for each other, and we've gotta look out for each other and love each other, we've got no room to hate others because we all want the same thing, a comfortable life.

    I would say that the reality lies somewhere in the middle. on one side you have unity, hope, and love. On the other side you have estrangement, fear, and hate. So my point is fear and hate compliment each other, while love and hope also compliment each other.

    How should we view other people? whats the good way to be? what should we strive for? loving others and hoping that they won't try to blow us up, or hating others and fearing that they will blow us up?
  17. Aug 13, 2005 #16
    this would be funny if it wasn't true. You're right on the money here Rachmaninoff.
  18. Aug 13, 2005 #17


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    But embassies are still fair game in thsi discussion

    Yes but airplanes going down in the 80's DO count. You must extend this statistic request (although I feel you already have an opinion and just want evidence to support it and will refuse contradictory information) out to at the very least into the 60's

    Whoa islamic eh? For a second there, I thought terrorism could come from any religion for it to be worthy of. Also, acts of terror must also take into account their effects in the days, weeks, adn months after. As we see with 9/11, an entire industry tanked (airliners) because of it! We had a sudden halt to any plans on building any new skyscrappers in the US for a while... people were fearful of going to various events. Theres of course, reprecusions for the other attacks as well that I dont feel I need to waste space with.

    3,000 dead at Pearl Harbor... need I go on? The idea behind a war is not to match death for death and dollar for dollar or calculate some sort of investment opportunity out of it. We do it so a loss of life and destruction will not go on and to return back to a sense of normalcy. For example in WW2... Hitler invaded and all that bad stuff. Now, the allies could have thought about how many people would have to die or how much they would have to spend... but it woudl be rather pointless. You see, when someone commits a crime, we as humans tend to respond with overwhelming force. We do this create a principle on which we hope other people will follow. With Hitler, we fought back in a sense to preserve the principle that people simply cannot invade other nations simply because you don't like them. On a more local level, we throw people in jail for years for assaulting other people or robbing banks. Surely a few cuts and scrapes or a few $100,000 cannot be "worth" putting a man behind bars for a few year but the reason we do do it is because we want to show people that there actions will not be worth it in the end. I mean if we all felt like we were getting "equal odds" when we commit crimes, there'd be chaos! We've done this for as far as I can remember and as you can see, we do not live in chaos and it takes a one in a billion man to start a world war
  19. Aug 13, 2005 #18


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    We shoudl view people exactly how normal people view people; based on how they come off.

    What your failing to realize is that "good" is not always in line with "logical". When we come up to a group of people who want to and are willing to kill us, the "good" thing to do might be to go up and hug and kiss them. What comes off as logical however, is that we kill them because we already know they will and have killed us before. When Hitler invaded, the "good" thing might have been to run up and hug and kiss and blah blah blah. Logical however, is to fight back.

    It is very possible for us to eliminate, in particular, islamic terrorism. We have to kill those who try to kill us and to get a powerful force (ie their own religion) to help shy possible future terrorists away from following the violent path.
  20. Aug 13, 2005 #19
    Don't make assumptions about his motives. Now, why must he extend the request into the 60s? How are the terrorist attacks of the 1960s related to the modern-day War on Terror?

    He wants Islamic terrorist attacks to "see if the war on terror is justified." Thus far, the War on Terror has been a War on Islamic Terror, right? Anyway, it's not the War on Terror anymore: it's the "Struggle Against Global Extremism" or something like that now. :wink:

    Just out of curiosity, and perhaps on an unrelated tangent: would you consider the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki acts of terrorism?

    This is undeniably the funniest thing I have ever seen you write. Not only are you implicitly comparing Bush to Hitler, but you've just categorically condemned the invasion of Iraq. :biggrin:
  21. Aug 13, 2005 #20
    You still fail to understand the point of this topic.

    Yes, yes, yes. I was just throwing "decade" out there. It doesn't matter that you expand the time frame anyway. I'm trying to find out how many American civilians die over X amount of time due to terrorist attacks.

    Cmon! Are you implying that the war on terror isn't primarily focused on Islamic fundementists? Or are you just saying that for the sake of disagreeing with me?

    Tell that to Locke Martin.

    Within what reason? How many American need to die before we go off and kill 100,000 innocent people for prove a principal? One? Ten? A hundred?

    So, if I were to steal a stick of gum it would be within reason to start a globe-wide manhunt consuming millions of dollars so people will think twice before stealing? Because we need to prevent all crimes at all costs, no matter how disporportional the consequences are from the actual crime.

    Didn't we intern invade Germany because we didn't like the Nazis? You just contradicted yourself there. Not that I'm trying to down play the horrible things the Nazis did.

    What's the point of throwing people in jail if it's not worth it in the end?! Why prevent bank robbery if you aren't saving money?! $100,000 is more than enough to keep someone in prison for a few years.
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