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Monday, November 19, 2018

Columns

Republicans using terrorist for political gains


The failed Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 thrust terrorism back into the national spotlight, and seeing a political opening, some Republicans pounced.

They accused President Barack Obama of being soft on terror, of not caring enough, of failing to treat the incident like a war, of failing to protect us, etc.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani made headlines last week with his claim that we didn’t have any domestic attacks under President George W. Bush.

He must have meant after Sept. 11, right?

What few people noticed was that Dana Perino, the former White House press secretary under Bush, and Mary Matalin, a political consultant to the Republican Party, have made the exact same claim.

Matalin went so far as to claim that Bush inherited Sept. 11 from former President Bill Clinton.

Many Republicans have used the failed terrorist attack to further their political goals.

It could be argued that the actions of those who seek to benefit from the attack are terroristic, as the goal of terrorism is to scare people into submission.

But you can’t blame Republicans for trying. They’re politicians and think it will help them politically.

They might be right.

The media certainly didn’t hesitate to fuel the fires of hysteria.

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews spent an entire day scaring himself to death over an imaginary kung fu terrorist.

There was plenty of criticism that Obama wasn’t taking the issue seriously, and his administration was excoriated for missing numerous warning signs.

Of course, in the rush to panic, nobody bothered to make sure that what they were reporting was, you know, correct.

It took nearly two weeks for the fact that the suspect bought a round-trip ticket, not a one-way ticket, to surface, and it wasn’t nearly as widely reported as the original story.

The way so many people reacted, you would have thought there had been a successful attack that had killed hundreds.

But instead, in an attempt to blow up a plane, a guy lit his crotch on fire and ended up being detained by a Dutch film director.

What should be taken away from this incident is that the terrorists who are so intent on killing us are apparently incompetent.

Granted, it’s not good that the terrorist wasn’t picked up sooner, but it’s impossible to expect perfection.

Terrorism is not going away any time soon. Reasonable measures should be taken to protect Americans, but people also need to recognize that nobody is perfect and eventually someone will slip through.

It may be something to be concerned about, but it’s no reason for mass hysteria.

A person’s chances of being struck by lightning are greater than their chances of dying in a terrorist attack.

People need to keep terrorism in perspective, especially given the fact that the main goal of terrorism is to create fear.

We shouldn’t be panicking over a failed attack.

And if we don’t panic, there’s no way for the terrorists to win.

Instead of letting terrorists succeed even when they fail, we should be showing them that they fail even when they succeed.

David Brooks is a communication senior and may be reached at [email protected]


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