The 911 attack on the Twin Towers was something extraordinary. From the terrorist point of view, it was also enormously lucky, killing 2976 people (not counting the hijackers).
But three times as many died in a USA heatwave in 1988, fourteen times as many in road traffic accidents; and 100 times more in the Indonesian earthquakes of 2004.
But because 911 was so spectacular, and killed just over five times as many people as are normally murdered in New York state (another well-reported media subject), its psychological effect was enormous – and one has also to say, exactly what its perpetrators wanted (if not far more), but that’s another story for another day…
Suffice it to say that 911 led to two enormously expensive military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have severely restricted the technological development of the USA, not to mention damaging and blighting the lives of hundreds of thousands of Servicemen and women and their families.
The perpetrators of 911 wanted the USA to react – which it did. And even now in 2014, there are anti-terrorist measures being enacted that run counter to the principles of democracy and justice, which risk turning the free world into the same sort unjust states that spawn terrorism.
Terrorists seek to make democracies ungovernable. When democracy is suspended an part of an anti-terror campaign, the terrorists have won.
Declaring war on “Terror” is not viable; one can only declare wars on other states. The terror exists in the minds of citizens; and like the so-called “war on drugs” cannot be fought against citizens of the state who are frightened – or who use drugs. These so-called ‘wars’ are just as much a risk to democracy as terrorism and drug dealing.
If the media gave prominence to events according their actual danger, the governmental focus would be on tsunamis, plate tectonics, and hurricane prediction. But as these are ‘acts of god” for which government feel they cannot be blamed, perhaps they don’t take them as seriously?