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Friday, September 11, 2015

We Need to Get Over 9/11

September 11, 2001 might be the most famous date in US history.  Can you think of another event that just goes by three numerals and a slash?   July 4 is important too, but technically we weren't a country yet. 

Does 9/11 deserve to be this famous?  I think not. Maybe it would be better if we started moving on...

I don't mean forget.  I mean get over the grief and the fear, and the belief that Islamist terrorism represents some kind of existential threat to the US, and that is it getting worse, and if we let down our guard for a minute, the raghead bastards will be at our throats. 

But continuing to harp on 9/11, we give these guys way more credit than they deserve.  And ever deserved. 

They pulled off the worse single terrorist assault in history.  But gained nothing in the process.  The perpetrators are dead, the evil guru dead, and tactical mastermind is in jail forever.  Al Qaeda is in ruins and has no chance of ever making a comeback.

Is Islamist terrorism worse, as Rudy Giuliani argued in today's WSJ?   Not even close. 

Their airplane caper cannot be repeated.   Terrorists in the US are reduced to "lone wolf" attacks and most of these get caught before they get started.  Islamists commit many atrocities abroad, mostly against fellow Muslims.

The incident rate of terrorism against US citizens is extremely low.   Last year there were 18 fatalities attributed to terrorism in the US.   Five occurred in one attack, by a white couple in Las Vegas shouting "revolution."  They killed two cops in cold blood, and other bystanders.  In NYC, a psychotic killed two cops in a patrol car.

 A few of these incidents were by individuals who identified as Muslim.  One of these criminals was responsible for three attacks across the country.  In two instances, white supremacists were to blame.

Eighteen deaths at the hands of terrorists is bad.  But to give you some perspective, every year 500-600 Americans die from self-inflicted accidental gun shots. 

All terrorist attacks are unacceptable.  We should stay vigilant and continue to adequately resource the police, intelligence, and military units going after terrorists.  But constantly exaggerating the threat plays into the terrorists' hands by perpetuating a climate of fear. 

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