Monday, December 22, 2003

Terror Level Raised...Again

According to this WashPost article, the US government has raised the color coded terror threat level yet again.

Aside from causing traffic delays at the bridges and tunnels through which I'll be traveling this week, as well as at the airport I'll be departing from on my way to Israel next week, what does this do for me?

Don't get me wrong. I'm very concerned about security. Personally I think the government could be doing more, especially considering the level of security they promised in comparison to the level they've actually provided.

But what difference does raising the level make to me? Am I going to be more aware of the crazy drivers around me? The pedestrians walking along side me on the sidewalks of New York City? How can I know who's a terrorist and who's not? We like to feel secure in our surroundings; not believe anything's wrong even when presented with evidence to the contrary. How will this change us? I've got my plans already, as do millions of other Americans. It's the "holiday season", there's too much at stake. You can't just change plans because the government has detected increased chatter again. It's happened before, it will most likely happen again. G-d forbid if they're right. But even if something does happen, my question-in my opinion-is still very relevant.

The only rationale I've heard-one mentioned in the article I mentioned above-is that a public declaration might deter the terrorists from carrying out their attacks. I'm not satisfied with that. If they're really planning an attack on the super-grand scale we predict they are, will the extra policepeople at the bridges, tunnels, airports, malls etc. really make that much of an impact? It seems like such things are largely immaterial when considering an attack on this scale. Especially if the attackers come from within like they did last time...and even more so if they come from outside the US, where the security might not have been 'beefed up' quite as much.

If anyone has any intelligent insights, feel free to comment on this.


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