I am worried, as many are, about the plane crash in Manhattan today. I realize that so far there is no indication of a terrorist attack, and I don’t think it is one. But it does highlight a danger that has existed, and a reality. I’m glad that there have not been more deaths, but I give my condolences to the friends and families of those that have died.
The danger though is that there is no way to stop every aircraft that might be used in a suicide attack. I’ve mentioned before that I expect another attack on American soil. To think that it will not happen is to be lost in a daydream. Rose colored glasses cannot hide this danger. The nation is too large, with far too many targets and delivery means. We cannot stop all potential actions, and to try to do so would create an authoritarian government. The existence of such a government would be the win that terrorists are looking to create.
The sad alternative is the reality that accidents happen, and attacks will happen. Whether a car bomb in a crowded city, a plane crash, or a dozen other situations there is no way to protect against everything. That does not mean we give up. It also means that we should not succumb to the fear of attacks. Fear is the greatest weapon against any opponent. It effects every action and thought. It can cause immobility and irrationality. And there is no reason for it.
I have family in New York City. I have friends in Manhattan, one of which lives on the east side in the 70’s. Am I concerned for their safety? Of course, I’ve tried to get in touch and am waiting for an answer as I type this. But fear is not motivating me. I will not panic. To do so turns a bad situation worse.
I realize that the potential to do harm outweighs the ability to prevent it. I’ve realized it since I learned about biological and chemical weapons in the 80’s. But to cower, to change my life because of this knowledge is dangerous. It allows thoughtless actions that cause more harm than anything else. Whether that is a mob attacking ‘foreigners’ or race/religion based attacks or proposals to have certain Americans carry special identifications. We must act clear-headed. We must react in a calm manner.
If as reports I’m watching, on Fox news at 4:43pm, are speculating that a NY Yankee’s pitcher was the pilot, I send condolences to his family. I dispute Congressman Rangel when he says, live, that there is more we can do. Without restricting severely the freedoms of Americans, there is little more that can be done.
What we can do is be vigilant. Be aware of what is happening around us. When there is reason to be fearful, contact the authorities. Support our government in its attempts to protect us, and be responsive when it acts in a manner that impedes our daily lives. We must take the example that is the daily lives of those in England, France, Israel and other nations and cities around the world. The genie is out of the bottle and terrorism is a reality in America. The question is not can we prevent another attack, we cannot. The question is what will we do when there is an attack, both in response by rescue and emergency personnel and in the government.
I’m sorry for those who have lost their lives today. I’m glad to see that our nation is ready to react. I’m cautious about everything else. And if this post seems a bit rambling, I apologize as I’m writing as I am watching the live news.
This is what I think, what do you think?