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  • Sunday, September 11, 2005


    The Curse of 9/11

    As the annual celebration/mourning of the events of Sept. 11, 2001 comes round, there comes the call from one of my household's parents reminding us not to go out on 9/11 in case there is a repeat event. Because we live in Massachusetts and two of the flights originated from Boston, perhaps Boston might be targeted goes the parent's rationale for this belief. So better stay at home and avoid crowds or gatherings.

    The problem with this train of thought is that it is precisely what terrorism is all about: sowing doubt and public trepidation about safety. In the US, if past history is any indication, this is utter bullshit.

    Citizens in the US take much, much worse risks every day of their lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 42,636 people died in car crashes in the U.S. in 2004. In other words, approximately 3,000 people die in auto accidents every 25 days. And not on an erratic schedule; it is a regular clockwork of unexpected death. Very few of those people get into their cars with a plan to die or expecting it.

    I'm not making an appeal for people to drive less, although that's not a bad idea. What I'm saying is that the chances of death by terrorism within the borders of the US is very small. To live in fear of it or avoiding particular situations through fear is the intent and goal of terrorism.

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