The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Will terrorists get us? Of course not.

with 3 comments

“If we don’t fight them there, we’ll fight them here.” You’ve heard it.

But just how dangerous is terrorism? Consider comparisons from the San Franciso Chronicle:

… the historical odds that an American will die this way [from a terrorist act] are 1 in 9.3 million. You’re slightly more likely to die in an avalanche, more than twice as likely to perish in a bus accident, 40 times as likely to drown.

Put it another way: For every American killed by a terrorist, 2,427 die of skin cancer, 4,893 expire in car accidents, 9,735 are shot to death by nonterrorists and — you might want to stub out your cigarette before reading this — 30,666 are claimed by heart disease and another 18,074 by cancer.

That’s for one person killed by a terrorist. In “bang for the buck” terms, the war on terror is a bust. Millions more American lives could be saved by declaring “war” on murder. Or improving highway safety. Or dropping subsidies on tobacco. Or finding a cure for cancer.

So much for the “clash of civilizations.” War, friends, is dumb.

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Written by Monte

August 6, 2007 at 1:00 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Check this out, from Wikipedia:
    Why We Fight describes the rise and maintenance of the United States military-industrial complex and its involvement in the wars led by the United States during the last fifty years, and in particular in the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. The film alleges that in every decade since World War II, the American public has been told a lie to bring it into war to fuel the military-economic machine, which in turn maintains American dominance in the world.”


    August 10, 2007 at 1:24 pm

  2. Probably not – but I, like you, am not sure I understand why. Many possibilities occur to me:
    I know that in dysfunctional families, a great deal of energy is expended pretending there is no problem. Bringing it up (eg., “Mama, Daddy isn’t just tired, he’s drunk again” is often prohibited. Admitting there’s a problem is too scary, because the family believes that good families don’t have problems. To face the problem means we have no worth. Those who protest wars here have always been told they just must hate America.

    Similarly, part of it may be the tremendous guilt that soldiers carry that has to be muscled down out of sight and soothed with unquestioned patriotism, everyone fearing that to admit the obvious is unthinkable: the obvious must be wrong. We just must not know what the government knows and can’t tell us for security reasons.

    Then there’s a part that’s related to deception. Americans my age were never taught the downside of American history, partly because the money that runs our culture comes from corporate interests, for whom the wars of our past were often fought.

    Calling our war administration the Department of Defense is a bit Orwellian, isn’t it? How many of its wars in the last 50 years have been truly in defense of the American people? They are in defense, instead, of corporate America’s ability to make money anywhere at anyone’s expense. It is the modern version of empire: 700 military bases around the world, plus 6,000 in the US and its territories, guarantee the safety of corporate America’s vast parasitic appendages, sucking whatever it needs from whomever is so unfortunate as to have it.

    Finally, there is the fact that 51% of the US Gov’t discretionary expenditures go to the military – that means huge industries live on those billions, and are very rich, very powerful, and very good at keeping the need for their services alive and getting people elected who won’t ask too many questions.


    August 10, 2007 at 1:07 pm

  3. Hi Monte,

    I totally agree with you. The number of Americans that die in gang-related or psychosis-related or drug-related crimes are far higher than number of Americans that MAY die in any terror launched on America.

    War IS wrong; but why can’t we ask why no one is seeing the obvious? That which is blurring our views is not ignorance alone, is it?


    August 9, 2007 at 8:26 pm

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