Friday, July 08, 2005

Wake up call, America!

There a million emotions and a million responses that will be coming in the wake of yesterday's attacks in London. Obviously some of the most important and immediate ones are for the care and recovery of those in London and the supporting of those who were hurt and the loved ones of those who were tragically killed in the bombings. Additionally there is clearly the need for caution and investigation to make sure there aren't any similar attacks awaiting in London (I recall the findings of the safe house in Spain after the attack there and the plans for more like that).

I live in America and while I appreciate seeing the local news show me that the local mass transit now has more bomb sniffing dogs and police on patrol, I want to take a moment to think what this really should be saying to America. I think this needs to be a wake up call for us and we as a nation need to really be asking some tough questions of ourselves and finding the real answers to them. Things like:

* Is it even possible to fight a "war on terror"? How do we "win" that?
* Is it acceptable to have terrorists attacking our allies in Spain and England and killing our troops in Iraq, in exchange for not having more attacks on American soil?
* Have our actions in Iraq actually done more to help or hurt a "war on terror"?
* Is the department of homeland security actually doing what it is supposed to be doing? If not, what needs to happen to fix that?
* What is the color coded terrorism threat warnings really doing? Do we need it elevated to tell us terrorists attacked somewhere else already? If it was really working, shouldn't it be elevated BEFORE an attack?

I hope we do what we can to aid our brothers and sisters in the United Kingdom in this time of tragedy for them. I know we'll hear our political leaders comment a lot about this, but I fear all we will hear is more empty rhetoric about how we must keep fighting this war and how what we're doing in Iraq is helping to fight this war since that has some phantom connection to 9-11. And what I really fear is that Americans will just keep swallowing those lines blindly and not asking the questions that need to have been asked for the past four years and still aren't being asked.