Jack Ingram

Last Tuesday, I commented on our government’s (in)action(s) regarding terrorism. Specifically, since 9/11, U.S. activities (like the Patriot Act, the Iraq War, etc.) have failed to secure our homeland. We have tolerated the government’s infringement upon essential freedoms, rights and liberties, thus reshaping our concept(s) of democracy. I chastised the American people for living in a “bubble;” for failing to vigorously defend our ever-diminishing Constitutional rights. I then lamented against the trend of labeling political dissenters as “terrorists,” when in reality, they are Patriots, much like the Founding Fathers.

Nick Wallingford, a Cal Poly student, wrote to the Mustang Daily on November 10th (remember this date) saying that, “the only way to gauge whether we have been successful (in fighting terrorism) is to count the number of terrorist attacks resulting in the death of one human life on U.S. soil since 9/11. As of November 2005, that number remains at zero.”

Sounds like someone counted their chickens before they hatched. Or perhaps I just imagined the suicide bombings in Amman, Jordan on November 9th, killing three Americans, and 54 others, the day before Nick’s letter was printed?

Nick’s opinion, although flawed and fallacious, perfectly illustrates the social diseases I mentioned: that today, when the voice of dissent is raised, people like Nick have no logical recourse except to personally attack the dissenter – in this case, me. Nick claims that, my “narrow views, ignorance and low class are pathetic.”

Moi? All this time I’ve been trying to be classy and bourgeois, yet my true colors still show through my boxed-wine stained grin. Thank you, Nick for enlightening me to my class level. I didn’t know we were still living in the middle ages? Maybe the New York Times will just let me swap my subscription for The National Inquirer instead?

Nick’s attitude reminds me of The Scarlet Letter. Brava Mr. Wallingford, not everyday does a person find pride in his own ignorance. As for us – those who value peace over war, truth over lies and common sense over mind-numbing ignorance – we find no such pride in our government’s failings.

Frankly, if Nick thinks that Saddam caused 9/11 or that the war in Iraq is just, or that Osama isn’t still a threat, well, he is wrong. America’s warmongering has exacerbated animosity and contempt for the U.S. throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world. Activities since 9/11 have been counterproductive to counter-terrorism; adding fuel to the fire that is global terrorism.

Nick’s complete disregard for those who have died abroad while fighting terrorism since 9/11 is sad; believing that only humans who die on U.S. soil are worthy of counting is shameful and contemptuous.

How about the 2,000 (and counting) American soldiers killed since 9/11 or the 26,000 innocent Iraqi civilians? Oh right, they didn’t have the convenience to die on our soil, so we’ll just conveniently not count them.

Hooray for ignorance, it must be a blissful and lonely bubble Nick lives in.

But Nick? Nick visit ground zero in October 2001. Nick want cookie.

Tisk, tisk. My father is a firefighter and my uncle, a fire chief. They, and others, have risked their lives before, during, and since 9/11, without hesitation or want of affirmation. I’ll check my almanac, but on this planet, I’m fairly sure September 11, 2001 occured in September, not October.

Too little, too late, buddy.

To the war-mongering Nick Wallingfords of the world: pull your heads out. As for the rest of us: the lines drawn on maps are man-made and permeable – please don’t let them become walls.

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