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The “War on Terrorism” is one of the worst things to ever happen to this country. The long term effects and changes to our culture and government that were brought in on the back of the 9/11 attacks were atrocious. The Patriot Act, the most pernicious and un-American piece of legislation that has ever been written, changed every important institution that we hold dear. Such as,
- Banking and finance- Your bank now reports to the government how much money you have and how you use it. You cannot store cash or precious metals/jewels in safe deposit boxes, which of course was their original purpose. If you make a large withdrawal you are reported, by the bank, to the Department of Homeland Security as a possible terrorist. Financial privacy is a thing of the past.
- Airport Security- The TSA randomly checks old ladies and targets attractive women for body scans, while routinely failing weapons checks run by outside auditing agencies. Contrary to popular belief, the TSA has also never thwarted a single terrorist attack.
- Border Crossings- It turned the U.S. Border into a Gestapo. Borders are scary places full of self-important and harsh people. The U.S. is now little more than an open air prison. You may retort that you can leave whenever you want, and that’s true, for now. But wait till there is a time when you think that you might need to leave in order to be safe. Then you will find travel outside the U.S. impossible, and transferring your financial assets to another jurisdiction even more so, thanks to FATCA.
- Privacy- A few weeks ago the Amash Amendment (which would have ended blanket collection of American phone records) was quashed by our fearless leaders in Washington, who now believe the 4th Amendment means nothing. Warrantless searches and seizures are now so common that if you question them you are viewed as unpatriotic. FISA Courts were extended for another six years recently too, despite what we are currently watching unfold concerning the FBI’s abuse of the system in collusion with the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
- Foreign Wars- Trillions of dollars were spent bombing Iraq and Afghanistan. Trillions more are spent in Black Budget Operations run by the CIA and other alphabet soup organizations in places like Syria, Yemen, and Iran. Our enemies are arbitrarily chosen based on who will play ball with us. Russia is our enemy, but China is our friend. Russia builds churches while China blows them up. Iran is our enemy, yet Saudi Arabia is our friend. Iran, a Shia State, has many Christians within it, and Shia Muslims generally aren’t radicalized. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, a Sunni State, has very few Christians within it, and is the practical source of all Wahabi radicals. Al Qaeda and ISIS are Sunni Wahabists, and it has been proven that Saudi Arabia supports them with cash and intelligence. We learned recently that some of the 9/11 hijackers were on the Saudi government payroll. Nine of the eleven hijackers were Saudi Arabian, as well as the mastermind himself, Osama Bin Laden. Our foreign policy is schizophrenic in every way, and the “War on Terrorism” is part of why that is the case.
It is impossible to describe to people who never experienced America as she was before 9/11, all that has changed. The government’s power, audacity, and corruptness has grown exponentially. It has even changed the local police’s attitude towards citizens. We are now viewed by local authorities as possible threats….. guilty until proven innocent. This is the very opposite of the founding principle. Local police are SWAT’ed out with left over military gear from foreign wars. And the ranks of the local police are filled with vets returning from foreign theaters who first learned to police the streets of Baghdad and Kabul. Many are suffering with PTSD. My point is not to disparage local police officers, most of them are wonderful people and can be trusted. My only point is to demonstrate that sixteen years of unending war against ghost-like enemies has changed us, and made us a more fearful people. In my opinion The Patriot Act was a mistake. We should have looked our enemy in the eye, defeated them, and changed nothing about our way of life and the nature of our government. But instead, those in government capitalized on a moment of fear to pass an atrocious and culture changing piece of legislation. In this writer’s opinion, we sold our native birthright of liberty for a cold pot of safety porridge. We are now an emotionally weaker and less robust people than we once were, and the War on Terrorism, which appealed to our basest fears, bears some responsibility for that development.
Stop and consider all of the jokes currently being told about Millennial behavior. It should not escape our notice that they were becoming personally aware just as the Patriot Act was passed. Their parents set an example for them that safety was to be preferred before liberty, in fact before everything. We mock them for being weak-hearted, but who made them so? Who wrapped them in bubble wrap, told them they were special, and helicoptered around in their life solving all their problems? Who protected them from the truth about the real world? No wonder they need safe spaces and think speech they disagree with should be outlawed. We made the whole country a safe space and allowed our speech to be monitored first. Why wouldn’t we expect the macro-aggressions against liberty that we accepted, to go on to become micro-aggressions on college campuses? We cried safety, safety, and all we are hearing now is our own echo.