Could the terrorists be winning?

Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 04:08 PM.

Osama Bin Laden was quoted in 2004 saying, "We are continuing this policy of bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy. All that we have to do is to send two fighters to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations."

While there has been no report of a Tsarnaev brothers connection to al-Qaeda, their alleged bombing of the Boston Marathon has furthered al-Qaeda’s plan to bankrupt our nation. And the enhanced security that is sure to come from this most recent terrorist attack will continue the hemorrhaging.

We say, "We cannot allow terrorists to change our lives or they have won." Yet a 19-year-old punk shut down the Boston metro area, the 12th largest economy in the world, forcing the majority of residents to "shelter in place," closed one of the nation’s largest public transportation networks, and effectively caused the loss (according to U.S. Department of Commerce figures of Boston’s GDP) of a billion dollars of commerce. Add to that the millions of dollars spent to take these knuckleheads down.

Change our lives? Between massive costs, constant surveillance (yes such surveillance identified the Tsarnaev brothers, but at what ultimate cost?), consistent fear (SWAT teams poised at your front door?), constrictive assaults to our liberty (shelter in place?), and privacy invasions (intrusive airport pat downs and scans), the terrorists have so massively altered our lives and bled us dry since 2001 that we can’t even remember what our better lives were like before then.

In the cradle of our liberty — Boston — lives were changed for some, maybe most in one way or another, irreparably last week. With apologies for my presumptuousness, I must ask then, "Are the terrorists winning?"

Barry Fetzer is a columnist for the Havelock News. He can be reached at 

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