Monday, January 4, 2016

Islamic Terror Put Into Proper Perspective...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Worldwide terror perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalist extremists must be confronted by the nations of the world. This truth is unquestioned by governments whose people have been affected Islamic terror and most have responded to quell Islamic terrorism. This includes the USA and Obama administration who has put the risk in the proper perspective and responded with a measured and rational response. Unfortunately many in the USA apparently prefer to hit the panic button and rush headlong into fear mode advocating a response hugely disproportionate with the actual threat we are exposed to.

Exactly how much more dangerous has terrorism made our lives? To answer this question, it helps to run the numbers. There are about two and a quarter million people in Paris. This means that, if you were living in Paris on the day of the recent attacks, there was roughly a one-in-twenty-thousand chance of being a victim. While that may seem high, the annual likelihood of getting killed by a car in France is almost exactly the same. (Last year, there were three thousand two hundred and fifty traffic fatalities in a population of sixty-four million.)

... In Paris, the annual murder rate in previous years has been has high as 2.6 per hundred thousand people; by that measure, the terrorist attacks this year were a significant perturbation, more than doubling the average murder rate. Even so, it’s worth noting that this makes Paris about as dangerous as New York City, where the murder rate has been as high as seven per hundred thousand in recent years. New York is generally considered a very safe city. So, while terrorism has made life in France more dangerous, the new level of danger is one we tolerate—even celebrate—in the United States.


As far as the U.S. is concerned, it has been pointed out already—by the President, in fact—that about thirty-three thousand people die each year from gunshot wounds. That’s about four hundred thousand people since 2001. By contrast, setting aside 9/11, and even including the San Bernardino shootings, only fifty-four deaths have occurred because of domestic acts of terrorism during that time. Even if you include 9/11, the total death toll from terrorism amounts to less than one per cent of the death toll from gun violence...

There are differences, of course, between death by terrorism and death by other causes. Driving a car carries with it a set of inevitable risks. Going to a concert or eating at a restaurant should not. Still, the risks of falling prey to terrorism are nevertheless very small for most Americans. Terrorists have forced us to accept that any activity associated with living in a free society now carries with it a finite, and microscopically small, chance of tragic horror. Still, it’s up to us to choose how to react to this minuscule possibility.


If we were more rational in the degree to which we’re alarmed about terrorism, we might become more rational in our responses to it. It’s hard to alter the mindset of a would-be terrorist, but it’s comparatively easy to introduce measures that could reduce gun-related fatalities in general. To date, Congress has shown no interest in discussing such a possibility. Instead, it has focussed on the doubtful question of whether denying refuge to Syrian families might increase public safety.

A cynical individual might wonder who benefits more from the terror induced by terrorism: the terrorists themselves or the politicians and governments who use the public reaction to acts of terror for political gain? Hermann Göring, interviewed during the Nuremberg Trials, said, “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.” We need to be vigilant against those who seek to manipulate us—whoever they are.

The GOP and the many candidates vying for their parties presidential nomination need to step back a pace or two, tone down the trumpets of fear, and rationally analyze the Islamic terrorist threat in perspective. In other words view it in the broader context of actual reality rather than simply hyping fear of Islam and Muslims in general. This is not to say the threat is not real or that it should be ignored hoping that it will eventually go away; it will not without steadfast resistance and force. But overreacting as Trump and others have done plays into the hands of the enemy and produces no tangible benefits for our nation.

Read the full article at the SOURCE


  1. Terrorism should always have been considered a crime problem, not war.


    1. Philosophically I agree Jersey, especially with respect to domestic terrorism. I note however with the 911 terrorist attack that killed 3,000 souls and the Afghanistan's harboring of the terrorists with zero intent of bringing them to justice it made it a war. I will always maintain the USA response to 911 was justified and ethical.

    2. The main critique of the war in Afghanistan was never over it's ostensible righteousness, but whether it was a good idea.


    3. RN: I will always maintain the USA response to 911 was justified and ethical.

      I disagree. We should not have invaded Afghanistan but rather pursued the Taliban's offer to turn over bin Laden. Perhaps a limited bombing campaign to deal with the training camps. An invasion and extended occupation was a very bad idea. As was the invasion of Iraq, which the bush administration decided was also "in response" to 9-11.

    4. On point one we will continue to disagree. There was little reason to think the Taliban would have handed bin Laden over to anyone

      On point two, Iraq, we agree. Regional instability and ISIS followed.

    5. RN: There was little reason to think the Taliban would have handed bin Laden over to anyone.

      Other then them saying they would. Because they were being bombed and about to be invaded (and they wanted that to stop). We didn't take the time to find out because bush's call for the Taliban to hand bin Laden over was BS. My guess is that he was more concerned that they WOULD as opposed to them lying. And, lie for what reason? To buy time for bin Laden to get away? But bush didn't consider the offer AND bin Laden got away.

    6. Your disdain and lack of respect for President Bush, the duly elected president of the USA (TWICE) is both palpable and well known. I find it almost as absurd as the right wings obsession with the non existant "evils" of President Obama.

      That aside, your conjecturing, or guessing if you prefer, as to GWB's BS in your words or his motives is just that, conjecture.

      Everybody is entitled to their opinion, we have all expressed ours many times. This thread is NOT going to be turned into a discussion of the USA government decision, with bipartisan support I will add, to take military action against Afghanistan.

      Thanks once again for your view. Time to move on.

    7. I disagree again. bush was not duly elected. Not even once.

    8. I'll believe the false claims about Bush as soon as I believe Obama was born in Kenya. That is, never.

      Carry on...

    9. What false claims about bush are you referring to, dmarks? Your comment comes directly after mine, so it appears as you are referring to what I wrote... but I only referred to facts about bush never having been elected president. I didn't mention any false claims about bush.

    10. Whether Bush was duly elected or not, if you look at the condition of the economy and the country when he became president and when he left, there is no doubt that he was one of the worst presidents we have ever had.

    11. Yes Jerry, there have been some poor presidents and GWB ranks near the bottom of that group. Both domestically and in foreign policy decisions.

      However, the democratic party bears some responsibility for the financial crises of 2007-2008, some of it roots going back to WJC years.

    12. That may be,RN, but when the team does poorly, it is the coach that gets the ax.

    13. Agreed. Although sometimes, as we both know, it's the ownership whose vision is flawed. Other times it can be a team member with an over inflated ego making huge bucks that is on contract so ownership decides axing the coach is the best short term decision from an economic viewpoint.

      Bush never got the ax.. Nor did Obama.

      Next year will bring more of the same. Regardless who is elected "coach".

  2. Overreacting or just vying for media attention.
    If a terrorist threat is in your neighborhood it would probably take on a different tone.
    Much like global warming, it is a political and media event. When it comes to capturing media attention, Trump and obama wrote the playbook. When it comes to substance not so much.

  3. skud, what is it you don't understand about the broader scope and factual points the article brings forth? Perhaps you didn't bother to read it in full? If you did did you take the time to contemplate the points or did you simple jump to auto pilot response?

    When it comes to capturing media attention I agree, Trumpy is great at it. When it comes to substance and truth, again I agree. Trumpy has neither.


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