It may be a bit controversial to ponder if terrorists have already won, but so be it, it needs to be said. For years we've heard jokes (and sometimes real statements) that you have to (insert patriotic duty) or else the terrorists would win. But isn't it possible that the terrorist have already won? And no, I'm not referring to a war, or a battle, or even winning in the classic sense. But when you look at what terrorism is rooted in, fear and disruption, then it's very easy to argue that we face a losing battle.
A great example of a lost battle is as close as your nearest airport. Without even considering the fact that you can no longer see loved ones off to their terminal, or for that matter greet them at the gate, let's consider the security checkpoint. Because some idiot decided to put a bomb in his shoe, we all get the pleasure of taking our shoes off so they can be x-rayed. Sure the shoe bomb never went off, but it didn't stop him from causing an inconvenience for millions of travelers each day. I'd really hate to think of what ordeal we'd be going through if he had decided to stick the bomb up his ass. Or consider the other idiots who planned to make a bomb on a plane using everyday liquids. Again, no bomb went off, but everyday thousands of dollars worth of perfume, cologne, and bottled drinks get thrown away because of the new 3 ounce rule.
Another area we've definitely lost on is the Homeland Security Advisory System. This is, of course, the 5-level threat level that advises you how worried (prepared) you should be at any given time. Let's forget for a moment that it has been nearly 8 years since 9/11 and that we have never gone below a level 3 advisory, but instead let's consider how useless this system really is. The simple truth is that they can probably never lower the advisory level below a level 3. Can you imagine the outrage that would ensue if Homeland Security lowered the rating to a level 2 and then some idiot blew a bomb out of his ass? If they've kept the level at a 3 or higher for the past 8 years, what inclination do we have that it would ever be lowered? But that poses its own unique problem -- we're all pretty much used to a level 3 and level 4. And if they raise it to a level 5 and cause a panic and nothing happens? Why, that's almost just as bad (although bottled water manufacturers wouldn't mind the windfall that would undoubtedly come their way). So, at the end of the day, we're stuck using a rating system that is worse than your local weatherman predicting a 50% chance of rain.
There are other examples that could be discussed such as the act of profiling or the financial meltdown (which has been loosely linked, partially at least, to the 9/11 attacks), but I'll let you come to your own conclusions considering them. Instead, I hope you remember that you don't have to agree with my viewpoints, but if you don't, then the terrorists have already won.