I will try to say this in such a way as to avoid a flame war. I almost left this alone, because I don't want to simply get into another yelling match.
I have travelled outside the USA, I have seen the real world.
I wonder, can you say the same?
Inside America, people are living the dream. They think that material possesions are the end-goal of life, and they desperately seek after things to make them happy. They do not understand that things are what keep us alive, people are what make us happy.
In third-world countries, people are generally happier than within the USA. Isn't that strange? But there's music in the streets, there's always children laughing. People hang out in tight bunches, even when there's empty space on both sides. A community feeling that is absent in America.
People in America are sometimes shocked by the extent of my travel. They think I am too small and weak to travel alone in "dangerous foreign lands" I suppose. They cannot conceive of the fact that 90% of Africa is peaceful, that Europe is entirely more civilized than America, and that "Red China" hates us less than they love our money.
The single most frightening place I have ever been, anywhere in the world, is El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciúncula. Otherwise known as LA. There are no public restrooms to be found in LA, and when a drunk guy in the street starts yelling, he's probably got a gun. The airport is tense, more tense than I'm used to in air travel. The security guards all have guns, which seems unacceptably stupid past the metal detectors. In germany they do not allow guns near the airplanes, even in the hands of their own personnel. I was hand-searched twice in LA, and I cannot lock my luggage to prevent security guards from stealing my socks.
In other places I was given only a cursory walk through a metal detector, yet I felt far more certain no-one would bomb those planes, because they do not make a target of themselves.
In the end, that is my biggest issue. Sept. 11 happened why?
Because America is so wealthy and happy that random psychotics just decided to attack us? Or because our systematic manipulation and murderous overseas policies of the past 60 years are finally coming back to haunt us?
The single most effective way to prevent people from trying to kill you, is to convince them that you are not trying to kill them! And yet America has never once tried that route.
Is Iraq a terrorist nation, willing to destroy itself and half of the world to "get revenge" on America? Or is it merely a third-world country where people are starving, and no-one is looking at any kind of big picture at all?
I understand that fear and hatred are natural responses to the confusion facing us, but try to look at it from outside emotion. What proof have we ever been given that Saddam Hussein is a dangerous man? What do you really know about his actions at all? Iraq has no money, no weapons and no will to attack.
They Are Not A Threat.