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War On Terror Or War On Freedom?

Rense | October 1, 2006
By Brandon Trask - Age 17

("In my humble opinion, the greatest causalities in the war on terror have been our freedom and sanity." )

The terrible events of September 11th, 2001 sparked George W. Bush's war on terror and marked the commencement of the war on freedom.

Immediately following the attacks, countries in the western world increased security exponentially. It had been too lax; terrorists with box cutters were able to board planes.

Seemingly every object that could have potentially been used as a dangerous weapon was kept off planes.

However, in August, it was revealed that a terrorist plot involving liquid explosives had been foiled; some potential weapons were overlooked.

Western governments reacted by banning beverages, toothpaste, shampoo, hand creams, and most other gels and liquids-including suntan lotion-from commercial flights. (With red hair and blue eyes, skin cancer will kill me before terrorists ever get the chance.)

Are these new measures really needed? Should we continue to surrender our freedom to the government? Are we really winning the war on terror?

To quote Ben Franklin, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

The terrorists' main goal is to make us fearful in order to change our way of life.

So what does the government do to combat this terrible foe? It feeds us fear in order to get us to change our way of life.

Maybe we will be safer; without our freedom, the terrorists will have no reason to hate us.

The answer shouldn't be to ban all liquids and gels.

Of course if you strip everyone down and don't allow anything on the plane there will be no acts of terrorism-that's not the point. The intelligence agencies must protect the public from threats while allowing us to continue to live normally.

We're treating every person as a terrorist, when 99.9999% of passengers just want to get to their destination safely (and quickly).

The answer is profiling. Don't treat everyone the same; those who are judged to be suspicious should be investigated further. Border guards have been doing this for decades.

My concern is not necessarily with the specific restrictions that are currently in place. My main worry is where this may lead. My generation doesn't want to live in a police state.

What's next? What else will we give up to the government so that it may "protect" us?

Governments should not restrict freedom in an attempt to preserve it.

In my humble opinion, the greatest causalities in the war on terror have been our freedom and sanity.

Brandon Trask is a grade 12 student at St. John's-Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He has a biweekly column in Winnipeg's Canstar Community Newspapers (The Lance, The Metro, The Times, and The Herald) and also writes periodically for The Winnipeg Sun.


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