Fearing Fear

Some wonderful friends just departed our home after spending part of a week with us here in Brooklyn, and a few days in Washington, DC. It seems they had a nice time (besides the cool weather), and were pleasantly surprised how livable (dare I say, European) New York is. But one complaint they had really resonated. Most everywhere they went (and they visited a number of touristy spots) they encountered what they felt to be frustrating and overwhelming security arrangements. They didn't encounter any problems due to their Belgian citizenry, but were amazed at the barriers (and inefficiencies) that met them at nearly every federal or high-profile facility. I had to apologize and explain the extreme politicization of my country's "security" in the name of the "war on terror".

To loosely paraphrase, our country is still re-fighting the last war. Reading things like this makes me crazy. We will become so fearful in our daily lives we will lose what we've worked hard to build. Why can't we conduct anti-terrorist actions like any other police or military action? Like other countries who have extensive histories of radical violence do? Don't make a big deal about it -  just go after the guys.