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Attacks expose terrorism as a losing cause

Posted: Sunday, July 10, 2005

Another reminder that we're living in a world at war erupted Thursday with the news that bombings in the heart of London had killed more than 50 early morning commuters.

Although high-profile terror attacks have thankfully not yet struck Alaska, the London bombings are another reminder that in this new global climate of terror, no place is safe.

Alaska is no different. Although we have no large cities, we do have potential targets — the trans-Alaska oil pipeline being the most visible — that could be used by extremists to strike a blow at America's way of life.

Staying vigilant and cooperating with authorities' efforts to halt potential attacks before they start are two of the best ways the general public can work to prevent terror from arriving on our doorstep.

Vigilance is key to the fight against global terror. But to truly win the war, we must also be willing to shrug off these cowardly deeds as nothing more than desperate acts perpetrated by individuals with no respect for human life and no desire to live in a world of freedom, hope and democracy.

The best way to win against terror is to ignore it. The only way terrorists can achieve their goals is to create a climate of fear. That means tearing the economic and social fabric of our society to shreds by instilling dread and anger in our hearts. It means forcing us to go underground in an effort to avoid the potential dangers that could lurk around any and every corner.

If we stand up against this menace and say, 'we will not be afraid,' terrorists cannot win. They represent but a small group of angry, misinformed, power-hungry idealists bent not on creating a better world, but on tearing down everything that stands for freedom. As a society of people whose culture is based on the ability of its citizens to speak and act freely, we can overcome this minority of thugs by standing up for ourselves and going about our lives as if the terrorists did not exist.

Global terror is very real. Incidents like those which have rocked London, Madrid, Baghdad, Bali, New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania in recent years are graphic testaments to this chilling fact.

But what is also real is the fact that the vast majority of the world's citizens oppose the kind of thinking that breeds this terror.

Despite persistent reports indicating that America's image in the world community is slipping, we still remain a place where people can freely express their ideas, where men and women are expected to be treated as equals and where people of different religions can debate the merits of their faith in a free and open manner.

As long as we remember this, America will continue to win the fight against terror.

Although it may seem that terrorists win small victories each time they successfully murder innocent people, the opposite is true. Each time people are killed in the name of tyranny, intolerance and anarchy, the more clearly the contrast between our way of life and the one which would be imposed on us by extremists is illustrated.



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