The movie left me with one question that maybe some of you can help me answer. I know this has been asked before but I don't know that it has ever been answered. What do you think the terrorists were hoping to accomplish, other than the loss of American lives? What are their goals and how did this help them move toward completing these goals? Is it less American "interference" in world affairs? If so how does this help? Isn't the logical answer that we would look to strike back? Or, have the terrorists taken our past responses to terrorists attacks and assumed that we would simply wring our hands and go about our normal days? That wouldn't be an entirely incorrect assumption, as we have in recent times chosen to ignore blatant attacks on Americans. Here is a brief summary of some of the more deadly attacks that we ignored:
- 1983 - US Embassy in Beirut bombing. 63 dead (17 Americans). Response - covert team sent into to Beirut to gather intelligence. Yikes. That would deter me from future attacks. The embassy was also bombed again in 1984 resulting in 24 dead (2 Americans).
- 1983 - Beirut barracks bombing. We lost 241! US soldiers and our response was..... not a damn thing. The Secreatary of Defense at the time said we didn't want to retailiate because we risked upsetting some of the other Arab nations. The soldiers were there on a peacekeeping mission. Not only did we not respond, we pulled out of Lebanon soon after.
- 1988 - Pan Am Flight 103 destroyed. 270 people killed (189 Americans). 1 dude was convicted. Libya eventually paid out over 2 billion to the families. No military response.
- 1993 - Attack on WTC. 6 killed and over a 1000 injured. We fired a few cruise missles at a camel and some tents in the desert and called it a day.
- 1996 - Khobar towers bombing. 19 American servicemembers killed, hundreds injured. Suspects were rounded up, 4 convicted and later beheaded (ouch). Others escaped.
- 2000 - USS Cole bombing. 17 sailors killed, 40 or so wounded. Blew up a car with 2 suspects in it. Arrested 13 who later escaped and are still at large.
So, I'm sure you are asking yourself what's the point, or how about another Deal or No Deal post by now. I guess what I'm getting at is that maybe we have set ourselves up to be terror targets by our relatively weak response to being attacked. Rather than holding Nations accountable, we look to round up a few patsies, have a trial, and call it a day. Take Israel for example. 3 soldiers are kidnapped (not even killed) and they get right down to business. Give us back our guys or someone is going to get hurt. Now I'm not advocating that in all cases we should respond as such, or that the civlian casualties in the recent conflict are not unfortunate, but I think that type of response resonates in the mind of groups like Hezbollah. If I was a terrorist and read the American papers, I would assume that we have no backbone and would just as soon stay at home and cower in fear. Maybe this is why they feel like something can be accomplished by flying planes full of innocent people into building full of innocent people, or trying to blow up 10 planes full of innocent people at the same time.