Thursday, September 21, 2006

Safer for who?

A recent poll conducted in Great Britain showcases part of the reason why the British people are clamoring for Tony Blair to step down before his term of office would officially expire. According to the poll, 55 percent of those responding feel that the UK is in more danger now than it was prior to the "War on Terror." In fact, almost 75% believe that the world in general is more violent than it was in 1956. The majority also believe that religion is at the root of most of the conflict.

In a way, the British people are correct, and it doesn't extend simply to the United Kingdom. The War on Terror has led to those nations in charge of it being put into a crosshairs of sorts, especially when the goals that were originally outlined have been pushed aside by results that don't carry as much impact globally. When you look at the results of removing Saddam Hussein from power, and you realize that the Iraqi insurgency is still going strong, along with the influx of new threats from official terrorist organizations, you can see how being placed into those crosshairs is not a good thing.

While the war in Iraq has dragged on for years, and has no apparent end in sight, we've also had to deal with the rise of North Korea and Iran, both potential nuclear powers in the coming years. The Taliban is still active, and bin Laden has issued new threats. The recent conflict between Israel and Hezbollah underscores the danger that resides currently in the Middle East, and the potential for it to leak out to the rest of the world in uncontrolled waves.

Has the War on Terror helped to make the world a more dangerous place? Possibly. It has certainly failed to stop the rise in extremism amongst religions, and has proven to be remarkably ineffective at curtailing further violence in regions even after the removal of known antagonists. Will a full-scale change in the leaders of the "free world" lead to improvement in the way that the global community treats each other? There are no guarantees, but one can assume that it would be difficult for things to get too much worse.

Ultimately, we need to sit by and wait. Yes, the British have used their voice to speak out against the War on Terror. So have the American people. All that remains is to use the voice that truly matters, and use that power to vote those who we feel can govern the best, hoping our choices are right.

In the meantime, we can wait until the White House throws up anti-terrorism videos on YouTube, with images of a coked out Keith Richards trying to dismantle a suicide bomb while his mom walks in. Hijinks will, of course, ensue.

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