God, this is what we all need to be saying every time someone says ‘terrorist’ and ‘terrorism’. It makes me want to fucking scream; They win when we panic. The fucking win when we panic.
Here’s a snippet from a great piece on Bruce Schneier – go read the whole thing, it’s worth it, but here’s his key point.
Another thought experiment: Imagine for a moment that the British government arrested the 23 suspects without fanfare. Imagine that the TSA and its European counterparts didn’t engage in pointless airline-security measures like banning liquids. And imagine that the press didn’t write about it endlessly, and that the politicians didn’t use the event to remind us all how scared we should be. If we’d reacted that way, then the terrorists would have truly failed.
It’s time we calm down and fight terror with antiterror. This does not mean that we simply roll over and accept terrorism. There are things our government can and should do to fight terrorism, most of them involving intelligence and investigation — and not focusing on specific plots.
But our job is to remain steadfast in the face of terror, to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to not panic every time two Muslims stand together checking their watches. There are approximately 1 billion Muslims in the world, a large percentage of them not Arab, and about 320 million Arabs in the Middle East, the overwhelming majority of them not terrorists. Our job is to think critically and rationally, and to ignore the cacophony of other interests trying to use terrorism to advance political careers or increase a television show’s viewership.
It’s this line that most speaks to me; “Our job is to think critically and rationally“. And this isn’t just something that is true in this context; this is something we all need to learn how to do, all the fucking time.
As usual, props to Cory at BoingBoing for pointing this out.