Terrorism: What’s the Smart Response?

terrorism-finger-trap

The harder our society struggles against terrorism, the worse it gets. Like a toy finger trap, it’s exasperating. So what’s the smart response?

Anybody with a mission (good or bad) responds in ways that gets them to their goal. It’s human nature. So just imagine how royally terrorists are rewarded when the entire Western world is terrorized by one horrible crime. The more random, evil, and telegenic it is, the more society reacts…and, to the terrorists, the more satisfying the result.

In Brussels, three evil people die to kill 32. To the terrorists, the payoff for their cause is not the body count. It’s the reaction: They shut down a capital city and its airport, change the tenor of politics in countries they consider their enemy, and radicalize the world so powerfully that the over-the-top reaction of 500 million people (who lost 32 innocent victims) results in fear-powered policies…which leads, ultimately, to more angry conscripts for the terrorists’ cause. If you’re a terrorist, that’s not a bad day’s work.

Now imagine this alternate scenario: Terrorists detonate a bomb. News coverage comes and goes in a day, people mourn their loss, the bad guys are killed or captured, and no one lets it impact their lives beyond that. Collectively, we would have neutered the terrorists — denying them their rewards and incentives. Rather than a spiral into more and more terror, we’d see a spiral toward peace and stability.

Of course, this would never happen. But it’s a reminder that by confusing fear and risk — and overreacting to any terrorist event — can needlessly throw gas onto their fire.

Will there continue to be terrorist events? Yes. Will I still travel, knowing that I’m absorbing the risk that I may lose that lottery? Yes. (In fact, today I’m flying off for two experience-filled months in Europe.) Will I take foolish risks? Of course not. Will I allow myself to be terrorized? Hell no.

If there is a “War on Terror,” then together, we are combatants. And so far, we’ve chosen a losing strategy. What if we fight back by simply not being terrorized? Maybe our “burden” in this struggle is to live life without fear. If we refuse to be terrorized, they lose…and we win.

 

Comments

70 Replies to “Terrorism: What’s the Smart Response?”

  1. Rick, you’re absolutely right. We can’t deny ourselves of the great dividends of travel. We’re planning a trip to England, Norway,Denmark and Iceland this summer. As always we’ll take care to be aware of our surroundings but I’ll be damned if a few people will paralyze me to the point of not traveling.

  2. Excellent post, Rick! We love your show and travel with you. Some of the best shows have been your visits to Iran and Turkey (we went to Istanbul in October 2015). While we were in Istanbul, we felt more comfortable and safer than here in Florida where we have armed crazies who want to terrorize Muslims and others whom the rabble don’t understand. We live your motto “Keep on travelin’!” Keep traveling Rick and thanks for your insights and excellent thoughts and values!

  3. We booked a trip that included Paris a week after the attacks there. Our trip included a stop in Brugges. There are 2 couples going and we did talk about then & again these past weeks but we are still going. Although it is a tad unnerving, we agree with the thinking that says they win if we cancel!! We love travelling in Europe and go as often as our bank account allows. It would be terrible to stop visiting these wonderful places.

  4. The job of a terrorist is to terrorize. If you have no fear you are definitely living in a dream world. I realize we cannot live in fear but a bit of being careful might just save our lives. Of course traveling is your bread and butter so of course you push it as much as you can. But do not taunt those who choose not to travel to far away places at this time. To each their own.

  5. What you say is mostly true. The media coverage perpetuates and grows terrorism. Heads of State in their rush to respond to their constituents talk too much and say too little. Shhhh….should be the word of the day after a terror incident.

  6. Right on Rick, Fear is a liar, be aware, be smart but don’t stop being who and what you are!

  7. My sentiments exactly! The Red Brigade didn’t stop me, the IRA didn’t stop me and the radical ISIS isn’t going to stop me! The media needs to stop salivating whenever the terrorists try to disrupt our society!
    Keep on traveling.

  8. Maybe someone needs to say again “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”… we’re looking forward to a trip to Paris and Normandy later this year.

  9. I’m not afraid of terrorism. The odds that I’m going to get targeted are infinitesimally small. I worry more about the crazy, over-the-top reaction of the government and authorities. We saw it with the Boston Marathon Bomber. Crazy gunfights with everyone missing all over the place. Heavily armed SWAT teams marching people out of their houses at gunpoint to search for one bad guy. Shutting entire cities down with thousands of police.

    And then afterwards, more demands for cameras, surveillance, observation and monitoring. More gun control laws. More regulation. More police.

    These are the things that scare me. Not some idiot terrorists.

  10. I’m a long time fan and I agree with this article. Back in the days of the Cold War, flying was scary anyway and there were all those highjackers, but I took my chances and all was fine. It was when this phase of suicide attackers came, that I learned that I’m just as much in danger staying home and living my life, as I am taking a flight across the ocean. I’m a New Yorker and I had a freelance business, going to clients all over Manhattan. Normally, I went to one client on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, near City Hall and another I went to twice a month, in the Wall Street area. I often walked from one to the other, on Tuesday morning, passing the WorldTrade Center. On September 6, 2001, one of those clients asked if we could change Tuesday 9/11 to Wednesday 9/12. I said “sure” and changed the other client too. Just a little coincidence saved me from having the WTC fall on me, if I had been home, doing my normal routine. I still find a lot of places on Earth pretty scary, but not Western Europe and I never know which days will be more dangerous than others to fly, so I just go when I can get a good price.

  11. We’re all gonna die…don’t know where, don’t know when. I prefer seeing the world to living in a bunker where the sun never shines:)

  12. Terrorism is nothing new. One thing that I do find interesting is that the most common source of terrorism is a people who are trying to get out from under the control of another group but don’t have the resources to do so with military strength. As long as there are nations that create empires there will be terrorists fighting for their freedoms.

    Of course once people have been set far enough down the path towards radicalism that takes on a life of it’s own.

    Before condemning others we might do well to see if there is blood on our own hands. Especially middle eastern blood.

  13. I agree, Rick. And our media friends around the world do little to mitigate the tsunami of fear/panic/over-reaction with their breathless and endless reporting, re-reporting, “summing up,” and anything else to garner airtime. As I tell my PR students at Curry College, the goal of the terrorists (or politicians, to add another layer of muck) is to be mentioned over and over again in the media. To be “remembered”/feared, one’s name must be repeated and repeated and repeated.

  14. I entered Egypt the day after Khadafi was captured in Lybia. This was after spending two days in Israel. Despite the conflict and differences between the two countries, I found a communality. The people I met in both countries were charming and genuine. They were honest, caring people who welcomed me and were proud to show that terrorism was not their ideal. I found people who wanted to show that violence was not only unwelcome, but devastating to their core beliefs. People in Israel and Egypt love their families, their country, and for those who were not afraid to visit, wanted to show off the home of which they were so proud. I’ve learned that the violence and hatred of a small minority cannot overwhelm the spirit of people. It’s important to travel, observe, and understand. The end of hatred cannot be from violence, but rather understanding that we are not so different. My action to end the discord is to travel and engage. With that, I can become a proponent of peace.

  15. Hi Rick,
    Agree entirely, however I would say it’s more like winning the lottery in terms of chances of risk. A quick Google search quickly shows the odds of winning the lottery are 1 in 8,100,000 but odds of dying in a terrorist attack are 1 in 20,000,000!

  16. Your words are giving me some (?) courage to continue on with our plans (tickets purchased) of visiting London and Belgium in August, flying out of Brussels back to US early Sept.. Really wanted to change and not go to Belgium at all but your thoughts are exactly how we should feel and glad to read them. Think we will carry on with our plans! Safe travels and may God be with us! Happy US travelers. :)

  17. I heard you speak a few years ago at a South Dakota Library Association conference. Terrorism wasn’t quite as bad then, but you told us to live our lives and not give in. I think of that when I travel. This blog post reinforces what you told us. Thank you & safe travels.

  18. Very well said Rick. They only win when we let them. I mourn the victims and my heart is with their family and friends. But I will continue to travel and enjoy this great world. My wife and I leave soon for 21 days in the South of France, with the trip mostly based on Rick’s great books. We will stand tall and journey on!

  19. With the number of Americans who have guns and with us having homegrown as well as Islamic extremists, I say Europe is still safer by far. For me, I would not travel alone in much of the south, but would get on a plane to Paris in a minute.

  20. BUILD A WALL just like Hungary did….Solved a lot of bad problems….Like Women getting raped!!!!!

  21. You are so correct Rick. In this increasingly polarized world, we need to embrace and celebrate life now more than ever.
    The terrorists are media junkies; yes they get off on the planning and execution of their attacks but they thrive on the media attention. So your suggestion to cap and curtail media attention is spot on!

    Thank you for your insights.
    Safe travels,
    Steve

  22. Several years ago I was preparing for a trip when there was a terrorist event in Europe. About the same time there was a case where a person was killed while sitting at the drive-up window at McDonalds when a thief inside fired a gun. I decided then that I might as well go enjoy Europe. A tragedy can happen anywhere, any time, and you might as well live your life to the fullest. It is one thing to be prudent and another to live in fear.

  23. Is it possible Rick Steves completely misses the point of “the bad guys?” Has he lost an historical perspective on what the “believing (on non-believing) human brain” is capable of inflicting on others – in good conscience, and with the best of intentions?

    The various Christian churches have tortured, burned alive, hung, and beheaded hundreds of thousands of fellow humans on the basis of a belief system. Mr. Steves’ asserts
    “Anybody with a mission (good or bad) responds in ways that gets them to their goal. It’s human nature…” He may be misreading a “person on a mission” and the “hey, look at me!” factor. A martyr is often as willing to be quietly dispatched in a distant back corner of the castle as in the town square. Either way, you go to the same final place.

    Many “bad guys” around the globe are not so much “responding”, as “choosing” their prescribed path to a place, as did others during seven crusades, spanning two centuries. And Mr. Steves’ contention “the more random, evil, and telegenic ….the more satisfying the result..” is also dubious. Video of the Westgate Nairobi Mall mass murders (HBO) gives a window into how far off his assessment really is.

    From noon to nightfall that day, four terrorists can be seen on security video, hunting shoppers down. (There were no news media on site until it was all over.) But they are also recorded asking forgiveness from a young Muslim girl for killing her mother and sister. When rebuked by a small boy that “killing people is bad”, one of them apologizes repeatedly as he releases the boy, a group of children, and a young mother. A later scene in the documentary shows members of the group on a storeroom floor, bowing in evening prayer.

    There was a time when Pope Leo the Great commended the Roman Emperor for torturing and executing heretics on behalf of the Church. Centuries later the Roman Inquisition had Galileo in its sites for for claiming the earth revolved around the sun. He recanted and spent the rest of his life under house arrest: many others were burned for less threatening beliefs. Would these early ruling terrorists been “neutered” by less press coverage. Was society reacting too fearfully and encouraging the Popes and their Inquisitors?

    The true believer doesn’t really need media coverage to go off on an horrific path of righteousness. The blogging of simplistic declarations on a travel website may feel good but are they just sugar-pills-in-print ? Let’s hope this global phenomenon we are witnessing doesn’t play out for a century or more like the Crusades, but with more lethal weaponry.

  24. Couldn’t agree more. Wish we Americans had more perspective. Travel and one-on-one experiences while traveling help tremendously.

  25. Agree completely. Just wish this was in some form so I could email it to my friends who need to hear it. I’m not on facebook.

  26. I couldn’t agree more. Let’s not add to their list of victims. They certainly will not be the reason we stop traveling. My husband and I have visited all 7 continents and 50 countries and are about to embark on a Spain, Portugal, Morocco tour. Maybe we will see you there!

    Until we meet again, safe journeys..

  27. I live in New York City. On 9/11 I stood in the street and watched both of those towers come down. There were fighter jets above the city and the National Guard one block away. I was scheduled to go on a tour through Rick Steves to Spain and Portugal on Sept. 21st. I was tempted to cancel since both Rick Steves and Iberia Airlines offered a full refund: a cancellation would have meant no money lost. (People around me kept saying I should cancel………and my reply: So I should stay in New York where I’ll be SAFE?) I went anyway….. and it was actually at the safest time. Security was tight everywhere. And the people of Spain and Portugal were wonderful to our group of Americans. Don’t let the terrorists win.

  28. The day Brussels was attacked me and husband decided to go see Brussels. First of all, the tourism industry cannot suffer. Secondly, to show that life goes on to the terrorist. If they want change killing the innocent does not help their cause.

  29. Went with my sister to Europe last fall. Had a great time. Saw the Syrian refugees and waved. A bit more security than usual but it’s still a lot better than it was when we lived in Germany back in the 1960s and did passport checks at every border. Going again to Germany this coming week–and looking forward to it. Funny thing is that my sister had her purse stolen–in her own home city two weeks before we left for Europe–where we had NO problems! Sorry, folks, but Rick’s right. You can have more problems in your own backyard than by going to your dream travel location.

  30. WW3 is getting closer. The UK tried to warn us last month (dirty bombs). When I go to Europe I want to hear church bells, not electronically-blasted prayers! The U.S, media is censoring the danger. Cover up the Venus de Milo for those that are NOT infidels!

  31. While I agree and just got back from a trip to Egypt where they are really suffering from the lack of tourism,,we just made the difficult decision to cancel a trip to turkey this month. There have been three terrorist attacks and they are targeting tourists. The state department has issued a warning. At what point should we take those warnings seriously? I am feeling very conflicted and we are not getting any kind of refund because aTurkish Air has not canceled its flights.

  32. Rick I totally agree with your attitude about traveling during these scary times. However, I just cancelled a trip to Paris with my 24 year old daughter who was frightened to go, so I figured why spend the $ to be frightened. We will go to Paris again, one of my favorite, if not my favorite cities in the entire world! My husband and I are going to Italy this June on one of your tours and nothing is going to stop us. We will keep on traveling!

  33. My wife, who survived having a rare and malignant tumor removed during a “routine” emergency appendectomy, found an axiom to follow, “a life lived in fear is a life half lived”. We fly to Europe tomorrow, for the umpteenth time. This is no dress rehearsal, viva con gusto!

  34. Rick,
    I agree with your sentiments. I am not going to let fanatical terrorists dictate how I live my life. If I die doing what I love doing, I know where I am going should that happen. I have no worries.
    David

  35. Thanks for commentary, Rick! My first trip to Europe was 5 weeks after 9-11. I was so scared I ALMOST didn’t go. What a mistake that would have been. The French people (most especially the Parisians!) were amazing giving us condolences, telling us how they felt and helped us in ways I didn’t expect: An extra long handshake, a chat with a busy waiter leading to conversations with patrons from all over the world and even a few “extra” pours from a special bottle. All went to make my first experience AWESOME! Had I let the terrorists win, I would be sitting at home getting madder and madder at “the World” for being that way. Now, I just sit back, morn the dead, long for peace and understanding and pass the vino! Safe Travels!! Bud

  36. We booked your tour to Belgium 6 weeks ago and told family and friends. So of course day after the bombing we received many calls begging us to cancel the trip. I emailed your office to see if they would be cancelling tours of Belgium or modifying the itinerary . The office said there were no plans to cancel the tours but would refund our deposit if we chose to cancel. Our tour date is late August ,so we hope the early tour members will share their positive experience in Brussels.

  37. I couldn’t agree more! We traveled to Paris this past December after the attack- many advised us not to go, but the thought of cancelling never crossed my mind. Vivir mi Vida! Tomorrow is never promised- no matter where you are.

  38. The goal is to build a life you don’t need a vacation from. If you need to decide whether to go into danger or stay home you need to take a good look at your life.. Happiness comes from within. No travel plans needed!

  39. We are going to Germany this summer. Have been there several times, and many other places in Europe and the world over the years. I usually feel safer there than I do in the United States. Sad, but true. My wife and I figure, that “if it’s our time, it’s our time”. We know where our “next stop”is,and it will be “heavenly”. We don’t fear leaving this wonderful life with all its wonder and adventure. Thanks for your “right on” comments, Rick. We’re with you! Keep on Travelin'”!

  40. Sometimes, after a police anti-terrorist lockdown, travel is actually safer. So canceling vacation plans may not be wise.

  41. I agree with Pat, Tee Peace, Angiegirl, Guillermo, and Tom (whose very well said message about the terrorists, who are NOT committing their horrendous acts to SCARE us, but to “earn their reward” in their “heaven”.

  42. I continue to travel. But, I many times, feel naked from my inability to carry my weapon. It wouldn’t have helped in Belgium but I would have felt safer. CL

  43. Why not discuss “The threat of terror on tourism in Europe” rather than a relatively non-travel based article?

  44. Exactly what I tell people who react in shock that I would even consider traveling to Europe or anywhere else because of terrorism. Don’t give the Ba#Ta*ds what they want. Travel like your life depends on it and carry on with care. Your life and the world will be better for it.

  45. We had a wonderful time in Nice/Cannes/ Monaco (if you forget the rail strike)last July 2015 and would go there again (stayed at Villeneuve Loubet).(It was our second attempt to get there, the first try was thwarted 30min. to boarding by the Icelandic volcanoe). But we would take the bus instead of the train to get to our accommodations (way too much walking with suitcases, like 45 minutes worth). We are also now aware that the buses stop running at about 8pm. in order that the taxi (cartel) can extract a heavy toll off of the tourist (120 euros Nice to Cannes).
    Concerning terrorism though, I really am leery of “False Flag” events orchestrated by our own governments in order for us to give up our rights and “freedoms” for more “security”.
    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” (Benjamin Franklin).
    Memorize Psalm 91. You will need it soon, especially in the USA (z3news has much more information).

  46. I totally agree. I went to Paris at Christmas last year and it was wonderful. Paris is always wonderful. Yes there was increased security and it became automatic to open my purse and jacket when I went into places, but I felt safe. People did asked me was I scared. My answer was no, I am more afraid of the idiots texting on their cell phones on the freeway during my commute

    I am leaving for Switzerland in 5 weeks and would never consider not going. Travel feeds my soul and enriches my life. As other posters have said you can’t live your life in fear.

  47. On that Tuesday morning I was booking flights to Amsterdam and a 12 cruise around the British Isles and my wife and I decided not to go. We had gone to Italy last November and enjoyed ourselves, BUT we could see the Muslim invasion causing Italy to slide. France and Germany get worse by the day. Sweden is waking up and now deporting 10’s of 000’s of Muslims. I’ve worked in anti-terrorism for years. We will all regret open borders. Islam is more a culture of conquest than a religion. Western Europe is committing suicide.

  48. I agree Rick. I have 2 trips happening this summer to Europe. And more coming up ,I love to travel.

  49. Bravo! Just returned from a great trip to Turkey, Greece and Italy. People there were very appreciative that Americans continue to travel.

  50. Some of the cowardice and xenophobia exhibited here is truly disheartening. I’d rather die in the Veldt in South Africa, a subway in Tokyo or an airport in Belgium instead of on my couch, worrying what new “evil” will hunt me down like a rabbit. Statistics show that I’m more likely to be killed by my diet, someone I know or someone who had a bad day at work than I am an Islamic extremist. Those are hard facts, not some garbage spouted by a politician with bad hair. I travelled after 9/11, Madrid, London and Paris.

    You can stay home and cower. I’ll travel, learn and make connections with the rest of the world.

  51. Godfrey of Bouillon 1096 – First Crusade

    “to go on this journey only after avenging the blood of the crucified one by shedding Jewish blood and completely eradicating any trace of those bearing the name ‘Jew,’ thus assuaging his own burning wrath.”

    Soloman bar Samson: The Crusaders in Mainz, May 27, 1096

    “As soon as the enemy came into the courtyard they found some of the very pious there with our brilliant master, Isaac ben Moses. He stretched out his neck, and his head they cut off first. The others, wrapped by their fringed praying­shawls, sat by themselves in the courtyard, eager to do the will of their Creator. They did not care to flee into the chamber to save themselves for this temporal life, but out of love they received upon themselves the sentence of God.

    “The enemy showered stones and arrows upon them, but they did not care to flee, and [Esther 9:5] “with the stroke of the sword, and with slaughter, and destruction” the foe killed all of those whom they found there. When those in the chambers saw the deed of these righteous ones, how the enemy had already come upon them, they then cried out, all of them: “There is nothing better than for us to offer our lives as a sacrifice.” [The outnumbered Jews had no chance to win: Emico is reported to have had about 12,000 men.]”.

    For those Jews fleeing from the Crusaders, what would have been “the Smart Response”? If they reached a sheltering community, does one speak of the bloodshed and beheadings? Or should survivors just calm down and take a deep breath. That way, the Jews, collectively, would have neutered the Crusaders— denying them their rewards and incentives. Rather than a spiral into more and more terror, they would see a spiral toward peace and stability.

    Sadly, that didn’t happen and thousands more were murdered or committed suicide rather than be captured and forced to convert. “But it’s a reminder that by confusing fear and risk — and overreacting to any terrorist event — can needlessly throw gas onto their fire.”

  52. Hey Rick, I totally agree with your response, although new policies and procedures must be implemented post-terror attack(s). Europe is in a quandary with open borders and not being able to control who or what crosses each countries’ frontier. This must be improved, or more terrorist attacks will occur. I’m all for not limiting the ability to travel freely between countries, but if you have no passport or come from a state-sponsor of terror activity, you need to be denied access. Security and safety are needed, first and foremost.

    I just got back from Europe during spring break with my son, and if I had more time off,I would visit Belgium, Holland or France. Now is the time to go, and if you can deal with the new security procedures, be patient enough (like Europeans) to wait in some lines, it will all work out. If we stay home, the terrorists win.

    “Keep on Travelling”, Rick! Enjoy Portugal…

    Regards,

    Bill G
    York, SC

  53. I agree with your philosophy but if you put deeper thinking aside how about simple arithmetic!

    Americans killed in terrorist attacks 2014— 17

    Americans killed in Highway Accidents 2014 — over 30,000

    What is more dangerous… your car!

  54. Great to see so many dedicated travelers determined to continue seeking their love of travel and new horizons. While there is considerable diversity of opinion about how we should live in a world where terrorists still fight modernity, there are some things we can agree upon. Be respectful of the culture you are visiting (they are welcoming you into their land as a guest–not a critic). Abide by local security procedures to support their efforts to protect you and their people. Demand your government increase security cooperation among law enforcement, security agencies and the business community. We can help raise the security levels without building walls or carrying weapons.

  55. Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Credible Threats to Public Squares and Docks in Istanbul and Antalya
    April 9, 2016
    The U.S. Mission in Turkey would like to inform U.S. citizens that there are credible threats to tourist areas, in particular to public squares and docks in Istanbul and Antalya. Please exercise extreme caution if you are in the vicinity of such areas. For your personal safety, we urge you to monitor local media.

  56. “Arthur C. Clarke said Douglas Adams’ use of ‘DON’T PANIC’ was perhaps the best advice that could be given to humanity.” – Wikipedia,, in reference to ” A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.

  57. Rick, I liked your article on “Terrorism: What’s the Smart Response?”, although I think it’ll take more than wise words to move forward. What is the phrase that comes to mind, Ah, “Actions speak louder than words” to elaborate just a little further, it could be adjusted to say “Actions and or reactions speak louder than words”? You are on the right track with your article. I wish I had the means and the funds to travel abroad or even to another state or city for more than just a day. I will end my blog by quoting one great adventurer / explorer “Keep on Travelin”

    The Vicarious Traveler,
    Bill

  58. Terrorism is a complex issue. For centuries we have experienced terrorism in some form or other. Maybe terrorism would go away if only the leaders would sacrifice themselves instead of convincing their followers that their actions are the “right thing to do”.
    Should we be afraid? It’s hard not to but we can’t let them win!
    There are a lot of good people in this world as we experienced in Barcelona recently. We were robbed while driving a rental car after a tire had been slashed by thieves. Local Spanish people came to our rescue and helped to get us back on our way. We lost all of our Rick Steve’s guidebooks which we had scoured over for weeks prior to our trip. Our losses also included some irreplaceable items such as a camera with all of our pictures from the previous 12 days of this trip. Although our experience put a damper on the balance of our vacation we did go on to meet some wonderful travellers from various parts of the world. Most notably we met a couple from Sweden that has now spiked our interest in travelling to see that part of the world and in particular the couple that we met.
    Our experience was a milder form of terrorism but all the same created fear in our hearts and a level of risk that we must evaluate. Innocent people should not have to affected by the actions of radicalized individuals when their leaders are not willing to put up the same sacrifice.
    We have no answer on how to stop terrorism but we do know that people make this world go around. Terrorists need to look at themselves in the mirror and answer the question “are we doing the right thing”?

  59. This approach was already tried, and found wanting. In the 1990s al Qaeda declared war on us and started attacking us. Based on the weak response they must have wondered what they had to do to get noticed. We gave peace a chance and got September 11.

    In 2012 the Obama reelection campaign declared that the war on terror was over, with al Qaeda “on the run”. Maintaining this façade was so important that the administration ignored email requests for upgraded security in Libya. Four Americans were killed. The administration concocted the story that the attacks were merely a spontaneous response to an obscure web video; apparently the demonstrators just happened to have RPG launchers. The Secretary of State stood by the victims’ coffins and lied to their next of kin about the reason for their deaths.

    President Obama declared ISIS to be the “Jayvee” team. They took over much of Iraq and Syria. He said that ISIS was contained; later that day they killed scores in Paris. Then it was San Bernardino and Brussels. Obama showed his lack of concern by doing “the wave” with Cuba’s communist dictators.

    It’s as if the west does not want to defend the civilization it built so painstakingly. The cravenness extends to non-terrorist issues. In Rotherham there were over 1400 sexual assaults, which the government tried to cover up because no one wants to hurt Moslem’s feelings. In Germany’s New Year celebrations there were over a 100 organized cases of sexual assault which the government and media tried to cover up.

    This is no time for Alfred E. Newman’s foreign policy: “What, me worry?”

  60. A blogged comment raised the question: what issue causes greater concern for Rick Steves – the topic that really draws his fire: Terrorism or pot ?

    Within “ricksteves.com”, Rick talks about marijuana in 46 Blogs, 22 Tips & Articles, and 4 Videos. Search “terrorism”: it shows up in only 28 of his Blogs, 19 Tips & Articles and one video. Yet in the readers’ Travel Forum, travelers speak of “terrorism” 216 times; interest in “marijuana” – only 54.

    Internet searches, using Yahoo (which gives a “total” of results) produce similar numbers. An entry of just “Rick Steves” returns 6,210,000 hits. Combine his name and “terrorism” and we have 3,070,000. But if you search Rick with “marijuana”, you’re rewarded with 11,100,000 items (videos included) to view.

    This can all be dismissed as comparing apples and oranges. However, Rick has been okay with comparing U.S. gun deaths, car fatalities and plane disasters to a few “isolated”murders at the hands of terrorists. Still, maybe it shows the move to legalized weed is his driving passion.
    And, of course, the promotion of “keep on traveling.”

    Terrorist attacks happen and should be addressed with a messages of concern and reassurance. But they really are just a recurring inconvenience confronting the travel business. Legalized pot, however, is a battle that can be won and IS gradually being won, one state legislature at a time. Yay! The bad guys are losing !

  61. Touring is resistance
    It would be a shame to see someone disappearing before he went on a tour of this magic world

  62. True enough, but I also think we have to address the issue of why these people are killing themselves and others in the first place. After we crush Isis another group will take its place unless we address what is causing this phenomenon.

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