With Bush is doing much of the work of terrorizing this nation for political gain and a barrel of oil going for $44 offering a powerful reason for members of the OPEC cartel to covertly finance terrorists, I don't see an end of terrorism any time soon. Terrorists won't have to work hard either. Just pop up once in a while and make a threat.
I expected something better for the 21st century.
Frankly, I have doubts about our defenses against terrorists. What is the point of issuing an unsustainable orange alert over old documents? Shouldn't those financial centers be under tight security already? If the terrorists thought they were good targets three years ago, shouldn't our terrorism experts have thought of it too by now?
I also don't think we should be blocking possible terrorists at our borders. If they can't get in, they'll just find some other ways to hurt us. Instead of turning them away, we should let them in and place them under covert surveillence.
Some of the commenters concluded that I am a pacifist. A pacifist is a person who is opposed to violence as a means of settling disputes. I, on the other hand, think violence is sometimes the right solution despite the side effects. I disagree with the part about settling disputes though. Removing or disabling your opponent will settle the dispute with him, but social network intervenes and an exchange at an-eye-for-an-eye level starts.
And the use of force must be carefully directed and applied as well as justified, not in terms of moral, but in terms of effectiveness. Invasion of Afghanistan was done right. Invasion of Iraq, on the other hand, was not and amounts to a boxer elbowing the referree and punching a ring post.
As to the idea of letting suspected terrorists into the country to monitor their activities being stupid. If they are carrying bombs or weapons onboard airplanes, then they should be arrested. But if they are only suspected, they can't be arrested. If they can't arrested, we can either forget about them and trust the INS to protect America or we can put them under surveillance to see if they are indeed terrorists, and if so, find other members of the terrorist cell.
Cost and resource wise, I think it's cheaper to keep track of them inside America than abroad. Take down options are also limited abroad. This is why I think we should let some of them in. We can also use them as bait to catch other terrorists both inside and outside our borders by monitoring communication.
Another problem I see is the unwillingness to accept risks at any level. If we value freedom and privacy, then we must accept some risks and be willing to take some blows. As long as we are determined to stay the course despite occasional setbacks, I think there is hope. If we value absolute safety above all, then there is no hope because we can't have absolute safety without either killing everyone else.