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Thursday, December 29, 2005 - C'mon, America! Israel does it!

CNN has had the annoying Kelli Arena in Israel all week, travelling with a group of law enforcement from Louisiana that is studying how Israel handles the threat of terrorism (I wrote about this briefly the other day). I'm not sure what their point is supposed to be, but the subtext is clear - that Israel is better prepared for terrorism, and we could be too if we put armed guards and surveillance cammeras everywhere, built a concrete wall around the country and subjected ourselves to random searches by 'civil patrol officers.'
I'll respond to this foolishness by paraphrasing my mother - 'If Israel jumped off a bridge, would we do it, too?'
As tempting as it might be to people like Lou Dobbs and his little 'Broken Borders' cult, a wall around this country would signal the death of the United States as a 'free country.' And I don't think my neighbors here in New York would take too kindly to having machine gun-toting security guards patrolling Macy's or the East Village.
But there is a subtle form of conditioning going on here. Arena's reports refer repeatedly to 'the next terror attack in America,' as if it's a foregone conclusion that another 9/11 is right around the corner, and we'd better deploy those cameras and set up those checkpoints now if we want to have the slightest hope of living through it.


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