Final Word from Wednesday, May 4, 2011

After the gunning down of Osama bin Laden, it was inevitable that the global anti-terrorism industry would look for a way to justify its continued existence. Perhaps it's just a coincidence that it took the Czech police only a day to make their first terrorism arrests ever. Perceptive TV viewers might have sensed that the suspects were a band of buffoons, which only heightened the need to ask whether all the hype was necessary. Thomas Friedman told CNN that it's time to step back and reassess everything that has been done in the U.S. since 9/11 in the name of fighting terrorism, from creating huge bureaucracies, to requiring people to take off their shoes at the airport, to becoming an exporter of fear. For Czechs, this would mean reevaluating not only the airport security procedures, but also such things as their support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the need for non-EU residents to have biometric scans. Of course it would also mean that some officials might have to give up some of their hard-gained power.

Glossary of difficult words

to gun someone down - to shoot someone with a gun;

perceptive - having or showing sensitive insight;

buffoon - a clown, fool or bumbling person;

hype - extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion;

hard-gained - won or acquired only after exerting great effort.


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