The trouble with terrorism

June 9th, 2006

I flew home to Milwaukee last night.

When I got on the plane, cialis sale drugstore I noticed that the young man next to me was of Arab descent…had a full beard…and was extraordinarily nervous.

He kept checking his watch and clenching his fist, viagra sale viagra but there was no expression on his face.

He also just stared straight ahead the entire flight. He never looked at a magazine or gazed out the window.

The truth is his entire demeanor freaked me out.

Especially since I was flying on the same day that terrorist leader Al-Zarqawi had been killed in Iraq.

I will admit, help I thought the young man in the seat next to me might have been a danger. For the entire flight, I watched him out of the corner of my eye.

This is how terrorism works.

It makes us suspect our neighbors.

It makes us afraid to get on a plane…or a bus…or walk in a mall.

I’d like to take this moment to apologize to the young man who sat next to me on that flight. I’m sorry I suspected you because of your beard, your nationality, your youth, and your apparent fear of flying.

But I’ll also say that in the same circumstances, I would again watch the gentleman in the seat next to me as carefully as possible.

I don’t know how I could do anything else in the world remade by 9-11.

Entry Filed under: Observations

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. tee bee  |  June 9th, 2006 at 10:12 am

    Elliot – first off, sorry I missed you Saturday. I showed up late.

    Second, why apologize for something you cannot, will not and – dare I say, should not – change?

    Perhaps, if you must, apologize for not trying to talk with him. He could have been nervous because he was an Arab-looking man flying on a day when retaliation for the death of Al Zarqawi could be expected. Or he could have been considering adding to the retaliation.

    Either way, you’d possibly have had a better sense of the situation by seeing if/what he would talk about, and if his anxiety could be alleviated by contact with a Westerner.

    Just some thoughts. He probably made most of the people on that flight nervous, and rightly so.

    We do live in a world we percieve much differenlty post-9/11, but we don’t have to be undone or overwhelmed by it. You’re right about the aims of terrorism, which are to immobilize us through fear.

    Christ said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth… and lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of the age.”

    So we need fear nothing the enemy can do to us. But we are also charged to reach out to those we are placed with, enemy or not. :-)

    I hope that helps.

  • 2. John  |  June 9th, 2006 at 10:51 am

    Elliot, you should not feel sorry for this incident. There was no bad intention on your part which caused you to react this way.

  • 3. Kate  |  June 9th, 2006 at 10:53 am

    Even after growing up in an Arab (Christian) enviroment, I, too, get nervous if there are Arabs on the plane. It’s our post 9/11 mentality. Can’t be helped. I’m just sorry it’s come to this. Not all Arabs are terrorists, although, the majority of terrorists are Arab.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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