COMMENTARY | With a bullet to the head and a burial at sea, the reign of Osama Bin Laden has come to an end. The harm Bin Laden and Al Qaeda caused to the United States and the world will last for years. With lost freedoms, costly wars, rebuilding and fear, the world is still feeling the effects of this terrorist and his followers.
The United States was already experiencing a slowdown before the terror attacks took place on 9/11 (Sesson20- Terrorism and Emergency Management.doc.doc.”). The financial loss to America and the world is still painfully real. Rebuilding and cleanup of the blast sites was extremely expensive. Money spent on wars, security and supplies instead of helping build a stronger economy was detrimental. The United States is an enormous consumer of foreign goods. Other countries suffered economic weakness because of the slowdown in America’s buying capabilities.
The Patriot Act and Lost Freedoms
For security reasons, the Patriot Act was created after the 9/11 attacks. While Americans want to feel secure from another attack, the Patriot Act has gone too far in many Americans’ eyes. It gives the government access to all personal data. A lot of information can be found on epic.org, where the news and hot topics may scare Americans more. Things like Google Street View, Fusion Centers, RFID and Veri Chip trackers and surveillance systems are a few of the topics discussed there. From banks to private citizens, the Patriot Act has changed American lives forever.
Polarizing Mideast Countries
The attacks of 9/11 put Mideast countries in a dilemma. While wanting to do business with the United States on some levels, the radical faction in these countries has made it difficult for governments to operate. Leaders could deal with America and create serious turmoil in their countries or give up any association with the United States unconditionally. Iraq and Afghanistan are excellent examples of places where the majority of citizens are peaceful, but the radical faction causes chaos.
Renewed NATO Alliances
The relationship between the United States and NATO has been rocky at times. Al Qaeda terror attacks worldwide have been a uniting factor with the two bodies. NATO is playing a larger part in the war against terror in the Mideast.
Air travel worldwide has changed dramatically since 9/11. While no one wants a repeat of airplanes flying into buildings, travelers find airport security is a growing burden. Long waits, x-rays, no liquid requirements and physical patdowns on grandma and junior have pushed consumer patience to the limit. It used to be fun taking trips on airplanes. The hassle of getting through airport checks is a dreaded process. There is no immediate relief on the horizon.
Most Americans are grateful that Osama Bin Laden is dead, but Al Qaeda still lives and its effect on America and the world is deeply embedded. It is also feared that Bin Laden will gain notoriety as a martyr and his death will bring on new attacks. As hard as it tries, the United States will never be the same because of Osama Bin Laden.