08/26/2006 10:48 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Of Course I Am Against Terrorism-But Terror Takes Many Forms

It strikes me as more than a little ironic that some self-regarded patriotic conservatives would somehow interpret my analytical, "what woud happen if" I Hope And Pray We Don't Get Hit Again as a call for the enemies of America who hit us on 9/11/01 and cost the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent people to hit us again. Not only because I wish for the death of no one, but because many of these same people are among the first to agree with Ann Coulter that for speaking out against the way the war on terror has been conducted since they lost their husbands, some of the 9/11 widows are "harpies."

By the way, see my post about that whole sorry escapade here.

I also find it ironic that these are many of the same readers who would question judging the morality of the political consequences of the losses of more Americans when they are among the first to rationalize the loss of more than 2,000 troops in a war waged predominantly against a nation who, unlike Bin Laden's hosts in Afghanistan, had nothing to do with 9/11. Then again, I guess some of those readers are among those who still think Saddam was involved in 9/11.

But on the broader scale, some critics may fail to realize that for millions of Americans, terrorism is a frequent presence. Not the terrorism of a shoe-bomber, or of trumped up orange alerts based on intercepts of guys shouting "Jihad" in an Internet chat room, but the real psychological and economic terrorism often visited on Americans in the guise of:

The sight of two uniformed service members approaching your home, and the knowledge that your worst fears after not hearing from your son for two weeks are about to come horribly true;

The "please help us" screams from the victims of Hurricane Katrina- their plight unaddressed by an incompetent FEMA headed by an appointee of the same administration that is keeping us safe from terrorism;

The fourth call you have received this morning from the bill collector, who cares not that you have been put out of work by the greed of a multinational corporation who shipped your job overseas last year (and thanks in most part to the GOP, no longer have bankruptcy as an easily available option).

The developers in suits who have just pulled up to your trailer park, and meeting with the owner about selling out- an action that will render you and your uninsured wife who has been laden with arthritis (whoops, I said "been laden" as in "Bin Laden"-must make me a terrorist) wife and two kids nowhere to go;

The need to wait two hours for three buses to take you to work because the price-gougers in the oil markets have made it too expensive to put gas in your car until you get paid again in two weeks;

The baby your niece will be forced to have after being impregnated by her no-good, meth-addled ex boyfriend because the only doctor who performed abortions within 200 miles has decided he doesn't want to be terrorized by the "pro-lifers" anymore;

The moans from your cancer-ridden aunt in your upstairs guest bedroom- moans that the government won't let you palliate with medical marijuana or even mercifully cease should she be at peace with her God about that option;

The letter from your health insurer, advising you about a hike in your policy (caused by unregulated prices on hospital care and pharmaceuticals) that may force you to decide between insurance and food;

The unreturned call from the Realtor after she finds out that you wish to buy your house with your same-sex partner;

All of these events happen every day- as the consequence of policies promoted or sannctioned by the same government who is "keeping us safe against terrorism." And while these events of our daily lives most often do not lead to sudden deaths as with terrorism, they can promote stress and slow death by 1,001 cuts. Cuts as a consequence of what it means to be poor and vulnerable in a nation ruled by the rich and powerful.

And sometimes, it is not only we humans who are victims of terrorism. The polar bear marooned on the ice floe due to global warming, the tiger who futilely scampers away from high-powered rifle fire at the game ranch owned by rich Republican contributors- well, they are victims of terrorism too.

I wish for a nation free of the fear of terrorism- not only the kind that visited our shores nearly five years ago to this day, but for a nation where the indignities of social, economic and environmental injustice strike terror in so many hearts and minds.