As a police officer, you're going to see
acts of violence committed out of
passion, hatred, and pure indifference.  
The reason(s) for the violence is
irrelevant to the victim(s).  Reasons for
violence are only relevant to people who
don't have to deal with violence directed
at their own bodies...and, of course, the
terrorists have plenty of reasons to
justify their acts of violence.  Just like
criminals, there will always be people
wringing their hands over the reasons for
terrorist acts, and, as with criminals, it's
always the fault of somebody else.

As your police career progresses, you'll
come to realize that violence is a
perpetual human condition.  What you'll
learn even more quickly is that politicians
and others will seem to be more
concerned about how you react in your
efforts to control or prevent violence.  
Your power ultimately resides in your
power to apply deadly force, so it's not
surprising that how you apply that power
should come under scrutiny.  When you
observe that the same scrutiny does not
extend to terrorists, the answer to that
should be obvious...your critics have no
power or influence over terrorists.

Any democratic society will fear its police
more than terrorism; until, terrorists
change that perception of fear.  Let's
just hope that today's terrorists never
accomplish that change in perception.    
"...if you're immediately affected by
terrorism, you'll flip a familiar
gesture to anyone who ignorantly
attempts to diminish the dangers of
~ Barry M. Baker
You'll be starting your police career post
911 when the reality of terrorism should
have changed a lot of things for the
better.  Prior to 911, the only thing police
officers ever heard regarding terrorism
was the infrequent lecture at an academy
or in-service training class.  While you'll
be getting a lot more terror related
training because of 911, the rest of the
country, or most of it, has already pretty
much forgotten that day which should
live in infamy."

The attacks on 911 have been compared
to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941
which led America into World War II.
While the only real similarity is the
surprise nature of the attacks, there's
one very stark difference.  Following that
day of infamy, Americans had a very
real fear of invasion and losing that war.  
When we look back at the popular history
of that war, we easily forget that
America's victory was not a foregone
conclusion at the time.  In fact, had the
technology of warfare been more
advanced, the war could have well been
lost.  The Axis Powers, at the time, were
militarily stronger; however, distance and
the state of technology gave America
time to arm, and train and deploy armed
forces using its superior resources and
manufacturing infrastructure.
Another stark difference is the level of
sacrifice required by our parents and
grandparents as compared to
us...actually there is no comparison at
all.  With the exception of the families of
America's all volunteer armed forces and
others whose loved ones have been
murdered by terrorists, the
War on
is just a phrase that has long ago
lost any real meaning.  It should come as
no surprise, because it's pretty hard to
take any war seriously when there's no --
obvious -- imminent threat, and one
doesn't need to make any personal

Terrorism means different things to
different people.  Most people have a
hard time comparing terrorism to
warfare.  Of course, if you're immediately
affected by terrorism, you'll flip a familiar
gesture to anyone who ignorantly
attempts to diminish the dangers of
terrorism.  You should remember that
those who diminish the dangers of
terrorism are equally as ignorant when it
comes to warfare.  Death is death, and it
makes no difference under which banner
it occurs.

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