Sunday, August 7, 2011

Norway and the U.S.A.

Late last month, Norway experienced its worst case of violence since World War II when a terrorist bombed and shot his way into infamy.

I will not mention the terrorist's name because I get tired of mentioning people who do evil acts and leave the rest of us to pick up the pieces. I am not very familiar with Norway's system of justice, but let us hope justice is done. If this does not happen, we can take heart because we know that will happen in the next life. Nobody truly gets away with anything.

Terrorism impacts just about every place in the world, but I must admit that Norway was one of the last countries in which I expected this to happen. After all, Scandinavia appears to be peaceful and would be a nice place to live if it did not get so cold and snowy.

However, this event shows that no place is safe from random acts of terror. Seventy-seven people are dead there because of one man's decision, and it will be interesting to observe where that country goes from here.

Of course, the United States is coming up on a significant anniversary when it comes to terrorism. Next month will mark the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that changed how our country went about its business.

There has been a seismic change in our country since then. We have fought wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have also fought intelligence wars in which our government has valiantly sniffed out possible terror attacks.

When considering where we were 10 years ago, it is pretty amazing that we have not had another large-scale terrorist attack on our soil. We have had some smaller attacks like the Fort Hood shooting a couple of years ago, but our government is to be applauded for preventing another 9/11-scale attack.

Recently, our government has gotten a barrage of criticism for its handling of the debt crisis and other issues. Much of that criticism was richly deserved so it is refreshing to point out something positive.

Our daily lives have changed in the last 10 years. A trip to the airport seems like a day-long event because of increased security, and we all have become a little more suspicious of activities that occur around us each day. If something strikes us as unusual, we are more likely to alert law enforcement than we were 10 years ago.

It can be debated as to whether that is actually a good development, and we have seen some cases in which people have gone overboard. Still, it is important to be good stewards of our country's freedom and becoming personally involved is one way to do that.

As for Norway, it is difficult to know what path that country will take. I seriously doubt they will unveil a War on Terror and start fighting abroad. Still, I believe there will be some changes.

When reading and watching the news reports from there, it appears that a whole generation has lost its innocence. When that happens to a person or an entire population, it is tough to know where to go next.

After all, when a person's entire way of life is altered, it can be difficult to know what is normal. My guess is that Norway will grapple with that for a while. There will likely be rhetoric that this event will not change their way of life, but how can it not?

People there will go on the offensive to prevent another attack just as we have here in America.

For their sake, let us hope they handle it well.

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