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Jewish World Review Oct. 29, 2001 / 12 Mar-Cheshvan, 5762

Steve Young

Steve Young
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The other terrorists -- WE lost over 5,000 innocents on September 11, victims of a war, which till then, they had no idea they were a part of. The horrific Anthrax, which has killed at least two people with tens of others taken sick, has sent our citizens and government into panic mode. Rightfully so, we have reacted with sadness, anger and resolve. Yet, behind a rock, The Other Terrorist glowers, their killing weapons at the ready.

The President has put those responsible for September 11 on notice that we will not sleep until bin Laden and his minions are stopped and brought to justice. We will search out the evil-doers, these thoughtless killers of men, women and children who care not a pinch for anything but their own selfish justifications. If you're not with us, you are against us. And we're behind the President 110%. Just count the flags. But not even the President places aim nor blame at The Other Terrorist, who easily traverses tougher immigration policies; filters through any gas mask.

Sometimes it takes a tragedy to wake us up. Sometimes it takes six thousand lives lost before we say, "enough." Can you even imagine what it must be like to have a fuel-filled vehicle traveling at an outrageous speed with an obviously sick, impaired and deadly psychopath at the wheel, who only days before walked among us as a seemingly sane and decent mortal? It just boggles the mind.

Well, boggle this. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2000, America experienced the largest percentage increase in alcohol-related traffic deaths on record. In 2000, 16,653 people were killed in crashes involving alcohol, representing 40 percent of the 41,821 people killed in all traffic crashes (versus 38.3% alcohol-related fatalities in 1999). Among those killed in these accidents were innocent men, women and children who had awakened that morning with no knowledge that a drunken terrorist would be invading and destroying their life space in a most scurrilous manner. These terrorists walk among us, but they are more likely than al Qaeda to strike Yet, with this clear and present danger in our midst, there is no outcry from the talk shows. No concerts with fists in the air and rebel yells of "Never again!" With our husbands, wives, children, mothers, fathers and friends at risk on a daily basis, there is no demand for troops to engage these drunken terrorists; to roust them from their caves and hunt 'em down.

There is also another aspect to this that makes ignoring the problem even more remarkable. While the foreign terrorist who purposely intends us harm has almost no chance of rehabilitation, the drunk driving terrorist cannot only be stopped, but, sans the drink, can also become a positive contributor to society.

Still our war on drunk driving and alcoholism is left only to those whose lives have been directly affected by it. The rest of America seems to be okay with allowing the evil from within to thrive even though we know this brand of domestic terrorist will strike again and again and again. Even though we know in which caves they hide.

How many of our most patriotic, let's bomb those bastards into oblivion Americans, will have too many drinks tonight, get behind the wheel of a fuel-filled, 3/4 ton missile and launch themselves at some unsuspecting human targets?

Unlike other terminal diseases which have no cure, alcoholism can be prevented from killing its potential victims. Think any of bin Laden's boys can be turned around? Think there's some Twelve Step meeting that can save these dregs from themselves. But with the drunk, there is still a chance.

First, though, we have to get to these Americans, many of whom sit in bars And parties getting loaded, telling whomever is in earshot what we should do with those *%^$@! Talibans. That's not difficult at all. Tough part? Get them to put the plug in the jug and not drive. Simple as sticking a flag on your new Range Rover? Right?

Not really. Fact is, I have no answers, but I do have a question. When will we Americans, and our government, get angry enough at the drunk-driving problem to put in even ten percent of the effort that we're now putting into stopping foreign based terrorists. I guess right now we're just not MADD enough.

The holiday season is fast arriving and the rummies of the road will certainly be out in force, swerving violently at innocent Americans. Howzabout we put out the word and to tell anyone we know who is known to tip a few too many to keep off the road? No need for three strikes. No need for lawyers. No need for any more deaths. It's just about being a good American. It's about saving American lives.

And if they don't want to listen, let's hunt 'em down, get 'em out of their holes and keep them evil-doers from ever harming another one of us again. Because this, ladies and gentleman, is war.

At least, it should be.

JWR contributor Steve Young, contributing editor of the Writers Guild Of America's "Written By" magazine, is a Prism Award winner and Humanitas nominee for his writing on the accurate depiction alcohol use and addiction in a television comedy episode. Comment by clicking here.

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09/21/01: OPEN LETTER THE MOST HIGH (RE: Falwell and Robertson comments)
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09/10/01: Smelling out a real hero
09/04/01: Don't give up on that dream!
08/24/01: Pitch day at the Mouse
08/21/01: It Depends On What Your Definition Of "Unlimited" Is


© 2001, Steve Young