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Another Day Without Any Terrorist Attack In The United States

Did you hear about Brussels? 26 people there were killed in terrorist attacks today. It’s the first terrorist attack in Europe in months.

Donald Trump sure did. He grunted on Twitter and Facebook, “Do you all remember how beautiful and safe a place Brussels was. Not anymore, it is from a different world! U.S. must be vigilant and smart!”

Ted Cruz did too. He said that the attacks in Brussels show that “Radical Islam is at war with us.”

Okay, they’re upset, and that makes sense. Any loss of human life is sad, but let’s think this through.

If there were terrorist attacks in Belgium, why does the United States have to be vigilant?

If there were terrorist attacks in Belgium, how does that show that Muslim terrorists are at war with the United States?

Is Brussels not safe? There are about 1.8 million people in the Brussels metropolitan area. 26 of them were killed today.

That’s a death rate of one thousandth of one percent.

For every person in Brussels who was killed, 69,230 people weren’t.

There were zero deaths in the United States.

Terrorism is wrong. Violence is wrong. However, the fact this level of violence doesn’t create a general safety problem in Brussels or in the United States.

Despite what Ted Cruz says about it, this isn’t what war looks like.

In Syria, they’re having a war. Besides the government of Syria and a whole bunch of rebel groups, the United States, Russia, and Turkey are killing people in that war. According to the most recent estimate by the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, 470,000 people in Syria have been killed in that war.

26, compared to 470,000 looks like the following image. The red rectangle represents the 470,000 deaths in the war in Syria – one pixel per death. The little orange sliver represents the size of the 26 deaths in the Brussels terrorist attacks today – one pixel per death.

syrian war deaths vs brussels terrorist attack deaths

Not one of these deaths took place in the United States.

So, why are presidential candidates telling their followers that the United States is in danger?

Think it through, America.

31 thoughts on “Another Day Without Any Terrorist Attack In The United States”

  1. Korky Day says:

    J Clifford, you’re like the fool who says ‘Smoking ain’t never hurt me yet!’

    1. J Clifford says:

      No, actually, Korky, the smoking analogy isn’t right at all.

      Statistically, smoking is almost certain to harm health.

      Statistically, Islamic State militants are almost certain not to harm you.

      It’s a statistical fact that you are more likely to die from being attacked by a cow than you are to die from being attacked by a Muslim terrorist, Korky.

      The Islamic State gains power from YOU and other people like you freaking out. That’s their goal. You are giving them what they want, which is to be treated as if they are major players on the world stage. They aren’t.

      The Islamic State hurts and kills a small number of people, and for that, they deserve to be shut down. What they don’t deserve is for you to become their megaphone.

      Do you realize that’s what you’re doing, every time you make a big fuss about a terrorist attack? You are serving as a megaphone to spread messages about the power of terrorists far and wide.

      Please, Korky, stop serving as a spokesman for the Islamic State.

      1. JonasSulk says:

        “…It’s a statistical fact that you are more likely to die from being attacked by a cow than you are to die from being attacked by a Muslim terrorist, Korky….”

        Korky, don’t cry. His statistical analogy is meaningless, because it ignores context. I don’t associate with cows; most citizens living in the developed United States do not encounter cows in their daily life. So of course you are “statistically” not likely to die from being attacked by a cow. I’m “statistically” not likely to die from swallowing uranium or plutonium, or falling off the top of Seattle’s big tower, or sliding down a 50ft razor blade (from National Lampoon, circa 1978), or having a oak tree shoved up my arnus. None of those things are “statistically” likely to happen. I can easily avoid all of them. An activity that picks random public places, such as airports, concert halls, workplace parties in California, all of which are common citizen activities cannot be avoided, unless your choice is to avoid these types of public places, such as airports, concert halls, workplace parties, etc. Most of us normal people go to airports and stand there for a while. I know I’ve stood in the Brussels airport myself. Sure there are lots of large public places, and the chance of being in the one at the time a terrorist chooses it are small. I stood on the top of the World Trade Center a few months before it fell down too, but it was only for an hour or so. With all the hours that transpired between my time and the disaster time, statistically it looks very unlikely that I would have occupied it at the same time. But I know directly people who had friends that died there, so my degree of separation is not great. No one I know is treating this like the sky is falling. The problem is that so many idjits, such as the ones who often write on this page take the callous opposite approach that none of these activities bear a response. What do they think should be a response? Open all our borders freely?

        I’m going to issue a challenge to any of these people: Keep the door to your house wide open, day and night, for a whole year. Especially if you are not there; make it obvious the door is open. Drive to New York City, park your car on the street with your iPad on the front seat, and leave the car unlocked with the keys in the ignition. If you have the cojones to do that, come back in a year and tell me how well it worked out for you.

        1. Jim Cook says:

          Statistically speaking, Jonas Sulk, you are far more likely to encounter a cow than you are to encounter a terrorist. Your example of “contact” with the terrorist event of 9/11/01 involves a network distance of two, which involves two rounds of multiplicative expansion of “involvement.”

          1. JonasSulk says:

            Define the boundaries of your statistical claim. If I lived in downtown Manhattan in 2001, there were millions (literally) of people who had direct involvement with terrorism and I’d feel comfortable that lots of those people have not encountered the physical presence of a cow in their environment.

          2. J Clifford says:

            No, millions were not the victims of terrorism. Millions FELT like the victims of terrorism.

  2. JonasSulk says:

    I really can’t believe you are dopey enough to keep on your silly ‘terrorism is insignificant’ claim on the day of an actual horrific act. What your idiotic chart does not do, is place statistics in context, which is what often people who behave in misleading ways like to do with statistics. I try to stay out of Syria, because, for one, I know what a dangerous place it is. However, I have traveled in stayed in the beautiful city of Brussels, several times, and actually visited the EU Center there. That airport is where I have gone in and out through. I do not have a reasonable expectation of being blown to bits while checking in my luggage there. At least I didn’t. Our flimsy entrance requirements from the EU encourage terrorists like these to enter our country, and do the kind of damage they did in San Bernardino. How childish, even for you.

    1. J Clifford says:

      No, Jonas, what’s happening that you don’t like is that I am placing statistics in context.

      Instead of freaking out at the story of 26 PEOPLE DEAD! and doing what most of the politicians do, which is to pretend that TERRORISM IS EVERYWHERE!, I’m pointing out that people in America are actually not being attacked, that even people in Brussels are almost completely safe from terrorism.

      What encourages terrorists is the panicky, over the top response they get from people like you, who amplify the meaning of their violence out of proportion.

      Don’t put wind in their sails, Jonas. Please stop compounding their terrorism by exaggerating how big and powerful Islamic State militants are.

      They aren’t. They’re bit player who are given a big stage by ninnies who watch too much cable TV news.

      1. Stephen Kent Gray says:

        That reminds me of Celine’s laws!

        1. National Security is the chief cause of national insecurity.
        2. Accurate communication is possible only in a non-punishing situation.
        3. An honest politician is a national calamity.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celine%27s_laws

        In depth interpretation of each is provided by Wikipedia.

  3. JonasSulk says:

    Wow, I did not think anyone could be so obtuse and thick-headed, but I guess statistically, the world is full of idiots that prove this theory wrong every day.

    The statistics of terrorism do not follow a normal distribution, therefore a lot of cr_ap that you are spouting is meaningless. Statistics have to have valid underpinnings. Yours, do not.
    Plus, your non-sequitur ad-hominen attacks don’t work either. I don’t freak out, and I am not scared. I do, however, make sensible plans based on logic, not thick-headed, hands-over-the-ears “na, na, na, na…” incoherent bs such as I am seeing here.

    I keep hearing that we are “encouraging” terrorism. Do you have a statistically valid, controlled study that can suggest that your “na, na, na, na…” course of non-action is an improvement in the rate of terrorist actions? Of course you don’t, so please just STFU. You’re just stating a conjecture. If you’re going to try and present statistics that are relevant, then show a controlled study. You make me think of the child’s story about the little kid who kept snapping his fingers. When asked why, he said, “it keeps the vampires away”. When they told him there were no vampires around, he replied, “..works, doesn’t it?”

    1. Jim Cook says:

      The sensible path for an American to take, since you’re using that phrase, is to assume that they will not be the victim of a terrorist attack, and, if they must worry, to worry about automobile traffic, environmental toxins, diet and exercise.

      1. JonasSulk says:

        Worrying about things is pretty much useless and just causes unneeded stress. I can drive along in my car all day and stress about who might run into me. I’ve had at least five or six car accidents in my life where someone hit me out of nowhere. Not literally nowhere of course, but a driver acting erratically where I could not anticipate their actions, nor take corrective action of my own. I had a business contact who was killed driving under a freeway underpass when a car driving above in the bridge above ran amuck, over the side of the bridge, flying through the air and came crashing down on top of his car, killing him. His two small children were in their car seats in the rear, and lived. How scarred they are I don’t know. And I came across that accident scene and was diverted away. I didn’t know it was him until I watched the local news on TV that night. But why would I worry about that, even though only minutes of travel time separated his car from mine? Worry is not useful, but preparation is. Probably nothing would have saved my associate, but in many accidents, wearing your seat belt is a common safety preparation that many intelligent people do. You might choose not to wear a seat belt and never get hurt, but that does not imply it is not a useful preparation. Making people pass through metal detectors and imaging devices before boarding a crowded airplane may seem like a waste of time and money to you, but to others, it is a good safety preparation, such as wearing your seat belt. Unlike your claim, the sensible path, for an American to take, is to analyze the possibilities, the motives, and the opportunities and take the appropriate safety action. I believe your perception of this issue is emotionally clouded, since you take the inane side of most liberal issues to prove a point. I doubt you are as thick-headed and obtuse as your comments would indicate. Have you seen the record of safety of air travel in the U.S.? That is not the result of a complete lack of concern for low-probability incidents. Opportunity for failure is one of the key metrics in this. There are a lot of ways an airplane can fail and cause dramatic results without the possibility of correction, the same as terrorist attacks. Toxins, diet and exercise are generally failures that happen much slower, and allow for numerous correction opportunities.

  4. JonasSulk says:

    “….What encourages terrorists is the panicky, over the top response they get from people like you, who amplify the meaning of their violence out of proportion….”

    This statement needs definitive proof. Otherwise, it is just garbage.

  5. Korky Day says:

    Thanks, JonasSulk.
    To others of you who haven’t caught on yet, cows deaths, smoking deaths, etc., are predictable.
    And they are stable or going down.
    Terrorist deaths are going up and are, as Jonas wisely points out, less predictable and less avoidable.

    But let us suppose they were NOT increasing, that ISIS were not growing, etc.
    Then should we do nothing but stay calm?
    No, we still should do something–the same as we try to decrease smoking deaths.
    And how do we do that? Everyone, repeat after me: by taking action!
    And how do we get the needed support for taking action? By arousing the public.
    Even J Clifford admits that ‘The Islamic State . . . they deserve to be shut down.’
    And how are we going to garner enough support to do that, J, if we don’t get at least a little bit upset?

    Sounds like you, J, are a Hillary Clinton supporter who must illogically convince us that things are going quite well and we don’t need any radical changes.
    No, we do need drastic changes. Obama is not good enough. Clinton is not be good enough.
    We need Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump or Jill Stein.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Substantiate the claim that “terrorist deaths are going up.” I’m not at all sure that they are. I am sure that news coverage of terrorist attacks has gone up.

  6. Korky Day says:

    Of course, killing and gaoling terrorists is not a complete, long-range cure.
    The roots of the problem, the roots of terrorism are in imperialism, capitalism, racism, religion, over-using the Earth, the Patriarchy, etc.
    Sanders and Stein get that, I think.
    Probably even Trump gets it, though even if he didn’t, his pragmatic, insistent approach to negotiation would result in reducing the root causes of terrorism.

    1. Dave says:

      Korky, the roots of terrorism are not imperialism, capitalism, over-using the Earth or the Patriarchy. Sounds like you’re butting in on the terrorist’s stage with your own script. Radical Muslims are doing violence to the World for reasons that are entirely their own; read about Qutb and the Muslim Brotherhood. You are not at the center of this and what you deem to be your societal problems are not the cause of it.

      1. Korky Day says:

        I’ve already researched similarly to what you advise, ‘Dave’.
        What in particular do you think I’ve missed as the ‘real’ reasons?

        1. Dave says:

          Qutb was an Egyptian author who spent time in the U.S. in the 1950’s and was scandalized by the alcohol, “loose living” and involvement of women in the everyday society. On his return to Egypt he was instrumental in creation of the Muslim Brotherhood after convincing a number of holy men and associates of the rightness of his cause. He was executed as a troublemaker by Nassar in the 60’s. The seeds for global jihad were sown, however, and fundamentalist, radicalized Muslims throughout the Middle East are his true children. All current Islamic terrorist groups can trace their origins to the Muslim Brotherhood. Their belief that now is the time to claim the nations for allah is the driving force of all their activity, not the bogey-man “ists” and “isms” that you claim.

          Muslim terrorists do their destruction throughout the world, not just against the West. Many societies that are wholly unlike the U.S. are targeted by this faction simply because they are “infidels.”

          As I said, it looks like you brought your own script to their stage. Capitalism. Really?

          1. Korky Day says:

            Thanks for the lesson, Dave.
            Your interpretation is a bit off, though.
            Islam would not be in such an intense state of quasi-warfare against the West if it were as simple as you portray it.

            Add in my ideas about the ‘ism’s’ and it makes more sense.
            But maybe you’re a capitalist and don’t want to admit it shares the blame.
            And maybe you’re a boozer and don’t want to admit it shares the blame.

            Certainly booze leads to the exploitation and death of many millions of females.
            Muslims aren’t supposed to drink, so they are ahead of the West on that (except for Mormons and a few other anti-alcohol Christians).
            Capitalism and imperialism also lead to the crushing of many females, so I can imagine a Muslim visitor to the USA in those days thinking in his patriarchal, macho way that his religion protected women more.
            Of course, if women are to be slaves, they’re usually better off with sober masters than drunk masters.
            He just couldn’t imagine free women.

          2. Dave says:

            When one plants a seed (capital) and fruit, that is, dividends appear on the sprouted plant, then yes, I am a capitalist. Can you give an example of how “capitalism” is responsible for Muslim jihad?

            Also, does it bother you a little knowing that many Muslim women have their clitoris and inner labia cut away as young girls? I would argue that they are not better off with sober “masters” as you speculate. They really should try a little Cabernet with their halal.

          3. Korky Day says:

            Yes, Dave, I can answer.
            Capitalism, unless softened with a lots of socialism, leads to unbearable misery for the ‘losers’ in capitalistic competition.

            And, since bearing and breastfeeding children takes time, effort, and resources, women are at a natural competitive disadvantage in extreme capitalism or libertarianism.

            Theocratic Muslims look at that and think we horribly mistreat our women, which is true.
            Of course, their enslavement of women, with or without genital mutilation, is as bad or worse, but that’s not the way they see it. They see that enslavement as totally benign, as if men are all like kindly fathers who treat their women and children well (both women and children being incompetent, they think, not free and equal adults).

            So our faults contribute to their justifying ‘jihad’ in their own minds.

            So if we, for one thing, introduced enough socialism that mothers didn’t suffer, Muslims would be much less inspired to rule the world in order to take and save our women.
            For instance, if all non-Muslim countries were as advanced (socialistic) as Sweden and Switzerland.
            However, those 2 countries, though quite socialistic, have horrible problems with alcoholism, so even they are nowhere near the degree of perfection needed to persuade theocratic Muslims to be like us and/or to stop fighting us.

            Drinking would not cause Muslims to stop mutilating their girls, by the way. It doesn’t stop Jews and Christians from mutilating their boys.

    2. Korky Day says:

      I just listened to Donald Trump’s recent speech to AIPAC.
      Somewhat disappointing.
      He did not repeat clearly enough that when negotiating, someone has to be neutral mediator.
      Also he admired Israel for often offering to negotiate without pre-conditions, yet he (Trump) said Palestine should accept onerous pre-conditions.
      The only justified pre-conditions ever–for any negotiations on anything–are for the safety of the negotiators.

  7. Korky Day says:

    Jim Cook, terrorist deaths from Muslims were low when I was young.
    Now I’m old and they’re high.
    Why? As Donald Trump says, our leaders and the public need to discover why. (I already know.)
    Even if they were not still going up, though, my above arguments still beat yours.

    1. J Clifford says:

      “Terrorist deaths from Muslims” are not high.

      They’re just not.

      How many people do you personally know who have been killed by Muslim terrorists?

      I don’t know a single one.

      Now, death from cancer and cardiac disease, that’s high. I personally know many people who have died from those causes.

      1. Korky Day says:

        My niece in New York City knew a couple of people killed by those terrorists in 2001.
        But neither of us knows anyone killed by a cow, either, so that’s irrelevant.
        The numbers have gone up in my lifetime, whether I’ve met them or not.
        Admit it, J Clifford.

        But even if they WEREN’T going up, that doesn’t mean we should stay calm and refuse to make big, drastic improvements in our countries and in the world, does it?

        1. J Clifford says:

          When those “improvements” include things like creating ghettoes for religious minorities, building gigantic walls around our country, instituting torture, planning big new wars,many expanding the surveillance of law-abiding Americans, no, Korky, I do not favor making this big, drastic changes.

          If there has been any increase in the number of Muslim terrorist attacks in the USA, it’s been from next to nothing to just about next to nothing.

          Average number of Americans killed by Muslim terrorists per year over the last decade: Two.

          Two, Korky. That is a fact.

          In what crazy reality does that merit big drastic nationalist changes of the sort proposed by Donald Trump? and Ted Cruz?

          Today is yet another day without any terrorist attack in the United States. Why do people believe that we have a big terrorism problem here? Like you said, you don’t personally know a single person who has been killed.

          Get upset about diabetes, if you really want to deal with things that are killing lots of Americans.

  8. Korky Day says:

    Thanks, Stephen Kent Gray, for your contribution:
    An honest politician is a national calamity.

    That’s why the Establishment is panicking with Sanders, Trump, and Stein, all of whom are honest.

    1. Stephen Kent Gray says:

      You forgot to list Gary Johnson the most honest politician of all.

  9. Korky Day says:

    I didn’t, J Clifford, write that we should accept ALL big, drastic changes? What made you think that? That would be stupid of me.

    The wall, though, wouldn’t be so bad if there aren’t other, better ways to secure the border that well.

    Also, neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz has suggested ghettoes. See the other thread where we argued that one:
    ‘Ted Cruz Goes Nazi With Call For Muslim Ghettoes In The USA Because Of… Belgium’.
    If you irrationally libel or slam a candidate, it might just help them, no matter how bad they are.

    Who’s planning a big, new war?

    As far as ‘expanding the surveillance of law-abiding Americans’,
    that sounds great, as long as it’s legal surveillance of people who might be terrorists.
    If they watch my house in the mistaken belief I’m a terrorist, that’s fine. They’ll find I’m not.
    More patrolling of my neighbourhood might reduce crime generally.
    The super-rich have been reducing police protection for us in the 99% because they can easily afford their own private guards, etc.
    (Remember the definition of surveillance, which is not generally a bad thing.)

    Democracy doesn’t need to justify more improvements to reduce terrorism.
    Democracy (to the extent we have it) can do that even if terrorism were decreasing, if we want to.
    Even if we had NO terrorism, if the people want to prepare for it and prevent it, fine. Why not?
    Let us choose and judge the improvements in a democratic, humane way.
    If the people democratically choose a wall, then we should have it, whether you think it’s justified or not.
    Of course, in a democracy, you can oppose it. I’ll support it tentatively.

    1. J Clifford says:

      No, Korky, Ted Cruz has suggested ghettoes. Donald Trump has suggested prison camps, which are like ghettoes on steroids.

      Donald Trump has suggested mandatory ID badges for Muslims in the USA.

      Donald Trump has proposed big new wars, and Ted Cruz has too.

      Your capacity for denial in the defense of Republicans is astonishing.

      You can keep on denying these things, but they’ve happened.

      The fact that you, who have run away to live in Canada, are saying that it’s okay with you if the US government starts conducting surveillance against all American citizens, in violation of the 4th Amendment, or against all Muslims in particular, in violation of the 4th Amendment, 1st Amendment, and 14th Amendment, doesn’t make for a convincing argument that everyone who remains living in the USA should accept these abandonments of hard-won legal protections in the Constitution.

      You have to come back to live in the USA before you can expect me to take seriously these rants about how people in the USA should give up their rights happily.

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