As a representitive of the good ol' US of A.....
I'd like to piss off a good portion of my countrymen (including wifey).
On September 11th, 2001 2,726 people died in the World Trade Center according to the center for disease control. 161,269 people died from injuries in 2002. 696,947 people died from heart disease. The 11th of September was a tragic incident, but just a tragic incident. I do not mean to take anything away from people who had loved ones die in the attack, but their deaths should not count more than the man who was murdered innocently as he worked a convience store, the ex-wife who was shot down by an estranged husband, or any other senseless act of violence. The deaths of the World Trade Center were a pinprick of tragedy and should be treated as such.
But in the United States of America, it's not so simple. We've always had a fuck with us, we'll kick your ass sort of attitude. It's instilled in us from being shit on over three hundred years ago and evidence of this attitude is even visable in our Constitution. It's why we love Israel. It's how we are. Sometimes this can lead to good things - Liberation of Europe post Pearl Harbor. Sometimes this can lead to bad things - Unending wars in the Middle East. It is what it is, and it will take hundreds more years before we lighten up/smarten up.
Unfortunatly this mindfuck Dirty Harry attitude leads us to run around like Chicken Little yelling "The sky is falling! Don't you see it! The sky is falling! Terrorists!" What we don't get is that, we will never have everyone love us. We had the opportunity to come close post September 11th, but we had to go fuck that up. We had condolances from anti-American governments who had recently blasted us and an opportunity to form a true cooperation of nations. But we fucked it up. Instead of being open, welcoming collaboration, embracing other ideas, etc we decided to lock ourselves up in our fences for protection. And we keep upgrading the fences. Barbed wire, electrified, etc. We have literal physical fences on the Mexican border.
But in the most ironic part of the whole story, the gates to keep out the terrorists were already in place on September 11th. Box cutters were not allowed on planes, and all passengers were screened with metal detectors before boarding. But rather than patching the hole in the pre-existing proverbial fence and holding the fuckheads who missed the box cutters responsible, we divert the attention. We had measures in place that should have prevented the attacks, and we should go back to enforcing these measures. Nothing more, nothing less. That's it, problem solved. No playing shoot 'em up in foreign countries, no secret police, no killing our tourism industry. Really - other than the people the United States is a great place to visit.
I've heard all sorts of bullshit about air screeners not doing their job because they were paid the minimum wage. Just because a person is responsible for safety does not mean that we pay them huge sums of money. It doesn't work like that. It's skills required to perform job -> money paid. It might suck, but we don't pay based on societal value. And we never will.
So in my proposed solution (el Reg can accept the Peace Prize on my behalf) my country needs to go back to the way things were, and make sure people responsible for others' saftey correctly perform their occupational duties.
And to people on the other side of the pond who would like us to lighten up - The best way to affect progress is not to call us morons. It's hard to swallow. We know that, but being called an idiot never educates. (For a real world example, see how well we cultivated democracy in Iraq by telling people "this is the way it is.") And I do believe you shot a man to death who was going for his cell phone in the tunnel. And the "Sky is falling!" over the bus bombings.
What we need from you are more good Dr. Who episodes. Our scifi and Kevin Sorbo suck a big one. And maybe some pub food. Oh and your Royal Family. We need that more than you do. And maybe Ricky Gervais.
Seriously - let it go. Laugh at each other. Work together. Work with our mental problems, we'll work with yours and then we'll all meet in Sealand for the tele-dildonics chainsaw tonguelashing smutfest. We'll even bring some shitty Budweiser and Arnie in T2 garb.