Ah, no. Maybe the people who blow themselves up don't think like that, but the people that send them to blow themselves up certainly do think of the long game. That's what terrorism is all about - bringing the fight to the enemy, creating fear, creating panic, getting your enemy to change in response to your attacks.
Yet the article doesn't compare all the freedom we've given up for causes that harm even fewer people than Islamic terrorism. This is a silly example, but think of all the shit we do now because of the lack of tort reform. We all accept it as normal now that every truck in America has to have a screeching backup alarm. That every product has to come with the stupidest warning labels imaginable. That a simple fender bender costs $3,000 in repairs because of stupid regulations about crashworthiness. All in a vain attempt to thwart natural selection. prevent lawsuits.
As you said, it's a silly example. Putting reversing beepers on trucks is a very different matter from the PATRIOT Act, from draconian and ever-enlarging surveillance, from keeping people without charging or trying them for years on end.
I don't want to be blown up by a fanatic, but it's important to keep some perspective here. The actual risk of someone in a western country being killed in a terrorist attack is vanishingly, vanishingly small. In the US, you've got a far, far, far greater chance of being killed by some western whacko with a gun and yet no-one is willing to tackle gun control, but politicians of every stripe are happy to sign up to more and more law-and-order programs, at massive cost, that will supposedly make us all feel safer and protect us from being blown up.