If terrorism is the use of violence to further political ends, then the real terrorists by definition are the ones who are ramping up the fear after each and every incident in order to shape the public's perception. Has some shadowy group of scary bearded men with turbans really caused the American population to cower in fear at the first sign of a homemade explosive anywhere in the country?
It has often been observed that the war on terror is unwinnable. After all, how could a war on an abstract noun ever have its “Mission Accomplished” moment? It is, according to this wisdom, meant to drag on forever.
Just because a war can't be won, however, doesn't mean it can't be lost. The truth is that the war on terror is over. And America has lost.
Just look at the images of the Watertown lockdown. A city under a supposedly “voluntary” lockdown that was in fact enforced by bands of roving SWAT team members going door to door, forcibly removing people from their own homes at gunpoint. Whatever the use of the word “voluntary” might mean in this case, I defy anyone to differentiate these images from a martial law scenario.
And yet, amazingly, the media does not show us images of enraged Bostonians. It does not interview those who were treated this way by the SWAT teams. It does not ask those people directly affected what they think, or report on dissent. Instead, we are shown images of mindless celebrations orchestrated to the score of that age-old chant of the mob that has lost all capacity to reason critically: “USA! USA! USA!” Surely it is a mob far under the hypnotic spell of the mainstream fear programming that can cheer the destruction of their own rights. It is even more perverse that this destruction is being done in the name of two bumbling college-age boys who, it must be stressed, have yet to be proven guilty of anything.
The irony seems to be lost on much of the American population that scenes like these are precisely what the all-pervasive “terrorist” boogeymen supposedly want: a people so enslaved to the fear of their own shadow that the actions of two hapless misfits can cause such chaos and the disruption of so many people's lives. This irony is certainly NOT lost on a government that has tried its utmost to make people afraid of the so-called terrorist threat over the past decade.
Yes, the terrorists hate you for your freedom. So who are the terrorists? And who is trying to take away your freedoms?
If terrorism is the use of violence to further political ends, then the real terrorists by definition are the ones who are ramping up the fear after each and every incident in order to shape the public's perception. Has some shadowy group of scary bearded men with turbans really caused the American population to cower in fear at the first sign of a homemade explosive anywhere in the country? Or has the government and their cronies in the media primed the population to be afraid of something that, statistically, is less likely to kill someone on American soil than a bee sting?
In the end, the questions answer themselves. All that is needed is reflection over what we have witnessed play out over the past week: an Orwellian two minutes of hate directed not at these boys-- about whom almost nothing is known except for their previous contact with the FBI--but at the ghost that has been haunting America's nightmares ever since the Bush Administration conjured them into existence.
These ghosts will continue to haunt the American population until they, and their likeminded allies around the world, choose to wake up from the nightmare. After all, you can't win a fight against a ghost. You can lose one, however. The events of the past week have proven that much.