micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
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Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Be afraid of those who want you to be afraid
Three days ago Tom Ridge announced, "we do have new and unusually specific information about where al-Qaeda would like to attack. And as a result, today, the United States Government is raising the threat level to Code Orange for the financial services sector in New York City, Northern New Jersey and Washington, DC."
This info may be legit and it may not be, but, according to reports by Douglas Jehl and David Johnston of The New York Times and Dan Eggen and Dana Priest of The Washington Post, a number of people in the know say the info that triggered this isn't all that new.
So what's this about? Keeping you, me and everyone else fearful. I realize this isn't an original thought -Michael Moore even did a not bad job of conveying it in a certain movie of his- but it is important. Keep people fearful and Bush gains power.
In a July 29 Reuters story, Maggie Fox writes:
Talking about death can raise people's need for psychological security, the researchers report in studies to be published in the December issue of the journal Psychological Science and the September issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.Fear certainly worked with Iraq. There was no evidence ever preseneted or revealed that Iraq was any kind of threat to the U.S. what-so-fucking-ever and yet, by mere implication, Bush and friends were able to get a nice little war and colonization project out of it. (Of course Saddam's government was theoretically a threat. Every government in the world would stand at least some chance at killing at least a few people in the U.S. of A if they wanted to give it a whirl, and yet air raid sirens probably won't be going off any time soon in Vatican City.) They identified a problem that didn't exist and presented a solution to it. It is nothing short of brillant, really, not unlike a large portion of the consumer products that capitalism produces.
Slavoj Zizek notes in On Belief (Routledge, 2001) that many products produced now are designed to create a desire that they can then satisfy. The most relevant example to the matter at hand may be one that has appeared since the publication of that text, no late fees at video stores. Sure, late fees and due dates can be annoying but there was not outcry against them. It was hardly a stereotypical complaint, and yet now Blockbuster has made a big deal about its "no late fees" offer. Removing a problem that didn't really exist, I hate to say this but you know somewhere there is somebody who heard this and said, "That's so fucking wonderful. Now I won't always be a slave to late fees and come up three dollars short on the mortgage every month."
As if to see how far they could take this, the Statue of Liberty reopened to the public yesterday. A look at the public line would make this an odd time. Sure they might not have any info saying the plan is to hit the Statue of Liberty, but those plans can be changed and intelligence just might not be perfect. What would anybody be out if the opening were delayed a few weeks? Most importantly, if "the terrorists" are so determined to cause "fear" what would be better than attacking the opening of the Statue of Libery?
From the stand-point of wanting to cause and then remedy fear, however, opening the green giant of New York City works out just perfectly. "To stay home and lock our doors is what the terrorists want," Big Apple Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
"It shows the world that liberty cannot be intimidated" were the words of U.S. Assistant Interior Secretary Craig Manson.
Yep, those terrorist bastards aren't winning here, because we aren't making any changes, unless Uncle Sam and/or his various children want to make those changes.
You know what would really show those stupid fucking terrorists that they aren't having a lick of impact? Doing nothing. "Shit, we ain't gonna let a bunch of goddamn towel head sand nigger camel jockey terrorist moon god worshiping fucks get in the way of us doing the same things that we always have done. Anything else would be to let those peckerheads win and that would just fucking suck and goddamnit, I ain't gonna stand for us giving in to them, not one fucking bit.
"I remember getting the news on September 11 that if I turned on the teevee, I could see those shitheads strike the towers in New York City and allbedamned if that wasn't exactly what I saw. I knew then and there that we had been attacked and it was time for America to start kicking ass and taking names and we couldn't let the world walk the fuck over us any more like we had for way too fucking long. We had to make it clear who runs this goddamned planet and that we ain't gonna change for no fucking asshole from any of their shitty countries. You get my drift, man? You get my damn drift?"
The rhetoric of doing nothing war hardly matched by the reality of doing a lot of things that served the interests of those running the various outlets of government in the land of the free. They want you not only fearful, but to think they have shit under control.