Call 1-800-TERROR and Free the Culture of Paranoia.
Before the recent London bombings we thought we had all the answers covered. But today’s news reveals the plot has somewhat thickened.
That nice clean-cut boy next door you watched grow up, who played with your kids and broke bread with you could be the next terrorist in the making.
If the thought of that prospect doesn’t give you goose bumps then perhaps blood no longer courses through your veins.
Until recently it seemed that the majority of terrorists (or at least the 9/11 bunch) were imported Saudis posing as international students on temporary Visas.
So we reasoned all that we had to do was pass a law to take away civil liberties, build an impregnable wall around our borders, and scrutinize (profile) those temp Visas a little more closely. After all, it was just an immigration problem, right?
Stop importing the terrorists! Send the troops over to their homeland and pound them into oblivion. (Woops, sorry Iraq… the Saudis are untouchable). Teach them a lesson so they won’t try it again. Simple. Problem solved.
Unfortunately the reality is there is nothing we can do to stem the tide, and simple answers will no longer suffice. Religion it seems (at least for some misguided fanatics) is thicker than blood or nationality, and much stronger than steel.
We can no longer afford to live in denial, insulated from the realities of the world that we now live in. Smart bombs and a few kick-ass marines aren’t going to make terrorism go away. Nor is it just some news item in a far-flung land with a strange name. It is now in our very own backyard.
It is a fool’s game that accepts the notion we can live in self-imposed armed encampments we call home, somehow comforted in the knowledge that watchful cameras monitor our every move, on every street, on every corner.
It is not enough, and recent events have shown that it does little to prevent the crime. But it does aid in capturing the perpetrators after the fact. Some consolation for the dead and the dying.
Our lives have been forever changed. Never again will we casually nap on the bus, the subway, the train as we make our way back home after a hard day’s work. One wary eye left open, forever vigilant, on the lookout for that one individual who doesn’t seem to “fit in”.
No longer will we come home to our dinner, sit in our favorite cosy chair and indifferently watch the news of atrocities around the world, dragging our weary bodies to the perceived safety of our warm beds and sweet dreams.
All that has been forever changed in one swift, apocalyptic moment. George Orwell’s classic story of “Big Brother” forever watching; a society of lost liberties and mass paranoia has now become a self-fulfilled prophecy instead of a work of fiction.
Think of it. The rallying cry of Bush and Blair after 9/11 was “FREEDOM”! And we have the temerity to smugly laugh at the Chinese building the great wall of China. At least the Huns were still on the other side.
So what do we do now? Drop smart(er) bombs on London suburbs to kill the monster within! Yeah, right.
Isn’t it a little like trying to kill cancer when it is no longer localized and has travelled throughout our entire body? We medicate ourselves with mass radiation even though we know it is too late and won’t work, only to end up dying by irradiation (or codeine) overdose.
The Japanese call it hari-kari. Or, to put it more succinctly – death by stupicide. Whoa, I think I’m having an epiphany!
Ironic isn’t it? It’s time to rethink this folks.
P.S.: For all those hardcore paranoid types out there you can always place a call to ” 1-800-TERROR “. Fink on your neighbour, your best friend or even your family. Go ahead, you’ll feel a whole lot safer. It’s pay-back time for those meddling in-laws.
This article also appeared at the daily FISK.