"Billy, wake up! Time for school! But first write down all your thoughts for the past 24 hours."
"Do it, you little brat! Don't make me look bad. I must check for terroristic thoughts!"
"But, Dad - "
"Don't you 'But Dad' me! I am your father god who must be obeyed!"
"But, Dad - "
"What did I tell just tell you, you little monster?! Disagree with me and the terrorists win! Do you want planes falling out of the sky and small children blown to bits?"
"Well, no - "
"Then do as I say!"
"But Dad, you're terrorizing me!"
I just got back from watching John le Carre's "A Most Wanted Man" about a Hamburg based anti-terror group. le Carre is one of a handful of people in the world I'd trust with a film of that sort. Most people prefer the Terrorism For Dummies version where a Bond like character saves the day and all is well. I believe watching those types of films lowers your IQ.
"A Most Wanted Man" is far more subtle but the ending is pretty obvious if you know what happens to people who are not politically astute. But the film does get you to thinking about "fighting terrorism" and as always le Carre asks inconvenient questions. When the woman from the CIA is queried about her motivations considering the often high price that is paid, she says she always returns the same answer to herself: "To make the world a safer place. Isn't that enough?"
Hah! A clever self-deception! The more you fight terrorism, the more you become terrorism. The more you fight terrorists, the more a terrorist you become. "But, but, we must stop the terrorists!" But for us, that's killing the baby to cure the disease. We want to fight the cancer cells, but not remove the tumor. We want to stop the dam from leaking, but not fix the foundation.
Terror organizations are all the same: it's about destroying the people you hate. It's our new favorite religion! God hates the same people you do! Got to kill them before they kill us! We must kill them not because fear them, but because we fear ourselves.
When a child is blown up in the streets, all the terror organizations cheer (including so-called anti-terrorists, as if there could be such a thing). The more bloody, the more outrageous, the more horrific, the more their power grows. And that's what this is really about about. From your TSA terrorist punk patting you down with a smirk to the President terrorist punk dropping bombs on a whim to the mad Muslim not getting laid to the father-god who must be obeyed, the only direction left to them is prevent as much freedom as possible - they have to in absence of taking responsibility.
I was probably the only person in the theater who snorted when the CIA operative replied she wanted to make the world a safer place. For you see, she did not answer the follow-up question, the question no one wants to ask or hear the answer to: A safer place for whom?
"Trust your father! I will only kill the bad people
(who threaten the empire)!"
(who threaten the empire)!"
A safer place for liberals? A safer place for environmentalists? A safer place for truth-tellers? A safer place for free thought and free discussion? A safer place for the "innocent masses"? A safer place for Jesus? God help you if you believe that garbage. By their fruits ye shall know them.
Instead, we're fighting to make the world safe for people doing bad. We're taking out the "bad guys" so profiteers can continue to profit off destruction, liars can continue to lie about why we die and the greedy may continue their plunder. When you know you're doing the wrong thing, you always live in fear of a righteous backlash. So of course you want to make the world a "safer place"!
Don't be a clown carping about any plots we've been saved from. That's like bragging about stopping bank robbers while the banks rob us blind by the trillions. Makes you look dumb and naive. And besides, most high profile plots have involved government agents anyway. We must first stop the terror from within if we are to stop the terror from without. And there's only one way to do that - the one way nobody wants to do or wants to admit, but we all know.