Monday, October 4, 2010

More terrorist alarms please

Let me start by asking you to put yourself in terrorist shoes. You are now a terrorist (not really a stretch if you smoke, use internet, weigh too much or happen to be Muslim). So now try and think like a terrorist. You are out to scare people, hurt people and make them react to you and your policies. It is not about convincing anyone or gaining support, it’s about you killing and maiming for a cause and you want to stir up as much feelings as possible.


Here’s the scenario; several countries issue an alarm that you may attack. People are told to stay away from crowded areas, people shouldn’t fly to Europe, and everyone are told that individuals with breast implants, turbans and beards are shady types that are very likely to “do something”. Also you can be pretty certain that each country’s´ security forces, police, park rangers and meter maids are extra careful and may stop playing hearts for a moment to actually do some work. Boats, trains, aircrafts and trucks are randomly searched while hospitals are stocking up blood and preparing for potential victims.

So from a terrorist perspective half the work is already done. People are extra scared, papers are filled with speculation and horrors stories, billions extra is spent on heighten security, and entire societies becomes suspicious against anything out of the norm. Women leaving the shower with a towel rapped around their head take one look in the mirror and starts screaming that a radical Muslim is starring back.

With all this going on why would you actually attack? Can you think of a single reason?

The only reason I can think of is that you could prove that any security measure is useless, that the police are powerless to stop any thought-out attack and in doing the terrorist thing it could, maybe, increase the uncertainty and feeling of fear.

However that would be a bit of a gamble.

Firstly with tighter checks and less donughts eating the police and military are slightly more inclined to actually catch you. Only a couple of percentage more, but still a slight increase in risk from your perspective.

Secondly with all the hype people are already scared to a point almost at the same level as if you had already blown up that school you had your eyes on. On a 10 grade scale, with 10 being your targeted scariness, so many people are already at 7 or 8, not at 5 as they normally are. It’s a less of jump from 7 or 8 then from 5 up to 10 (yes it is, use a calculator if you don’t believe me) hence any explosion would mean a less of a jump in scariness hence less of a shock. And shocking societies and people is really one of your main goals.

Thirdly, one of your other main goals – to put a wedge between people and create animosity – is also already reached. Muslims, radical lefties and radical righties, hillbillies, neighbors, people with two mailboxes, chemistry teachers, youngsters buying knives, grandmas reading about Hitler online, and carnival workers are already being watched and monitored. Religious and cultural differences are discussed on the news, and there’s an upswing in people voting for populist political parties.

So why would you attack?

Isn’t it better to wait for the frightened people to calm down a bit, wait for the police to go back to doing nothing, and wait for the moment when targeted societies least expect it?

Why decrease the chance of success during a moment in time when the effect of what you do is less of a jump on the shocking-meter?

Ever wondered why that 2m tall Osama that supposedly lives in small caves with a broken liver hardly have done a single thing since 9/11? (Assuming of course that he had anything with to do with that in the first place – which has never been officially proven) Do you really think our security forces are that good at what they do that they have managed to stop terrorism that sufficiently? If you think so, why haven’t they caught a guy who is reasonably easy to spot no matter where he goes?

So after this little mind game did you reach the same conclusion as I did?

With no statistics to back my claim up and with nothing else than being able to think like a terrorist (which probably, again, puts me on any number of radars) I am utterly convinced that if you want to travel, visit the Eiffel Tower or use the subway you should do so, with less of a risk from terrorists, during one of these heighten security alerts. The more governments warn, the more you should do the opposite. This, coincidently, is good advice about everything government does.

I am not saying that terrorists won’t attack, only that I find it highly unlikely.

With that said you should also realize that even the cave dwelling Bin Laden need to stick his head out sometime. Sending videotapes to media may be scary for a while, but sooner or later he and his cronies also need to do something. And there are a lot of crazies out there; your own government is proof of that. So of course more terrorism is expected somewhere, somehow.

For me the few people dying each year from various attacks don’t merit terrorism to even reach my top twenty list. Far more dies from congenital diseases, malnutrition, wars, and so forth. Most of us actually live in the worst place you can think of. A place that is one of the main mutilators and killer of man – our own homes. And the main murderer of mankind, our real nemesis, the thing that is more likely to kill you than any disease or accident, is the very entity we rely on for protection from terrorists. And THAT is hilariously funny.

So no, I don’t travel less by buss and I don’t avoid crowded areas when government tells me to, on the contrary, I seek them out. The more newspapers tell me how unsafe I am, the safer I feel.

Sadly with all you morons out there frighten, government will take the opportunity to hand out two complementary notes. On one it say’s “give me your money and I’ll protect you”, on the other it say’s “give away your freedom or you’ll die”. These two notes are used to impose restrictions, controls, surveillance, taxation and, in the end, a totalitarian society.

Those ‘notes’ should scare you more than all terrorists put together.