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Monday, November 01, 2010

Hyping up the 'terror threat'

Another day, another ‘war against terror’ scare. Did our wartime leadership go ­public on every single threat from our German and other enemies? Of course not. So why do they do it now? To ramp up our fear. Do they think this will make us support them and their ‘war on terror’ policies?.....

You can read the whole of Peter McKay’s brilliant Daily Mail piece here.

It’s also interesting to contrast the current ramping up of fear by Britain‘s political elite, with the way our leaders downplayed the threat from IRA bombs in the 1970s. Is it simply that we are living in a more hysterical era, where everything is overhyped- or is there a political agenda at work?


vladimir gagic said...

If Americans actually knew the higher threat level from big business/banks/Wall Street money-terrorists compared with the Bin Ladeen threat, they would be clamoring for the President to move the Marines from Afghanistan to Wall Street. That way the Marines could eliminate the terrorists actually responsible for destroying the cherished American Middle Class. Too bad but it looks like Obama, just like Bill Clinton 15 years before, is just another C- Republican rather than an A+ Democrat.

Mr. Piccolo said...

While I believe the threat of Islamist terrorism is real and is something to be on the watch for, I agree that it is overblown. Organizations like al-Qaeda actually have limited appeal in the Muslim world, since most Muslims don’t want to live under a brutal, puritanical regime that demands constant warfare from its subjects. The reactions of regular Iraqis against their al-Qaeda overlords in parts of the Sunni Triangle is evidence enough that the extremist ideology of bin Laden and company is unlikely to take over great portions of the Muslim world.

However, while this may sound like a wild conspiracy theory, I think the political class in the West has deliberately latched onto Islamist terrorism in order to create a new, great existential threat. In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Great Bogeyman was gone, and now we needed a new great enemy to make sure that people are distracted and afraid and not thinking about how lousy the modern Western system of capitalism is.

The crazy thing is that al-Qaeda isn’t even a nation-state with a real military, but we are somehow supposed to believe that they are the equivalent of the Third Reich or the Soviet Union. It is crazy how many Americans really believe some kind of Islamic Caliphate is threatening to take over the world, as if the Taliban is going to storm the beaches of Florida or California.

neil craig said...

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."Henry Louis Mencken

The more time passes the more profound I find that to be. The fall of the USSR removed the biggest gobgoblin, compared to which catastrophic global warming & the late Mr bin Laden take a lot of puffing up. However without the scare stories we would obviously need very little of our parasitic government indeed.

jack said...

Another fake terrorism threat that just happens to be aimed at Yemen again.

Interesting to note that a couple of years ago 2007 maybe Yemeni officials accused Israeli intelligence Mossad of setting up a fake Al Qaeda terrorist cell.

Guess that has nothing to do with a potential war against Iran secretly selling billions of dollars worth of equipment to Saudi Arabia.

Seeing how the Bin Ladins brother in law and number 1 international terrorist financier including the Taliban is a long time CIA/MI6 asset who was a former director of BCCI according to the 9/11 law suit if the war on terror was not totally bogus then he should have been the first one arrested and put on trial or at least here his name in the media.

@neil craig

With the collapse of the USSR we discovered 2 things 1) From the archives most of what we knew especially Stalin era was lies and 2) the Cold War was not about fighting Communism but control over Eurasia which they are using Islamic mercenaries as a proxy.

Gregor said...

Good point about the 1970s which were social democratic. It just goes to show that the idea the free market would give us good civil liberties is nonsense. It's quite amusing to hear neo-liberals say that Blair criticised Brown for 'big government' when market-loving Blair did more to empower the state against citizens than practically any other Prime Minister.

brian said...

Speaking of hyping terror threats: this may interest you..the Underwear 'bomber' is not what the media says he is:

Remember this the next timer your forced to pass thru a Michael Chertoff backed Bodyscanner