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The Psychology of Terrorism

What I want to know right before I get on an airplane is that I'm especially likely to blow up today.

People are already paranoid. And being crammed in a metal tube with a bunch of strangers so you can all hurtle through the air at several hundred miles an hour (after having your sealed Diet Pepsi taken away at the gate In The Interest of National Security) is already stressful. (Especially after being forced to pay three times the price of your soda for a bottle half the size.)

So the most obvious question here is, "What purpose does a sign like this really serve?"

Terrorism: "the systematic use of terror, the deliberate creation and exploitation of fear for bringing about political change." - Prentice Hall

Now let's think about this. Who is scaring us with this sign? And what is they're hoping we'll do? You decide, but here's a little blast from the past to consider:

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger." - Adolph Hitler, repeated later by Joseph Goebbels

Now, I'm not saying we haven't been attacked or that there are no threats.

I'm just asking if signs like this might not benefit our government juuuuuust a little?


  1. Ripley said...
    Adolf Hitler once said "How lucky the leaders of nations are that the people don't think."
    Ripley said...
    I've been thinking about this more and more since first I read it and it's just got me spinning so I had to come back and add something else.


    I see so plainly how social pressures to conform help in times of confusion and even tragedy. Following 9/11, the American people turned into frightened sheep overnight. That's not a put down, that's normal psychological response to trauma.
    The problem is, in such a condition, we would be willing to do nearly anything those in power lead us to do, which is pretty much what happened.

    If able to think rationally and without the intense emotions of the situation, we might have better thought to lock down our boarders and temporarily suspend entrance into the United States in order to effectively implement security protocols at all transit outlets/inlets, call in military relief and patrol units at all sensitive areas around the country as well as on allied boarders that neighbor "enemy states", and begin to assess what happen, how it happened, who did it, and use competent intelligence and military special forces to device a means to entrap the guilty parties.

    What happened instead was panic, not by the people because they are expected to panic, but by officials.
    The results were... the powers that be devised their own plan, pushed that plan past the UN because the UN's time line didn't meet our own, secure Americans by placing "temporary" freeze on some of OUR liberties (a freeze that is still in affect on many avenues), act on faulty intel, and end up getting distracted by a dictator that probably had little or nothing to do with the thousands that died on September 11, 2001.
    And all this was accomplished by lying to the American people and using propaganda during a time of extreme vulnerability.

    Now only a government who is extremely weak, or one that is extremely manipulative would do this (hence, Hitler).
    We certainly aren't the first to do this, nor will we be the last. However the fallout of such nasty tactics is that the American people, as well as those in the middle east and elsewhere are the ones that will suffer the real consequences.

    I'm not saying that Hussein wasn't a real piece of work that needed to be dealt with. We've known this loooooong before 9/11 and why we didn't dissolve him way back when is anyone's guess, except the realization that we would not stand anything to gain back then vs. this time.

    But here's a novel question that I can't say I've heard in more than a year or two now... "Where is Osama?"
    Probably living large somewhere with a grin on his face and bedding down with weapons that we supplied.

    Governments are not what they were ever intended to be. We now understand that what justifies a good president vs. a bad one is when that person puts the needs of his/her people ahead of his/her own. Megalomania should not be a prerequisite to acquiring the presidency and yet in many ways, it is.

    This information coming from anyone other than the likes of Hitler would not have near the impact on me that it does.
    Basically we have one of the world's most horrendous villains, known to be void of conscience telling us (now from the grave) that we are all suckers and can (and are) under the control of a leader who doesn't even have to be a big man in size or spirit. What does that say, really... about democracy because, although this is the first president that so many believe voted himself into office, we still have to accept that we put him there whether the fault was our own during the first round or the second as well.

    It is immoral to call any American citizen's patriotism into question when that person has the fortitude to question his/her leader's actions. It is by being an American citizen above all else that gives us the right and the responsibility to do just that. Those that will follow blindly, the words of "any" human being should be directed to standing at the back of the line.

    We are not Lemmings and we must stop acting as though we are. When this mentality stops... so will corrupt government.

    Sorry about the soap box... let me just push that out of your way there. :)

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