Nov 20, 2007

OVERBLOWN: The U.S. Over-Reaction to 9/11, and Why It Must Stop

It's time to put fear in its proper position and events in more rational light. Over the last six years in America there have been no terrorist attacks despite the fact that we were told there are "sleeper cells" and that everyone should be "on guard" yet "go about their daily lives". The media, and particularly talk radio and editorial columnists, have constantly told us of the "very real threat" of "jihadists that want to kill us every day". But if we are to believe their propaganda we must conclude that the "Islamo fascists" are either waning in zeal or are not very determined after all to wage "terrorism on the West". Any group of high schoolers could have created more terrorism than the pretended "sleeper cells" from the "radical one percent" of Muslims living in the U.S. (this is the mantra from the "terrorism experts"). There has not been so much as a firecracker in a mall. What there has been, however, is random shooting in schools, bridges collapsing, the usual high amount of traffic deaths, and of course crimes throughout the U.S.. While seeking to strain for the gnat we have swallowed the proverbial camel.

In West Virginia there have been no acts of terrorism. Last year there was another airport profile scare, the arrest of an innocent Muslim woman who had over packed her toiletries at Tri-State Airport, one of which set off a detector, a gross and flagrant crime in the new Amerika. (The FBI handled this quietly. We are unsure whether this was a test drill for security or simply a mistake). Then there was the very "danger" of some men purchasing large quantities of cell phones--very openly and conspicuously, as if real terrorists would draw attention to themselves. (These always occur at key political moments too). Meanwhile in the fanaticism and propaganda after 9/11, West Virginia joined with other states to lobby for the new loot of a newly created Homeland Security bureaucracy, established a state office of the same as Emergency Services, and obtained two Homeland Security boats. (Why not get new toys from this terrorism business?). The security merchandisers, making the most of 9/11, lobbied and won massive government contracts to implement new security measures, training exercises for state police, "counter terrorism" operations, and surveillance cameras have become the new obsession in government budgets. (Just ask Danny Jones). The merchandisers for REAL ID cards also lobbied and gained new contracts from the DMV, before even receiving any state government approval. (We also wonder how many have financial conflicts of interest within government who expect their portfolios to increase with these new security company contracts).

Yet for all this there have been no acts of terrorism in West Virginia. What there has been is many "crimes of passion", both husbands and wives (like the impenitent Morgantown nurse who smiled upon her sentence) murdering each other (largely for treasonous infidelity which the State winks at, and a previous governor and senator paraded openly without shame or apology) as reported in newspapers, crimes and shootings of various sorts, traffic deaths on ATVs and automobiles, hunting accidents, and some deaths due to medical malpractice, treatment with heart stints, or from taking pharmaceuticals that caused heart failure. There was one "bomb" that killed several in the state, but it was an exploding propane tank in Ghent, improperly maintenanced.

The truth is that West Virginians have more to fear, statistically and rationally, from each other
--i.e. from domestic acts of treachery, local crime and traffic accidents than from the pretended "jihadists that want to kill us every day", that Shelly Moore Capito parroted from 58 Live "newspeak" when voting for another surge of troops. You have more chance of being killed by motorists who drive like terrorists, or by a deer on the highway than from the mythical "Islamo Fascists". Given that terrorism has been the dominant and primarily Republican (neoconservative) message, it must be stated for what it really is, a message that is irrational and paranoid in the light of plain evidence and facts. It is a wild over-reaction that is also killing our freedoms and inflames fanaticism, the irrational and psychopathic fuel of unjust wars. (Over one million Iraqis have been killed, through sanctions or war, that never attacked the U.S.).

At some point we must stop listening to the boy who cried wolf, and those who cry out with him, and who do so for their own agenda.
And if another incident does occur it should be investigated and judged on hard and solid evidence rather than from mere allegation and repetitious propaganda (contrary to the evidence), or from anthrax notes from New Jersey that say "Allah is great" on them, as if planted evidence is uncommon in crimes to shift the authorities attention away from the real perpetrators.

Enter now a new book released earlier this year to speak truth and reason in the face of fanaticism. You remember about the boy and the Emporer's New Clothes? Well the professor who wrote this book dares to stop the irrational over-reaction and insane wars and put the "terrorist threat" into statistical perspective that no one can refute. Multitudes more people die in traffic accidents in a year and you have (statistically) more chance of being killed by local criminal acts than from "Islamic jihadists that want to kill us every day".

Every federal and state official, governor, congressman, and the American public should read this book. It demonstrates with more definitive data that Americans are being manipulated through propaganda-induced fear that could be called paranoia into an agenda of complete fanaticism, i.e. irrational behavior toward unjust wars and a growing Security State that is overthrowing common sense and particularly Constitutional rule of law, the very "freedoms" that "terrorists hate us for". It is an irrational course, that is still being pushed upon us through particularly the republican establishment and 2008 candidates (with the exception of Ron Paul) and the neocon "terrorism experts" constantly interviewed by the sycophant media.

This book refutes the fear-mongering and propaganda, and is the rational basis for repealing the anti-constitutional and tyrannical laws that have been coerced through Congress by the mantra that "911 changed everything". No, it only changed what the government told us, which is full of lies. This book also is the basis for refuting most of the agenda proclaimed by the 2008 Presidential candidates (except Ron Paul) who want to continue down the road from freedom to fascism and their global Democratic Jihad for "regime changes".

Read the reviews here from Amazon for yourself, and note the book can be purchased from our Bookstore at bottom of the blog:

Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them (Hardcover)

by John Mueller (Author)

Editorial Reviews
From Booklist

Among possible U.S. terrorist targets listed by the Department of Homeland Security are a petting zoo in Alabama and a roadside water park in Florida. By listing such unlikely targets, the administration has heightened fear and the cost of protecting citizens, according to Mueller, a political science professor and national security consultant. He examines how terrorism hypervigilance is threatening civil liberties, the economy, and lives. Mueller explores three themes: terrorist threats are overblown; we can learn from the lessons of previous international threats that they are often exaggerated; and by applying these lessons, we can create policy that reduces fear and the cost of overreaction. Among other observations, Mueller notes that despite fears of chemical attacks, most such weapons are "incapable of perpetrating mass destruction," and our counterterrorism tactics tend to be expensive "self-flagellation" that bolsters the image of the terrorists. If the objective is to keep Americans frightened and willing to spend money and relinquish freedom, then the terrorists are winning, Mueller maintains. Interesting reading on a subject that will continue to hold great political sway. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Book Description
Why have there been no terrorist attacks in the United States since 9/11? It is ridiculously easy for a single person with a bomb-filled backpack, or a single explosives-laden automobile, to launch an attack. So why hasn't it happened? The answer is surely not the Department of Homeland Security, which cannot stop terrorists from entering the country, legally or otherwise. It is surely not the Iraq war, which has stoked the hatred of Muslim extremists around the world and wasted many thousands of lives. Terrorist attacks have been regular events for many years -- usually killing handfuls of people, occasionally more than that.

Is it possible that there is a simple explanation for the peaceful American homefront? Is it possible that there are no al-Qaeda terrorists here? Is it possible that the war on terror has been a radical overreaction to a rare event? Consider: 80,000 Arab and Muslim immigrants have been subjected to fingerprinting and registration, and more than 5,000 foreign nationals have been imprisoned -- yet there has not been a single conviction for a terrorist crime in America. A handful of plots -- some deadly, some intercepted -- have plagued Europe and elsewhere, and even so, the death toll has been modest.

We have gone to war in two countries and killed tens of thousands of people. We have launched a massive domestic wiretapping program and created vast databases of information once considered private. Politicians and pundits have berated us about national security and patriotic duty, while encroaching our freedoms and sending thousands of young men off to die.

It is time to consider the hypothesis that dare not speak its name: we have wildly overreacted. Terrorism has been used by murderous groups for many decades, yet even including 9/11, the odds of an American being killed by international terrorism are microscopic. In general, international terrorism doesn't do much damage when considered in almost any reasonable context.

The capacity of al-Qaeda or of any similar group to do damage in the United States pales in comparison to the capacity other dedicated enemies, particularly international Communism, have possessed in the past. Lashing out at the terrorist threat is frequently an exercise in self-flagellation because it is usually more expensive than the terrorist attack itself and because it gives the terrorists exactly what they are looking for. Much, probably most, of the money and effort expended on counterterrorism since 2001 (and before, for that matter) has been wasted.

The terrorism industry and its allies in the White House and Congress have preyed on our fears and caused enormous damage. It is time to rethink the entire enterprise and spend much smaller amounts on only those things that do matter: intelligence, law enforcement, and disruption of radical groups overseas. Above all, it is time to stop playing into the terrorists' hands, by fear-mongering and helping spread terror itself.