Thursday, July 07, 2005

nice, but...

raising the terror alert for trains and buses in the US is a good thing, but the chances are that whomever set off the bombs in London aren't going to do it here, at least not now. if they had intended to set off bombs on subways and buses here, they would have done it in conjunction with the bombs in London. they go for spectacular, not conventional. setting off bombs in the US on trains or buses now would be conventional.

note that terror-ism is specifically that, terrifying. anticipated attacks are not terrifiying as they are predicted; unexpected, unanticipated attacks are terrifying because they are unexpected and unanticipated.

i think we can rest assured that there will be no bombs on trains or buses in the US attacked (at least not anytime soon); having bombs go off in London and somewhere in the US on the same day, within enough time of each other for someone to notice that they were related, would be the kind of spectacular terror that they go in for. that didn't happen, so it ain't gonna.

note also that they do these kinds of things (9-11, Madrid, now London) to demonstrate that the greatest powers in the world cannot stop them. once the populace figures this out, their attacks will be even more terrifying because it could mean anywhere, anytime. they have demonstrated that ability and they will continue to do so.

i'm not sure that the powers-that-be have figured this one out, yet. could be that their hubris prevents them from seeing this truth.


ZoobieWa said...

You seem to have quite the, "us vs. them" attitude. Did you realize that in your post that you made no mention of who you were identifying at all? I think I know what group you are identifying, but do you really? What do you really know of "them"? We speak in the United States as "the terrorists" being a single entity that is an enemy of the United States, but I think this concept is generalizing; it is an oversimplification which causes thought, inquiry, discourse, to end. If you can't see how you, yourself, could be a part of your "them", and vice versa, then intellectual pursuit is over. It sounds to me like you have already made all of your judgements on the state of the world. I'm glad it can be that simple for you.

johneglass said...

hi, zoobiewa

thanks for your thoughts. usually i try to be more precise in my written (and spoken) thoughts. as this is a blog and i have limited time to write much of anything, i typically just write down the general theme of what i am thinking. as such, it is abbreviated and therefore, not all of the "nuances" are explicit.

that said, i certainly appreciate your insights. first, i don't consider "terrorists" to be a particular group. i guess i do consider anyone who uses methods like the ones in London for an (as yet unknown) end to be using "terror" to achieve some goal. to the extent that one uses terror as a method of achieveing a particular goal, i would guess that s/he could be labelled a terrorist. i am sure that this, too can be debated, however. as i noted in one of my earlier posts, i am using the term terrorist as that is how the US admin is framing it. i certainly don't think it is that black and white (and i am well aware of the limitations of labels to define any human and/or human behavior). i think that this kind of thinking (b & w) is one of the major failings of the US response(s) to these acts.

second, i guess i don't see myself in that particular group (the "them" you mention) as i, personally, do not commit acts of terror nor do i advocate state-sponsored terror. i suspect an argument can be made that by paying taxes, i support many things that i personally oppose (the death penalty, abstinence-only education, etc.,) but these are choices that one must make to attend to valued priorities.

in sum, i actually don't see things as black and white as i may write; i am very much of a "it depends" sort of person. i frustrate my three year old son many times because i don't give him a yes or no answer to his questions (like, "is the sky blue?").

thanks again for your thoughts; happy to continue the dialogue if you desire.