A Vicious Circle

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“Freedom
was attacked this morning.” said George Bush in the aftermath of
a national tragedy. For certain groups that day, the freedom to
make choices was limited in the extreme.

Assuming
the perpetrators of this evil deed were Muslim extremists, they
had one transfixing choice before them, the debatable glory of Islamic
martyrdom and pleasures for evermore. What a soul wrenching shock
they have now received.

The
people on the top floors of the WTC had two choices, succumb to
the fiery hell behind them or jump to a less agonising death. What
tales of bravery and self-sacrifice went on up there will remain
unsung. I grieve for the latter group but not the former.

Down
below, in a typical act of shutting the barn door after the horse
has bolted, the U.S. government will move to impose strict controls
on security at domestic airports. They needn’t have bothered; I
believe the terrorists had played their last trump card in the sad
history of plane hijackings.

That
is because another group had choices that fateful day – the passengers
on those four ill-fated planes. In their understandable ignorance,
they assumed these knife-wielding criminals would land at some airport,
negotiate a settlement with the State or be taken out by a SWAT
team with minimal casualties to the passengers. After all, how many
people can you kill with improvised knives and cardboard cutters?

How
tragically wrong that risk assessment turned out to be. Be assured
that airline passengers will not make the same mistake again. If
a hijacking occurs again, they will have to assume it means a fiery,
horrible death. The risk of tackling an armed terrorist in-flight
now looks the more favoured option. Death by bullet is preferable
to death by aviation fuel.

I
think the terrorists know that too and have played the grand finale
of the hijack scenario. If that is indeed what some passengers did
on the Pennsylvania crash, then the bravery of the common individual
once again stands above anything the State has done during this
watershed week, or ever has, for the State lays down its life for
no one.

Now,
if I can deduce that, so can the strategic thinkers in the FBI,
CIA and Pentagon. Airports, I suggest, are going to be a lot safer
now, but no thanks to State edicts about heightened security. It’s
the old adage of being seen to do something – anything.

Neither
need the British government be so public about their plans to shoot
down any hijacked plane flying over London. It may happen; I just
cannot see it now.

This
is a war the U.S.A. cannot win head on; these fanatics are always
one step ahead of the game. While people are rushing to tighten
airport security, these criminals are working on the next surprise.
The State has to be lucky all the time; these people only need to
be lucky once. The worry is that if they have knowingly exhausted
the hijack tactic with such a brazen display, then what is next
on the terrorist tactical list?

By
leaving behind this tactic, the terrorist also raised the stakes.
With an unprecedented death toll in the potential tens of thousands,
they have shown that their collective conscience is no barrier to
them using even more deadly weapons such as biological weapons.
If the State cannot stop a hijacked plane ploughing into a skyscraper,
I doubt they could stop a small, but determined team of people with
anthrax spores hidden in any American city of however many millions.
These terrorist groups are too dispersed and virtually impenetrable
by Western spies. They employ the efficiency of a militia to a murderous
degree and they are virtually untouchable.

Believe
me, we Brits know what we are talking about. The British government
fought the IRA to a stalemate over 30 years. The British government
was too big to defeat and the IRA was too nebulous to overcome.
The IRA only had the area of Ireland to hide in, so what chance
has anyone of tracking down terrorists in an area stretching from
Libya to Afghanistan? It is a task too great, and even though I
also wish those who perpetrated this crime be punished, I fear that
they will remain beyond earthly justice.

It
is time to sue for peace before this escalates beyond our worst
fears. I would not say that if I thought there was a chance of overcoming
terrorism. But it is time to cut the losses on both sides before
something not witnessed since the Black Death stalks Western civilisation
again.

September
14,
2001

Roland
Watson [send him
mail
] writes from Edinburgh, Scotland.

©
2001 LewRockwell.com

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Watson Archives

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