And, of course, the financial costs (beyond the horrific human costs) of overreaction to terrorism based upon ignorance, fear and anger are astronomical:
We could have nation-built every U.S. city with that money instead. Imagine where our nation (and world) would be today if we had listened to people like Bernie Sanders instead of following people like Republicans and Hillary Clinton into senseless wars?
And, on that note… this is Bernie Sanders predicting the creation of ISIS back in 2002:
How much has corporatist warmongering cost us? How much more can our nation (and world) take?
I don’t treat the symptoms, I treat the pathogenic memes.
We make terrorism more costly than it truly is
Are you kidding? The September 11 attacks cost us Habeas Corpus.
Ah, dear. And here I am, preparing to spend a lovely (lovely!) week-long vacation with family for the Thanksgiving holidays. Family that is right-wing, evangelical, Bush-lovin’, Barrack-Hussein-Obama-hatin’, “If you’re not with us, then you’re against us” middle-class 'mericans. And I already know we’ll be talking about this stuff. [sigh]
Our reaction to the 9/11 attacks is what cost us Habeas Corpus. It was our choice.
The cost isn’t measured in dollars and lives because it’s a challenge to the current hegemony. Which will always protect itself at all cost.
What then is appropriate reaction to terrorist events? There is a major difference between the effects of natural disasters and terrorism and that is intent. The psychology of terrorism is why it works so well–just visit any country that has to deal with it on a regular basis. To some extent you can make peace with mother nature, but knowing an entity desires to (and will) cause you harm leaves psychological scars that forever alters how commerce is conducted, lives are led, etc. There’s a reason none of my Israeli friends ever sit with their back to the door in a restaurant–even in the states.
Sure as fuck wasn’t my choice!
Terrorism can be understood as an aesthetic endeavor - a kind of theatre. A small amount of violence is inflicted, but inflicted in the most dramatic and evocative way possible.
Successful terrorism, like all successful story-telling, draws the audience in, makes them forget the rest of the world and fully invest in the emotional drama unfolding on stage. As a result, the emotions we feel are out of proportion to the “actual” importance of the events.
But it’s not enough to say “This is just a play! Don’t take it so seriously!” We all sort of know that somewhere in our minds. But in a darkened theatre, with everyone looking at the stage, it’s hard not to be affected by the show. What’s needed is another play happening at the same time, one that counters that story, and affirms what the world really is. We need an international movement against war and the security state.
We respond to their theatrical deeds with more theatricality.
Back some 15 years ago, when there was some world bank brouhaha here, I took the camera and went to the town as a journalist.
Everybody else was taking photos of the one single burning barricade or the two locations, one with a more or less static standoff and one with minor fights. I was paying attentions to the swarms of journalists just a few degrees away from the angles of view of most cameras.
Correlating the fairly cozy atmosphere with the city-in-flames footage in the news in the evening was rather… eye-opening.
I still regret I did not talk that one iconic-looking protester, one cop, and one journalist to pose next to each other against the backdrop of the place where the junket happened.
When everybody uses zoom lenses, wonder what fisheye would show.
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