Monday, March 10, 2008

The False Threat of Al Qaida

This morning’s NPR news show, Morning Edition, aired a rather lengthy story on the nature of today’s Al Qaida. Essentially what they ended up saying was that the Al Qaida of today is not the monolithic, top-down organization that our government keeps saying they are.

The picture NPR drew was much closer to what Greg Palast of the BBC has been saying for quite some time now than to what our Department of Homeland Security says. (I have never been able to say or write that name without hearing Fatherland Security. It is sooo Nazi Germany.)

Our Fodderland Security department gets more from keeping the populace on the edge of fear than it would from actually providing security, so it persists in holding up a picture of a monolithic terrorist group determined to send more airplanes into more American buildings.

The fact, as NPR reported it this morning, is that Al Qaida is more of a concept than a reality. It is a name for those opposed to Western style economic governance and willing to show that opposition through violence and civil unrest. When the press refers to an Al Qaida cell, the implication is that a cell is a small unit put in place by a central authority, when the truth is that such each cell is autonomous.

That is not to say that bin Laden’s Al Qaida doesn’t exist, but it is to say that the original Al Qaida is more of an inspiration to terrorist cells than a director of their actions. It may well be that bin Laden’s group continues to plan international terrorist acts akin to 9-11, but the fact is that they have not been able to pull one off since 2001, and another definite fact is that very few if any of the groups referred to in the press as Al Qaida cells have any relationship at all to the core bin Laden group.

As Greg Palast said in a recent interview with Amy Goodwin on Link TV’s Democracy Now!, an Al Qaida cell is to Al Qaida what an imitator band with a Mick Jagger look-alike lead singer is to the Rolling Stones.

Over the week-end W offered a list of terrible planned attacks that his eavesdropping program averted, making the Department of Fodderland Security sound effective. But then, W has a long and garish history as bald-faced liar that makes anything he says questionable at best and self-serving in all cases.

The American public needs to take anything the administration says with a block – not a grain – of salt and stop reacting to officially purported risks as though they were true accounts of imminent threat. The correct reaction to the Fodderland scare tactics is guarded skepticism.

We need to just tell the little boy in the Whitehouse to quit shouting big bad wolf and go on about our business as the most secure and powerful nation on earth as though we believed in ourselves; stop allowing the government to listen in on our conversations; tell the communications corporations that they will be prosecuted if they break the law; take an aggressive stance against U.S. authorized torture; and, ultimately, regain our place as a leader among the world’s nations -- a leader that can discern between real and supposed threats; between morality talk and moral action and so can be trusted to use its power only against true threats to its own security and that of the world.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

The reason for going was to keep the crude flowing and raise a false flag abroad. – from a poem by Jack Evans titled 3500 Souls -

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