Sep 15, 2006

The Point of Terrorism Is . . .

On the blog, Bring It On, WindSpike asked a fill-in-the-blank sentence, "The point of terrorism is . . ." I thought about that and immediately, this popped out:

The point of terrorism is to make the masses afraid, so that they seek shelter and safety, and thus are made vulnerable and manipulatable by those in power, who in turn are sponsoring those terrorist acts, which then serve to make the masses afraid, so that they seek shelter and safety . . . ad infinitum. If it ain't got fear and then manipulation in it, it ain't terrorism.

The KKK used terrorist tactics to instill fear into the hearts of many African Americans in the U.S. back in the early- to mid-20th century (in its rebirth cycle). The downfall of the then KKK is an interesting story in which one brave soul infiltrated a branch of the KKK, learned their secrets, then used those secrets in a--get this--children's radio show, making fun of how stupid the KKK was. The Klan was utterly whiped out--children everywhere were making fun of them. I learned about this in the wonderful, scholarly and entertaining book by economist Steven Levitt, Freakonomics.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about this incident:

Folklorist and author Stetson Kennedy infiltrated the Klan after World War II and provided information on the Klan to media and law enforcement agencies. He also provided Klan information, including secret code words, to the writers of the Superman radio program, resulting in a series of four episodes in which Superman took on the KKK. Kennedy's intention to strip away the Klan's mystique and trivialize the Klan's rituals and code words likely did have a negative impact on Klan recruiting and membership. Kennedy eventually wrote a book based on his experiences, which became a bestseller during the 1950s and further damaged the Klan.

Taking that lead, if we could somehow get the secrets behind the terrorist attacks, know the terrorists buzz words and modus operandi, and use that info to humiliate them . . . nice to fantasize about it anyway.

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