Monday, April 25, 2005

Over a week ago it came out that the State Department had decided to stop publishing its 19-year-old report on Patterns of Global Terror, based in part "because the 2004 statistics raised disturbing questions about the Bush's administration's frequent claims of progress in the war against terrorism." Unless another agency steps up to provide a new publicly available report, Americans will no longer have access to a definitive assessment of global terrorism, remaining ignorant of how many terrorist attacks have happened in which parts of the world, of how effective US counterterrorism policy is, of whether, in short, the war is being won. The Medium Lobster hails this as a masterstroke - possibly the final blow to crush the jihadists once and for all.

The war on terror is a war of ideas: Freedom versus Tyranny, Justice versus Injustice, Good versus Evil. On this iconic battleground, it doesn't matter whether actual terrorism increases or decreases; it only matters that the idea of terrorism disappear. It's not important that real terrorists be caught or killed; it's only important that Americans think of them less often. It's certainly not necessary or desirable to have a persistently negative terror report remind Americans that terrorism not only exists, but thrives overseas.

Taking the fight directly to the idea of terror, the Bush Administration has cleverly opted to abandon talk of Iraq and terrorism in order to let the very concept of terror fade from the public consciousness. Indeed, the President has gone so far as to spend weeks flying across the country filling the airwaves with thousands of hours of meaningless prattle on Social Security privatization, all to distract Americans from terror, driving the very notion of Islamism from the mental landscape, until it becomes impossible to even conceive of terror as an abstract principle. Oh, blow up all the buildings you want, Osama bin Laden... but what good will that do you when we don't even know they exist!

Indeed, the Medium Lobster understands that citizens are soon to be issued special anti-terror optic shields - protective wear made of sturdy yet lightweight, opaque fabric worn across the eyes and fastened behind the head - which will prevent Americans from being contaminated with hostile jihadist data in the event of an attack by theoretical terrorist forces. Should another 9/11 happen, Americans will be prepared to ignore it, wondering aloud, "What's all that noise?" and "Curious, there used to be a Chrysler Building here" and "Perhaps I'll go back to shopping, after all, there's no such thing as terrorists." At which point another Muslim extremist, stripped of belief in his tenuous existence, will shrivel up and disappear in a puff of pixie dust.
posted by the Medium Lobster at 9:44 PM



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