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by Sun Tzu
Tuesday, Aug. 03, 2004 at 6:45 AM
some points worth highlighting
1. it's being called a "specific threat" because it's supposedly limited to certain banks and financial institutions, a "narrow" sector of society. But to the extent that, in capitalism, the economy subsumes everything to itself, this "specific" sector is in fact the general center of capitalist society, and thus the general center of society itself. When the WB/IMF is threatened, everyone must tremble.
2. The banks/financial institutions benefit from regularized "terror alerts" such as this one, because they get tax deductions, credits and interest-free loans from the federal and state governments (taxpapyers' money) to strengthen and justify their private security.
3. The government benefits from these regularized "terror alerts" in a variety of ways (increased protection against protesters during the RNC, justification for massive RNC and "homeland" security expenditures, impetus to re-select George Bush as President, etc) but also because the government gets to absorb existing databases of these (very big) financial entities and to "outsource" its surveillance and data-mining efforts to the private sector a la Operation Shamrock.
4. In any event, these regularized "terror alerts" are obviously much better for everyone than a regularized stream of faked or pseudo-real terror attacks. And so one might say the government of the USA has learned an important lesson from the dirty wars against Allende, Cuba and the Sandinistas, the anti-Communist "strategy of tension" in Italy, etc etc All of these operations required hired killers, who had to be carefully chosen, secretive and unlikely to repent. But because one bombing always requires another one (if only to kill off and thus silence the previously hired killers), it's inevitable that the secret itself will be blown. In the same way, one "terror alert" also requires another one. But, unlike terrorist bombings, "terror alerts" don't require the involvement of anyone else -- no other hired killers -- but Ridge, Ashcroft, Mueller, et al. No one needs to be silenced after a phony or disinformative "terror alert" has been staged.
5. These "terror alerts" have become, and have had to become, ever-more specific and fearsome, otherwise the terrorizing effect wears off. But the "alerts" can't be too specific or fearsome, because -- precisely because of their terror -- people will stop going to work and thus choke the anti-terror war machine, which requires huge amounts of daily supplies and services.
6. When Bloomfield and other politicans say, "Go about your business, enjoy your life, don't let the terrorists win, go to work as normal, shop, go to Broadway, etc" he is trying to hide the really important thing (ie, KEEP GOING TO WORK) among a bunch of other things that don't matter. The established order can temporarily or semi-permanently do without people going shopping, but it can't for a day tolerate people not working.
7. And so, a very good way to protest -- against both the war and "homeland security" -- is to go out on strike, go absentee, slow-down, divert, expropriate, etc etc.
8. You can't keep raising and lowering the "terror level": eventually, a terrorist attack has to happen -- must happen, must be staged or allowed to happen. Otherwise, no one believes the new alerts after a while and their power to "terrorize" and motivate are lost. But such an attack may have the effect the 11 March 2004 bombing in Spain did: it threw the election in the "wrong" way from the one desired.
9. Because transportation is the key -- it is both means and target of terrorism -- one can expect that the next right to be attacked will be the right to move freely, not just across international or state boundaries, but from street to street (permanent "frozen zones").
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