Wednesday, November 26, 2008

terrorist spokesmen

AP reports a government alert of a possible terrorist attack on the New York subway system over the holiday season.

This makes me think: what is the point of terrorism? The point is to achieve an end by instilling fear in the general population. So, um, WHY ARE WE REPORTING THIS? The number of people who were aware of this possible attack before the attack was very small. Now, every New Yorker who reads google news knows, and can feel unease and suspicion towards his or her fellow subway riders all the way to work and all the way home.

I don't really know who to blame here, and by even writing about this I'm not really helping the situation. But the point is, terrorists use media to promote their own agenda. The media should be more responsible and should not simply allow itself to be used this way, any more than it should have published the pictures of the Virginia Tech killer posing bad-ass style with his guns before the shooting spree. At this point, any would-be terrorist can just mention a possible attack plan on the phone with another terrorist and count on the US media to report it. The effect is almost the same as actually carrying out the attack: the population is put in perpetual dread of premature demise at the hands of criminal madmen and zealots.

I will now forget that I ever read this article. Please, if you ride the New York subways, do the same.

Unless you're law enforcement.

1 comment:

Lumo said...

Hi! I surely think it's bad to be alarmist. But I do agree that the risk right now is probably higher.

And being suspicious about the fellow passenger in the Subway is exactly the *good* thing that these warnings may contribute to.

For example, if your neighbor is an Arab, just try to think about his possible belongings and the content of his bag etc. a little bit more deeply. That's appropriate especially today.

You may save some lives if you do it right.