Arend Van Dam
The eyes see only
what the mind is prepared to comprehend
We can do the innuendo
We can dance and sing
When it's said and done
We haven't told you a thing
He took in the four a.m. show at the Clark
Excitable boy, they all said
And he bit the usherette's leg in the dark
Excitable boy, they all said
After the events of 9-11-01 we were told that everything has changed, but everything is the same. We are born, we live, we die. Maybe we have eyes to see different things now; that is all. The only thing that changes is how we view the journey.
The United States is now focused on terrorism, a threat so small that it could be ignored if the world were so inclined. There are so many more actual and imminent threats posed by our environment, yet we ignore those, and at our peril.
Where can we go for perspective? The press warps already warped behavior calling the recent New York bomber Ahmed Khan Rahami an “average American” and a "class clown". That is a stretch. Anyone who builds and attempts to detonate an explosive device is not an “average American”.
Likewise, the New York Times calls the recent Minnesota mall stabber, Dahir Adan, a "Normal American Kid".
More distressing is that fact that Mr. Rahami's father had contacted the authorities years ago regarding his concern over his son's activities. This apparently fell on deaf ears. Shades of the Underwear Bomber manque -- Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab -- whose Nigerian father alerted authorities about his son's activities, again to no effect.
But aside from the media lies and the police failures, the actions of terrorists, while repulsive, are not an existential threat to a nation of 320 million people, with 10,000 grain elevators of corn. We have so much grain Bloomberg reports that farmers are dumping it in parking lots.
Contrast the dozens or hundreds of people who may be killed in a terrorist action with the thousands who could be killed by a failure of infrastructure or infection by a drug-resistant superbug. Add onto that thought that those inherent weaknesses might be exploited by a terrorist and you can see the actual measure of the problems we face
We are riveted to the media talking heads nattering on about terrorism, but we have no realistic understanding of the concept.
Recently some junior league explosions occurred in the New York and New Jersey area. Most of the mainstream media declared, “the perpetrator had been CAPTURED by the police”. That statement betrays the disregard of the actual threat and actions of the bomber.
Terrorists on our soil are not captured, since they are not combatants. They are arrested as the criminals they are. Using war terminology not only confuses the issue, it lends legitimacy to their criminal endeavors.
Our confusion remains consistent over our recent history. Domestic terrorist Ted Kaczynski was arrested 20 years ago, but the caption under his image in Wikipedia says, “Kaczynski after his capture by police in 1996.
In 20 years the U.S. has moved into the world of transrational terrorism yet we still do not realize that police arrest people, while only soldiers on the battlefield may capture them.
There is a lot that the average American has to figure out. There is not much clarification available.