Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Fear the friendly skies

A recent Homeland Fear Maintenance directive requires some international flights crossing over or headed to the US to carry an armed law enforcement officer. As usual, of late, the government is taking a Big Brother "it's always been this way" approach to their actions:

Aviation security experts said the announcement marks a significant change in that, up until now, international security guidelines have been voluntary.

"In the past, no country has ever tried to impose on other countries any measures of aviation security," said Rafi Ron, president of New Age Security Solutions, a Washington-based consultancy, and the former security director for the Israeli Airport Authority...

Homeland Security officials said governments frequently set security and other standards for planes bound for their airspace.

Ironically, in another press release Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge said

"People travel. People must travel... we cannot submit to the fear associated with the continuous scream that the terrorists would use aviation as a means of attack."

We cannot submit to the fear... so we'll raise the national 'terror index' (wtf?) and cancel a bunch of international flights and require that everyone else in the world change their behavior. Do you really think they are doing this to make you feel more safe? I think they are doing it to make you feel more scared, to keep the fever pitch of fear at such a level that there will be no opposition to their political agenda.

This 'terror index' and our cowboy 'circle the wagons' mentality is just sad... as an empire, we've supported terrorism in many forms as long as we've been around. Then one time it happens to us, and we don't just freak out, we start demanding that the rest of the world freak out too, unless of course they choose to imply that they are supporting terrorists... oooh, spooky.

I for one remember a dim and distant past, when Republicans claimed to support smaller federal government and more fiscal responsibility, and when a nation that acted as we now act was worth keeping an eye on, maybe worth a laugh or two, but certainly not worth any serious consideration. We've become a parody of ourselves... it is shameful. We keep tightening the screws in the name of 'freedom', when it's rather apparent we don't even remember what freedom is.