The question I have been toying with since the Boston tragedy is: How on earth could such an event have been organised, with the recent public shootings that have taken place in the US, and the event venue was not scanned for explosives?
The fact that the explosions took place near the finish line where obviously there will be cameras to capture them makes it all the more curious. As I scanned all news channels last night and the gory images from the explosions kept surfacing, I had one feeling that dominated, FEAR!
I found myself wondering each time where on earth a person could be safe, if at the heart of a US event, something like that could happen. The force of the emotions I felt could have been instigated in no small measure by the contrast of the scenario – ONE MOMENT, PEOPLE WERE CELEBRATING THE ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST ATHLETES, THE NEXT MOMENT THEY WERE SCREAMING IN PAIN. The thin line that exists between life and death, happiness and sorrow was amplified by those footages.
If there is anything that can control the human mind effectively, that is fear. Thomas Hobbes writing in the Leviathan (supported by Machiavelli) states that the fear of death, especially violent death is the main reason why people created civil society. The events surrounding 9/11 and now this Boston event seems to illustrate the primacy of fear, and how it connects with a need for security. This was at the centre of Obama’s reaction to the news: TIGHTER SECURITY, RETALIATION!
NOT A NEW PHENOMENON…
Plato had a long time ago rightly pointed out that “this and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector” . So the question arises – could there be an outside chance that terror is being used to control the American people – as obviously they now keep seeing the state as a great protector?
Should that be the case then erstwhile US President James Madison’s prophesy about the USA would have come true. He held that “if Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
If by any chance, this is the case, where does that place the USA today, given that Hitler had earlier opined that “terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”. Would the USA today therefore be using the same weapon that Hitler used to control Nazi Germany and the European leaders of his time?
If one were to doubt this, Hitler’s own henchman Goering clears any cobwebs from the mind with this mind-blowing explanation “why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
It did work after 9/11 perfectly, whether there was an external threat or not, whether conspiracy theorists are to be believed or not… Americans bought the propaganda to attack foreign nations because of the logic of protection. So to a large extent Goering was right. IT WORKED IN THE USA – THE WORLD’S NO. 1 DEMOCRACY.
MY TWO CENTS
My heart goes to the families of those who lost their lives in this latest act of violence, but reason beckons on me to question if we should continue to be used by the political elite for selfish ends. As Assed Baig of the Huff Post rightly captures
On the same day as the Boston bombings at least 33 were killed and 160 wounded in a string of bomb attacks across Iraq. Attacks which did not take place before the US led invasion of the country. The same media coverage was not afforded to the dead in Iraq, nor did Obama seek to comment on the issue.
I will will not want to comment on this since it has been the norm, but I dare question that call it conspiracy theory or whatever, is it not really uncanny that this attack comes just at a time when the USA has been facing serious provocations from North Korea and a day before the BBC were to air a controversial documentary from North Korea?
Should these attacks be linked to external terror and a call for retaliation arises, I will therefore not be too surprised. But before anyone hastily goes calling for another person’s head in response to what happened, let us not forget what another ‘strongman’ of the last century Josef Stalin said:
“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamour for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.