Terror-Alert Orange

The Conditioning of American Reflexes

by Jerre Skog

Dissident Voice

May 22, 2003


The almost weekly terror-alerts in the US, followed by stepped up security of strategic targets, words of threatening warnings from one of the Junta members and wild speculations in the media, seem to be turning the American people into a quivering mass of jelly, running to the unelected president for cover and willing to accept any outrageous infringement on their freedoms. Like Pavlov's dogs who started to salivate expecting to be fed, by the sound of a bell, the American people have gotten so conditioned to react to a possible or imagined danger by the leadership's Pavlovian bell of alert-status that rational thinking is left far behind. The conditioning has been going on a long time. During the cold war the people were taught to react to "Defcon" levels, which filled the same purpose: to keep the citizens under control and promote more money to the military.


The terror-alerts are always vague, based on alleged but secret phone-intercepts, interrogation of illegally held prisoners or other evidence, usually of a strength that wouldn't convince a bank to lend you a fiver. Those who remember Colin Powell's "evidence" of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction demonstrated to the UN some months ago know the sort evidence we are talking about. How they can be sure of when the risk is high but not where the danger lies is a mystery. "High risk for terror attacks on western interests in America, Asia, Australia and Europe for the next days." (why not Antarctica?) When the condition goes back to blue or green why is that? Has the CIA intercepted a message saying "nah, we do it another time, I gotta go the the dentist tomorrow"? Or are they (the junta) afraid of wearing out the orange and red lamps?


According to Worldnet Daily, a FBI-agent has revealed, "Most of the time, we have little to go on, only unconfirmed snippets of information". The same source says that according to people within the CIA "the administration is pressuring intelligence agencies to develop 'something, anything' to support an array of non-specific terrorism alerts issued by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security."


Since almost all information that the alert-status is based on is classified, we have no idea if the Bush-gang jacks it up now and then just to keep folks on their toes? Or when they want to get a new freedom-limiting Patriot Act passed? Scared people agree to anything! And the regime wouldn't hesitate to apply Pavlov's tricks!


So far no major terrorist-attacks (and remember that it has happened only twice if you don't count home-grown loonies) have taken place under condition orange (the regime is probably saving the red lamps for important occasions, like the election). The only attacks that have taken place then have been on innocent people by FBI or paranoid patridiots who manage to see Al Qaeda operatives wherever they look. Unfortunately the present American administration is not of the quality to tell people, like Roosevelt did in '33, that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" which is what is needed in these paranoid times. Perhaps Bush & Co has gotten the American people exactly where they want it. Scared, confused, aggressive and prepared to chip in for any future war and accept any infringement in its freedoms. That a bunch of fanatic criminals have reduced the world's mightiest nation to this state of anxiousness would be highly amusing if it wasn't so tragic.


But it works! When a majority take leave of their senses to the degree that it thinks killing tens of thousands of innocent civilians, and with luck, a few "evildoers", in far away countries will make them safer, then the brainwashing has been very efficient. When they fool themselves that people outside the USA don't get affected by feelings of revenge, hate and injustice that they themselves surely would feel were the roles reversed, it is nothing but denial and self deceit and it demonstrates a frightening national delusion. The conditioning of the American people has succeeded beyond expectations and the obedient media and loyal henchmen in the administration can lean back and watch the country rot from inside while Ashcroft for the umpteenth time lights the orange alert lights and warns for terror-attacks and the armed forces hasten to guard targets that are so obvious and predictable that no terrorist would dream of planning to hit them.


The risk of getting killed in a motoring accident is more than a hundred times higher than the risk of losing your life in a terror-attack in US . Yet more autos are bought, driving is not limited in spite of the very real danger (in round figures 50,000/year are killed, year in and year out) and nobody gets paranoid about it or demand Detroit should be bombed into rubble. The measly amounts spent on avoiding traffic accidents, though, is peanuts compared to what is spent on "fighting terror" even though all experience shows that it does much more good.


The number killed, deliberately or by accident, by gunfire (more than 30,000/ year, year in year out) is more than hundred times higher than the number killed by the "evildoers". Yet guns galore are sold, registration or limitation is a joke and no laws are passed that seriously take down the number of killed or lessens the risk that your kid will spray hollow-nosed ammo around the school. A gun is more important than a dictionary in many families and no orange alert is blinking every Saturday night in spite of the expected high death toll.


The illiteracy, starvation, criminality, ignorance, unemployment and the nonexistence of secure pensions, cheap and good education, ditto health service and housing is causing America as a whole infinitely more damage, in economical as well as human terms, than any terror-attack that realistically can be imagined. Yet these conditions and systems are not only not improved but steadily dismantled and left to deteriorate. All alert-systems scream red on these issues for decades but compared to the armed forces, CIA/FBI/NSA and the other organizations controlling the world and the American people, what is spent on them is a joke and a shame for a modern country.


As long as wars, police-organizations, spy-agencies and armies get precedence in the national budget and real, existing and ongoing threats are ignored and dismissed, the American nation is sinking, slowly but surely. The men and women who once colonized America may not have been educated, intelligent or tolerant and they didn't hesitate to use indiscriminate violence to get what they wanted, but one can say one thing about them: they were not afraid to confront challenges and they met real and existing danger head on, not turning around and defending against possible or imagined dangers. The men and women who colonized America might even have dared to ask themselves the obvious question when somebody tries to do you harm, "why do they do it?" Only the most stupid of them would answer "they hate our freedoms and democracy". But then the colonizers turned into terrorists themselves by today's standards and they didn't even have a terror-alert system. An American today could ask himself "why is Sweden or Switzerland never targeted by the evildoers? Those countries are also free and democratic!" You don't need to be a professor to smell a rat somewhere!


Present day America is prepared to use violence, but only when the adversary is defenceless, and present day America has lost all perception of where the real dangers are. The Bush-junta's Pavlovian terror-alerts are conditioning the people to act like trained mice in a laboratory and when the junta decides to finally turn America into a full fledged corporate dictatorship under an emperor Bush it can easily be done. Just jack up the alert-status to red and tell the citizens that for the sake of "security" some changes have to be made. Waving the flags and cheering like the masses at the Nuremberg rallies, the majority of the American people will turn to the unelected leaders for protection while its hard-won freedoms and liberties finally and definitely are taken away.


There will be prisons enough for the ones who don't cheer.


Jerre Skog is a Swedish writer, musician and independent observer living in Germany. His writings, politics and satire, can be found on www.skog.de and comments are welcome at jerre@skog.de





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