In-depth
The Global War on Fear
  • | dtinews.vn | May 22, 2011 11:20 PM

I’ve heard that an evil man was killed in Pakistan. And even though I’m an American who lived through 9/11, I don’t care.

When New York was attacked I was in Los Angeles. I had off school that day and was sleeping late. My friend called me with a frantic voice: “Pack your things, we have to go to the desert.”

Of course I never went to the desert. Besides, I didn’t have many things to pack. But I did turn on the television. What I saw really shocked me down to my bones.

Even though it’s a cliche, whenever I hear somebody say that the world was changed on that day, I cannot help but agree. Suddenly the U.S. had new enemies. Strange enemies, almost not human.

Well, the enemy was literally not human; not even a nation. The new enemy was “terror”.

Anyway, I do not want to go on a rant about American politics. But I would like to point out the coverage of this Bin Laden story.

One might have thought, back in 2001, that once we captured or killed this guy, the war would have been won.

But, no. Not “on the ground”, and not in the media.

________

It seems that, at least western news sources, take a great amount of joy in the details of this incident. Every day we hear new, trivial information about the raid, this house and its contents. Apparently they found a “stash of pornography”.

Never mind that there was an team of men living in this “mansion” in Pakistan. Also, never mind the fact that this guy had several wives.

(By the way, I still cannot decide if having more than one wife would increase or decrease the desire to look at pornography.)

The thing that seems strange to me, though, is not these stupid details. It is the focus that people give to them.

Why?

_____

My country has soldiers in Iraq and in Afghanistan and in so many other countries around the world that it would be too difficult and boring to identify them all.

My cousin is in Iraq right now. I held him when he was a baby, and now he holds a gun that weighs more than he did when he was born.

Every day I make a phone call to my mom and ask about him, just to make sure.

But, if the worst thing imaginable happened, I would not ask if he had porn magazines under his bed.

______

What all this tells me is that our “War on Terror” has nothing to do with terrorism. We’ve made Osama Bin Laden, the former King of Terror, into a joke.

Did we ever really fear him? I don’t know. All I’m sure of is that after that awful day, and the ensuing wars, people became more scared, not less.

Also, I had to start taking off my shoes at the airport.

Now that Obama.... sorry, Osama is dead, the fear factor continues. You still have to take your shoes off at the airport (at least in western countries). So what the hell?

_______

So I, who was once mistaken for the President of the United States, declare that the “War on Terror” is expanded, not only to every country, but also expanded in scope. Why begin with terror? We should go all the way to fear.

The new name shall be “the Global War on Fear”.

First, all the militaries of the world will have to change their uniforms. Greens and greys are much to frightening. Let’s go with light blues, greens, reds and yellows.

Guns? No need to say more. Fresh flowers would replace them, and I suspect, save money. .

There would have to be a lot of changes. But for sure, no more scary movies. If a cinema illegally showed a horror film, the army would come in with their colorful uniforms and dance fabulously.

This would be much more effective than killing some skinny guy with kidney disease and a beard.

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