Musings on terrorism

I’ve been re-reading Get Your War On. It’s a window back to the brief time in 2001-02 when sensible people feared terrorists more than we feared our own governments.

Those days are gone – and despite the governments’ best efforts to keep us scared, it would be very hard to bring them back. A Madrid-style bombing in London wouldn’t do it: a 200 in 8,000,000 chance of terror death is entirely bearable. Not even a 9/11 reprise featuring Big Ben would do it, if only because it would have happy side-effects [*]. We know that sort of thing has happened in the past; we’re already as scared of it as we’re going to be.

So in order to make any difference to Western attitudes, terrorists would need to do something very fucked up indeed. A dirty nuclear bomb is a possibility: although the actual casualties and damage would be negligible, people get scared when they hear the ‘nuclear’ word.

Otherwise, it’s pretty much smallpox or a real nuke.

This is good, in that it makes it unlikely that our fellow citizens will be panicked by the next exploding fanatic into acquiescing to the abolition of any more of our rights than they already have. However, it’s bad in that it indicates the only rational move for would-be exploding fanatics is to kill *millions* of people.

[*] The death of Charles Clarke would be particularly welcomed. Cunt.

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3 thoughts on “Musings on terrorism

  1. Oh, the whole Cannabis thing.

    Mental health charities welcomed the review, but charity DrugScope warned against the danger of the move being motivated by political and not scientific factors.

    *I* thought the whole point of downgrading it was political. We all know, have known, and will continue to know that cannabis is, to some extent, dangerous. But so are booze, fags, living near a motorway, driving, getting out of bed in the morning (in some order of risk). Lots and lots of people use cannabis; wasn’t the point to concentrate on drugs which not widely used, which are *really* dangerous, bring real misery to people, and which are involved in making some nasty people very rich? But no, if that were true, we’d have had a plan about Afghan poppy production…

    Is this part of a trend towards greater "morality" etc. etc. or is it just because of May 5th coming up?


  2. It’s a strange thing, isn’t it?

    I firmly remember one of our present band of wise, rational and cautious tribunes remarking that the threat of terrorism is the gravest that this country has ever faced.

    Oh Really?

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