I don't believe this. I also don't think it's accurate to call the US or any other country (with perhaps the exception of Israel) a terrorist nation. But the issue of using fear as a motivating force in the broad area of international politics is important. The architecture of terror, if not terrorism, may be weakened by shedding some light on it.

The first thing to mention is that despite what automatic defenders of the States may say, this network does NOT protect the national interests of the US, nor does it serve to protect or further well being of the interests of the ordinary citizens of America, quite to the contrary in fact. Terror's main target, through militarisation, through arbitrary legislation, jingoism, and hardline posturing, are the American public.

Let me explain.

It would be nice to dismiss the US as full of backwards hicks who know little or nothing about the world outside, and thus are most often ignorant of what goes on there or at the very least unmoved. The events of the last 3 decades completely shatter this myth, starting with Vietnam, and reaching a zenith recently in the aftermath of 9/11 we all of us know that Americans keep a close eye on foreign affairs and the public is increasingly aware of the dubious morality of foreign policy actions done in their name.Many have picketed the White House. Many more have gone on Anti-War demonstrations. Senators have been lobbied, letters posted, emails sent, flags and banners drawn up, and the tired slogans brought out to be dusted off and recited once more.

It doesn't work.

Why? Because people know it won't work, and the protest is part of catharsis rather than an attempt at effecting real change. Which would in any case threaten the safe and cosy existence where the majority of their needs are met daily. And anyway, who cares if the oil that runs the car is tainted with the blood of innocent Iraqi children? As long as it does it's job. Anyway, were there a real threat to the American war machine at home, then it would have been crushed without mercy long ago.

And that's the point!

The Army, Navy, AirForce, The National Guard, the CIA, the FBI, Homeland Defence, Federal Marshalls, State Troopers, City Police, numerous intelligence agencies set up for information gathering, "counter terrorism", whole rafts of intermediate labrythine local government agencies, designed to collect, collate, filter, categorize, isolate, measure, report, normalize, and mediate individuals, groups, movements, and any sort of engine of social change. But more than this, the spaces of the streets, the hospitals, the schools are all evolving slowly but surely to fall into line with the theory of panopticism. This theory (in a nutshell) states that one can use spaces, separations, and points of observation to effect change in people by forcing a regimentation in their rituals, and eventually their thoughts.

This isn't apparent immediately, but the dazzled, dreamlike, semi-nihlistic, somnalescent existence that most of us live in involuntarily to get by does dissipate once these patterns are spotted, and their inluence on our lives realized. A little cursory thought can go a long way, for example: In no other society is there a greater emphasis on personal freedom, and yet so many people with guns, and badges, and the authority to watch if you do something wrong, and come and take you away. The US doesn't need anywhere near this level of 'protection'. So the obvious inference to be drawn is the dead weight of all these institutions is there to push down the spark of genuine social change by overawing the populace with their own translucent panoptical prison.

The effect of all this is a blending of what we would have termed 'normal' society a few hundred years ago, and which still is supposedly the kernel of our moral values, with the techniques and tricks of coercion used to bring the prison population under control. The beauty, the terrible, efficient beauty of this is that the terror is silent, all pervasive, now instead of one government or police body to fear and villify, there are many anonymous, secretive, brutally effective legal bodies sitting in the shadows with their little documents of authority, to protect the freedoms of Americans by denying them.

No shouting, no debate, just silent documents moving from desk, to desk, to file, and it's done.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.