Uncle Sam and the Boogey Man
January 1, 2003
(Los Angeles) When we were small children, most of us believed in two people we never saw - Santa Claus and the Boogey Man.
Although we couldn't articulate it this way back then, we saw Santa as a sort of demi-god who would bring us whatever we asked for at Christmas - if - we were good. He was a jovial fellow and the very sight of him on a Christmas card or at the mall thrilled us!
Conversely, the Boogey Man had no form. His form and appearance was deviously left to our overactive childhood imaginations. While we weren't sure what the Boogey Man was capable of, we were pretty certain in our little child way that it was going to terrify the hell out of us. The Boogey man was sort of "Satan light" - with a third less evil. But at 4 or 5 years old, even a third less evil was more than enough to scare the pageezers out of us.
The thing about the Boogey Man was that he could be invoked anytime, anywhere, to stop us in our tracks. Whether said by our parents, grandparents, or an older brother or sister, the words "The Boogey Man will get you if you do that" were more than sufficient cause to reconsider our actions. After all, the Boogey Man was even worse than the monsters we were certain were under our beds when the lights went out! When we were 4 or 5 years old the Boogey Man was a nameless faceless bringer of every imaginable childhood terror.
As we got older we discovered that good ol' Santa was a kindly con job. Santa was the way our parents made Christmas a more magical experience for us. For a brief time in our lives we innocently and naively believed in something wonderfully magical. However, as is the way of life, we soon discovered that Santa wasn't real, but hopefully we held on to some of the magic in our hearts.
Things were not so clear-cut with the Boogey Man. Remember when you discovered there was no such thing as "cooties", but then you found out about "germs", which were pretty much real-life "cooties"? Although we eventually found out that the Boogey Man wasn't real, there was always a leftover feeling that there really is unseen evil out there - no matter what name it goes by. Just as we can summon up the memory of our first kiss, or the first time we drove the car sitting on our Dad's lap, it is also possible to still summon up the Boogey Man. Interestingly, it is still possible for others to invoke the Boogey Man fears in us.
As I write this, it has been nearly 16 months since the tragic and despicable events of September 11, 2001. I distinctly remember in the days immediately after the attacks the government telling us to prepare for more attacks in the days and weeks ahead; that this was not an isolated event. I remember that as each holiday has approached since Sept. 11th, the government has told us to expect an attack. The government set up a color warning system to inform the public as to the threat level (as perceived by the government) on any given day. Airports have become a nightmare of both delays and abuse. The Patriot Act was passed rapidly. On its heels followed the Homeland Security Act. Every town, city, county and state in America has taken to making preparations for "the next" terrorist attack. Liberty is suffering.
I remember when I first became a stepfather and overnight had a house full of children. I was amazed at how many times I could hear my name said in a single day; Dave this; Dave that; Dave the other. Non-stop. It was unrelenting. After the first month I came to hate the sound of my own name. Not because my name in and of itself sounded bad, but simply because any word spoken over and over and over again becomes annoying; sort of the audio version of the old Chinese water torture.
The word "terrorism" now engenders that same hyper-annoying status. Everywhere I turn, in print, radio, and television; TERRORISM, TERRORISM, and more TERRORISM. Every time I now hear the word "terrorism", I want to punch the guy who said it. In the last 16 months I have heard the word "terrorism" more than in all the previous 43 years of my life. Let me be blunt - I'm sick of hearing it. Of course my being sick of it doesn't necessarily mean its inappropriate, so let's examine if it's really necessary for all us to have to hear the word "terrorism" every waking hour of our lives.
There is no doubt that the events of September 11th were horribly tragic. There is also no doubt that the events were "spectacular" because the aircraft attack on World Trade Center and the subsequent collapse of the towers were captured on live TV. The question few media pundits have spent much time examining is whether "horribly tragic" and "spectacular" have anything to do with the future risk factor.
In November of 2002 I wrote an article entitled, "The Muslim Threat" [http://www.originalintent.org/musthreat.shtml], in which I stated unequivocally that Islam is an identifiable threat to western civilization in general, and to America specifically. Having said this, the question is not whether there is a risk, but more pointedly, what is the nature of the risk.
Having acknowledged the tragic and spectacular nature of the events of September 11th, we must now separate ourselves from the dramatic nature of the event and evaluate how sophisticated the operation and methods were. News reports and government committee reports tell us that the operation was not very sophisticated. Had we actively been on the lookout for the hijackers, Sept. 11th would have never happened. It was not that Al Qaeda's methods were so brilliant, it was that the federal agencies tasked with ferreting out such plots and stopping the perpetrators before the crime takes place simply were ill prepared and didn't get the job done. It must be stressed again - Al Qaeda's planning wasn't anything special.
The next point to examine is how sophisticated was the actual act of highjacking the planes? Once again, it wasn't sophisticated at all! No one in his right mind would have foreseen a box cutter as a highjacking tool. Why? Because no one in their right mind would have thought that a little tiny triangular blade, one inch long, could have been used to hold an entire aircraft hostage! And here's the truth of the matter, a couple of guys with box cutters should not have been able to hold the entire population of a commercial airliner hostage. It is to the shame of the men on board those flights that the situation was allowed to continue.
To be compliant to men with machine guns - sure. To be compliant to men with pistols - yes. To be compliant to men with hand grenades - you bet. To be compliant to men with big nasty knives - possibly. But to be compliant to men with little itty-bitty box cutters - no way! It is only due to the socialization of the last thirty years, in which America has worked real hard to raise men who have no real understanding of physical violence - and when it's necessary - that such a travesty occurred. We have a culture in this country wherein it is considered "bad form" to critique those who have died and are viewed by the public as martyrs or heroes. I say "BS"! If the men on those flights had stood up and gone after the box cutter-wielding Muslims as soon as they began their assault, the World Trade Center towers would still be standing today and the 3,000 victims would still be with us. Is that an attack upon the Americans who died in those planes? No; it is an indictment of a national culture that has attempted to turn American men into eunuchs who no longer know when to act.
It is not that the Muslim terrorists were well trained or had an intricate plan that could not be thwarted once detected; it was that most American men have lost the innate understanding about when to stand up and fight. If there is any doubt about this, look at the results on United Airlines flight 93 in which we know that the men on board took physical action against the highjackers. While the plane crashed into an open field, it was not used as a deadly weapon against anyone else. However one feels about the outcome of flight 93, the men aboard that flight understood that they could not, and should not, capitulate to a couple of men with box cutters. In my opinion, the American men aboard flight 93 did their duty to themselves, to their fellow citizens, and their country. More so than anyone else involved in the events of 9/11, the men aboard flight 93 are the true heroes.
An excellent example of people taking action is the passengers of American Airlines flight 63 on December 22, 2001. Avowed Al Qaeda member Richard Reid (the now infamous "shoe bomber") was attacked by passengers as he attempted to light a fuse to detonate the explosive in the heel of his show. Because they acted without hesitation, the passengers saved themselves and Richard Reid is today languishing in a federal penitentiary.
I'm sure we all remember the mantra we heard while growing up; "Violence never solves anything". That statement was crap then and its still crap now. There are things in this world that only violence can solve. Ask the men of flight 93. Ask the departed souls from the World Trade Center and the Pentagon if they'd have wanted the men on board those 3 flights to take action against the terrorists!
The results of our inquiry shows us that the events of 9/11 did not occur because of the intricate planning of the terrorists, nor was the highjacking masterfully performed. Their plan was simple and their methods crude. Edmund Burke wrote, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing". Today we might write, "All that is necessary for terrorists to prevail is for American men to fail to understand when to fight".
So why do we hear the incessant cry of "TERRORISM, TERRORISM, TERRORISM", day and night, day in and day out? Is there really a cause for this unending assault on the ears and mind? I would tell you that the answer is a resounding "NO"! We hear this incessant cry because it serves the goals of the political and media elite, as well as salves the anxiety of soft and feeble Americans.
We have allowed the government and the media to take us back to our childhood and bring back the terror of the Boogey Man. We don't know what he looks like, but we're afraid. We don't know what, or even "if", he's got anything up his sleeve, but we're afraid. Every day we're told, "Beware the terrorist Boogey Man" and so we're afraid. Like the little children we used to be, we are told to fear the Boogey Man and so we do.
As children we learned to defeat the Boogey Man of our imagination. It is now time to defeat the fear inculcated by the government and media and banish the terrorist Boogey Man from our minds. Prepare if you must; learn to handle yourself physically if you wish; carry weapons if you will; but do not cower in fear. Live free; be brave; act like true Americans. And if you think permitting the government to further trample your rights will save you from the Boogey Man - you must still believe in Santa Claus.