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Sunday, September 25, 2016

I have not seen the video.

Not saying I won’t, but for now, I’ve chosen not to. To rush online and seek out cellphone footage of two fanatics with machetes who butchered a British soldier in London on Wednesday, to watch them standing there, hands painted red with his blood, speaking for the cameras, would feel like an act of complicity, like giving them what they want, like being a puppet yanked by its strings.

Sometimes, especially in the heat of visceral revulsion, we forget an essential truth about terrorism. Namely, that the people who do these things are the opposite of powerful. Non-state sponsored terror is a tactic chosen almost exclusively by the impotent.

These people have no inherent power. They command no armies, they boss no economies, their collective arsenals are puny by nation-state standards. No, what they have is a willingness to be random, ruthless and indiscriminate in their killing.

But they represent no existential danger. The United States once tore itself in half and survived the wound. Could it really be destroyed by men using airliners as guided missiles? Britain was once bombed senseless for eight months straight and lived to tell the tale. Could it really be broken by two maniacs with machetes?

Of course not.

No, terrorism’s threat lies not in its power, but in its effect, its ability to make us appalled, frightened, irrational, and, most of all, convinced that we are next, and nowhere is safe. Here, I’m thinking of the lady who told me, after 9/11, that she would never enter a skyscraper again. As if, because of this atrocity, every tall building in America — and how many thousands of those do we have? — was suddenly suspect. And I’m thinking of my late Aunt Ruth who, at the height of the anthrax scare, required my uncle to open the mail on the front lawn after which, she received it wearing latex gloves.

I am also thinking of the country itself, which, in response to the 9/11 attacks, launched two wars — one more than necessary — at a ruinous cost in lives, treasure and credibility that will haunt us for years.

  • John Pigg

    I second your proposal. Great article.

    The media has significant responsibility in its covering of heinous acts. Over the past year the media has jumped from one atrocity to the next while preaching death and destruction. In its urge to seize on a story we indirectly inspire those who commit atrocities.

    • lana ward

      It’s the medias’ job to report on ALL that goes on. I’m really surprised they covered this, there is so much they don’t cover. Fox covers ALL stories as reporters should!!!

      • Allan Richardson

        Does Faux Newz cover banks foreclosing on homeowners who DID NOT EVEN HAVE A LOAN because of bad paperwork practices? I doubt it.

        They cover ALL stories that can be manipulated to promote their own political agenda, which includes even the most un-political acts of terrorism (such as the ones that turn out to be personal grudges or personal psychiatric problems). You would never find out from them that the number of people dying because of INSURANCE-DENIED medical treatment is equivalent to NINE 9/11 ATTACKS EVERY YEAR. Maybe that is because they did not all die at once in buildings burning from an attack by foreign radicals.

        • lana ward

          Yes, Fox reported on those who didn’t even have loans. Fox business channel reported on it extensively. They cover ALL stories, including those on OHitler that other channels won’t cover.–WHY do you think OHiter HATES them so????.BECAUSE THEY REPORT NEWS

          • Allan Richardson

            Why do YOU hate the President so much that you make up a nickname that compares him to the worst (or maybe 2nd worst; he and Stalin are about tied in LIFETIME crimes) butcher in the 20th century? Especially when the POLICIES of the American right wing are closer to the (LESS evil parts, fortunately, of the) policies of Hitler than the POLICIES of American liberals? Do you even know the DIFFERENCE between socialism and fascism? Did you know that the German fascists CALLED themselves “socialists” because it sounded more liberal to the Weimar Republic voters, and that they had that name BEFORE Hitler joined them and took them over?

            You appear to belong to a hard core minority who are upset that the election went against them (TWICE) and attribute that to some “bewitching” power of the winners, or to the votes of some human beings whom you consider subhuman and thus not qualified to vote (considering a group of people subhuman is one of the key items in the definition of fascism).

            If you merely DISAGREE with specific policies of the President and the Democratic Party, past or present, give us a civil, rational argument as to WHY, for example, it is better to let 30 million go without health insurance, knowing some 27 thousand a year (equal to NINE 9/11 attacks) will die because they cannot get medical care, than to try to save as many of them as possible? Or WHY it is better to let the wealthy and the corporate bosses rig the economy to make everyone else poor than to regulate and tax them at reasonable levels for the sake of making the entire country better off? Or WHY it is better to let roads and bridges fall apart (three in the last decade, only one due to direct damage) than to raise taxes on those who can afford it (who travel much more than those with lower incomes) to get them fixed? Or WHY it is better to let poisons flow unimpeded into the water you drink and the air you breathe than to “bother” polluting businesses to clean it up?

            If you can state such a rational argument without using insults like “Ohitler” and “Sambo” then people would be more likely to enter into a dialog with you, and both sides could learn from each other.

          • lana ward

            I hate him because he is purposely destroying America. He is a traitor, on the side of muslims, NOT Americans. Hitler and OHitler are the ONLY 2 leaders who have ever had their own symbols in history.

          • You were asked to contribute to a reasonable, logical dialogue; you wasted the opportunity to throw insults as usual. Please give us some facts about the supposed “symbol” that President Obama has.

        • lana ward

          I’m sorry for being a bitch with you , but everyone here calls me a liar and swears, which I really don’t care, have at it. So that is why I am a bitch when on this site! I become everyone else : )

      • John Pigg

        Fox News network is incredibly selective in the content and the material they cover. I have long since given up on the network as a good source of news. I would recommend you do the same.

        • lana ward

          Everything they have reported is found out to be true. They report plenty more than all other channels. Why do you think they have been #1 for 13 years?? All other channels ratings are slipping

          • John Pigg

            They are number one because they scare people into tuning in. They have been wrong on numerous fronts the most egregious and telling example was their coverage of the 2012 presidential elections.

            The reasons other networks are slipping is because a growing segment of the US population now gets its news from online sources.

          • lana ward

            Where did you come up with they scare people into watching when it is OHitler who tries to scare people into not watching!! Name something they have been wrong on besides the election. There are MANY stories MSM won’t touch and Fox reports them. Gosnell murder trial for one. All channels are slipping except Fox because people want ALL of the News, not just what the MSM wants you to hear

          • John Pigg

            http://gawker.com/5814309/jon-stewart-reads-off-laundry-list-of-false-statements-by-lying-dynasty-fox-news

            Did you watch Fox news during the economic crises? I do, and I also heard of acquaintances who watch too much Fox made some very bad choices with their 501k because of it.

          • lana ward

            Yes. I watch Fox all the time. Don’t believe your “acquaintances”. Fox is the best when giving financial advice

          • John Pigg

            Agree to disagree on this issue. I don’t think I can accurately express and address our differences regarding this issue online.

          • John Pigg

            Oh please, don’t tell me you are comparing your constitutionally elected President of the United States of America to Hitler. If so you really have a lot to learn about being an American.

          • lana ward

            Being an American, do I have to learn we have 57 States??

          • latebloomingrandma

            Yes–they are so accurate, poor Romney didn’t even have a concession speech prepared, he was sure that he would win –because of FOX NEWS.

          • lana ward

            Yes, Romney did win!! OHitler, with the help of George Soros and the IRS stole the election–watch and see. And we still have to get to the bottom of Fast&Furious, Benghazi, OHitler snooping on the AP and Fox News especially. Fox has been #1 for 13 years for a reason–that’s why OHitler hates them

          • Please share some facts, and some links to news organizations that prove that President Obama “stole the election:. This looks like more Fox conspiracy theory nonsense.

          • John Pigg

            Romney was doing poorly in every battleground state. There was no stolen election. The Libertarian Party received at least 1% of the vote nationally. A great many of these were disappointed Ron Paul voters. Had the GOP been more inclusive and less divisive the election would have been theirs but this party made every effort to discourage alternative support.

  • Watching videos of criminal elements cayying our their crimes elevate their stature and encourages others to emulate their actions. They don’t deserve attention or even a comment.

    • lana ward

      Had citizens been able to be armed, someone could have shot the SOB. Guns are banned in the UK. Acts like that will happen here too. Just thank God OHitler hasn’t taken our guns!!!–yet

      • Allan Richardson

        I see some merit in that argument; in fact, even though I am a liberal on gun control, I thought of that myself, since I do not believe gun control should be as TOTAL as in some other countries (though perhaps they have had a more polite population until kooks like THIS one turned up). Of course, it could also be argued that, with American style laws on guns, the terrorist could have been armed with an AK-47 or some other awesome weapon, and mowed down DOZENS of people instead of hacking up one soldier. We will never know which way that would have gone. What bothers me more is why the bystanders did not even try to throw ROCKS at this guy? I am sure that a street full of Americans, even LIBERAL Americans not carrying guns, would have made such a move.

        By the way, NOBODY wants to take guns away from law abiding adults, just to make at least a token effort to make it a bit harder for criminals and mentally unstable people to get them. Yes, experienced criminals will be able to use the black market to get guns (sometimes from law abiding citizens who want to make a few bucks), but “criminals in waiting” such as abusive spouses, unstable people, etc. will have a harder time in the beginning, and thus a chance to cool down before getting a weapon. As long as you are not a “kook” you should have no problem getting more guns.

        • lana ward

          Obama wants gun confiscation. He can’t take our guns so his DHS is buying up all of the ammo to make guns useless. The muslim terrorist that butchered that soldier had a gun. Why use it, he wanted to see blood and guts, that is the way muslims are raised. Google, Darsano Rahardjo, he was a classmate of Obamas’ in Indonesia. He was found with his head cut off. Classmates were sure Obama did it

          • Allan Richardson

            Keep working on your fantasy. You may be able to work it into a book … if you can get copyright permission from Faux Newz!

  • latebloomingrandma

    AS usual ,Mr. Pitts is 100% spot on. Terrorist tactics rely on the visual to instill great fear, which causes irrational decisions. After 9/11 they accomplished this by our response of spending over $1 trillion with the 2 wars, and keeping an ever new circle of people born and bred into hateful ideologies against the Great Satan. Their strategy is now to kill us with a thousand little cuts. The terrorists are only effective if we let them be by our responses. Perhaps a good defense is actually a good defense. The best thing that happened in the past year’s responses to terrorism is New Yorkers back in Times Square the day after the almost bomber was discovered, and Boston’s pledge to have next year’s marathon bigger and better. The President is trying to change the mindset of this futile “war on terror”. He will have a hard job, what with Lindsey Graham and John McCain types squawking about his naivete. Well, their way hasn’t worked so well, has it, unless you like Americas’ main business enterprise to be war.

    • Regarding President Obama’s efforts to change our mindset and our propensity to overreact or seek facile solutions to complex problems, one of the greatest obstacles to overcome is the determination of special interests to perpetuate war at the most effective means to guarantee our national security. The most important goal for them is not moral imperatives, the pursuit of long term solutions, our international credibility, or our troops. Their top priority has always been, and remains, the accumulation of wealth.

    • lana ward

      I’m surprised the MSM covered this. There is so much they don’t cover, unlike Fox. There is a gun ban in the UK otherwise someone could have shot the bastard instead of watching for 20 minutes while he slaughtered someone. Sickening. It’s gonna start happening here too. Be thankful OHitler hasn’t taken our guns–yet

  • 1bythebrooks2

    What a great article! Don’t give these cowards the video time of day!

  • The terrorists have won because the American government has largely responded just as they would want – by engaging in reckless military action which proves their allegations against us, and by eroding freedoms here at home. The terrorists haven’t forced this. The reaction is due to the stupidity and lack of creativity of the ruling class.

  • RobertCHastings

    Back in the 70’s and 80’s, when it seems like every other week brought another vicious terrorist assault on civilians, it seems as though the media could not wait to find out as much as possible about the event itself. Much was said at the time about depriving the terrorists of their stage by NOT publishing pictures or footage, and that sounded reasonable to a lot of people. The visual impact of an act of terror gives the terrorist his power, and that power extends exponentially the more people who view it. We have, from that period, seen bodies pushed from planes sitting on tarmacs, old men in wheelchairs being pushed overboard from a captured cruise ship, and countless other senseless acts of violence which become elevated to the level of politically motivated terrorism just in the viewing. The media must learn to retrain its prurient fascination with violence.

    • lana ward

      It is the medias’ job to report, they did the right thing, for once

      • RobertCHastings

        They need to gain some perspective for this type of coverage, though. The stock in trade of the terrorist is not necessarily the public killing of innocents, but the wide audience to which these killing will be shown, by a media that is more than anxious to attain higher ratings than their competitors. I recall a story by Fox a few weeks ago in which the lead commentator was begging his producer to cut his cameras. The request was refused, with the apparently full knowledge that failure to do so would result in the on-screen, live suicide of someone who was being interviewed. Do you feel that is a proper use of journalistic discretion?

  • Mikey7a

    Mr. Pitts, You have so eloquently expressed my personal view on the whole “terrorist” situation. I have had very heated arguments with friends, and family over this very subject. Every time another of these “cells” does anything, the media replays the act until the next one comes along. Oh how I wish one of the three major networks would see it our way, and refuse to show the actual crime. Yes, go ahead and report that something happened, and when, and if the authorities apprehended the suspects. Follow the story with a disclaimer saying something like this “We feel it necessary to keep you informed, but we are refusing to give ANY visual airtime to these individuals.” They could do human interest stories, such as the Boston Marathoners finishing their race across the Bricks at Indy! Show how we are not only coping, but have every intention of minimizing the “terror” affect of most of these murders! These are just that too, murders…not acts of war, not anything justified, simply humans committing the ultimate crime against their fellow man. Of course those directly caught up in any attack have every right to grieve, and expect swift, decisive, and complete justice for their lost and injured loved ones, but glorifying it, and turning the news into a “reality” show, with vengeful Muslims as the stars has long ago run it’s course.

  • Jskjdofwkjwvkvsdkvjvk Ghjfhwrh

    Why in He– did you and your hate bring a great person and U.S. Senitor like John McCain itto this LATEBLOOMING GRAND IDOT ?