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The Boy Who Cried 'Wolf'
July 20, 2005 6:30 AM   Subscribe

The Boy Who Cried 'Wolf' On the day after a survey finds upwards of 25,000 civilian deaths in the Iraq War; and days after the War on Terror arrived on British shores, amidst the inevitable "how did we get here?" navel-gazing, Manic of the Bloggerheads weblog re-writes a popular fable. The continued invocation of the spectres of terrorism and the ghost of 9/11, he argues, slowly erodes the liberties and freedoms of hundreds of years, while fighting a war against an unconventional enemy beyond our borders does not necessarily guarantee security.
posted by scaryduck (11 comments total)

 
If you read Mark Sidel's book More Secure, Less Free?: Antiterrorism Policy and Civil Liberties after September 11 he talks a lot about how most of the anti-terrorism legislation is not actually used against terrorists- or if it is no one in the public knows how many terrorists have been thwarted because of it. Furthermore, parts of the Patriot Act I & II that curb civil liberties were pushed long before 9-11. 9-11 has only given the conservative right an opportunity to push their legislation through. My point of view is that terrorism seems to be a second hand issue behind a "hidden" agenda, but I'm sure every here knew that before.
posted by j-urb at 6:59 AM on July 20, 2005


Cute. What was the moral again?
posted by dead_ at 7:03 AM on July 20, 2005


Meanwhile, the boy who cried 'the boy who cried wolf' was rebuked by one irascible villager, who was critical of what he felt was a lame-assed FPP, without being quite able to decide on a category in which to flag it.
posted by misteraitch at 7:04 AM on July 20, 2005


This is good. I watched The Power Of Nightmares over the weekend, a series that really opens the eyes to the whole situation about the reality behind some of these groups and the political spin that all sides use(d) to their advantage. Pretty essential viewing.
posted by TheDonF at 7:13 AM on July 20, 2005


I like what he's saying... but if you get into REwriting fables, couldn't you re-write it to suit any perspective?
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 8:03 AM on July 20, 2005


You could also weave in "The Emperor has no Clothes" with respect to 'terrorist security measures' that are really just security theater. The problem with security measures that are just for show and to show something is being done, is the people involved are not evaluated on how well they perform their mission because that is not the point. That gives these people with plenty of ways to fuck up and see what they can do with their powers.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 8:26 AM on July 20, 2005


I didn't know the eminent scaryduck was on Metafilter! Excellent!
posted by jamesonandwater at 10:40 AM on July 20, 2005


The continued invocation of the spectres of terrorism and the ghost of 9/11, he argues, slowly erodes the liberties and freedoms of hundreds of years, while fighting a war against an unconventional enemy beyond our borders does not necessarily guarantee security.

I have read all of the links and I did not see “him” arguing anything of the sort. In fact, he does the parable thing and signs off.

Where are the citations for the "erosion of liberties"? Do you mean in the US or UK?

Some of the posts above reference the PATRIOT ACT but there is no mention of equivalent laws passed in the UK (For example, the Prevention of Terrorism Bill 2005 [pdf]).

Also, UN Resolution 1373 A resolution that required all UN member states to change their laws to a) criminalize terrorism, b) stop the flow of money to terrorists, c) prevent terrorist attacks from occurring, 4) share information with other countries about terrorism suspects and 5) prevent the immigration, asylum and refugee system from being used by terrorists.

The US provides far greater protections of civil liberties than the UK does.
posted by mlis at 1:44 PM on July 20, 2005


I wonder if UN Resolution 1373 says anything about the right of government agents to inspect the lending records of your local library -- not to mention making it illegal to disclose that said records have indeed been inspected.

But, you know, I'm just thinking out loud, having no desire to walk around with my eyes wide shut just because I don't like what I'm seeing...
posted by clevershark at 5:08 PM on July 20, 2005


This reminds me a lot of Zamyatin's work during the heyday of the Soviet Union. The Lion comes to mind.
posted by voltairemodern at 6:12 PM on July 20, 2005


The straussian adoption of plato's notion of the noble lie comes to mind. Scaring the bejesus out of folks is supposed to motivate the people to prepare for the real challenges facing us, for example, from China, the Islamist movement or anyone else stupid enough to challenge our policy of full spectrum dominance. Even folks like Pat Buchanan and Michael Lind were warning of the dark manipulations of Wolfowitz and Richard Perle

Then we follow the full arch of the fable. Is it Animal Farm or the fall of the Roman Republic. The same dynamic is playing out here in the U.S. It took 3 or 4 hundred years for the Roman Republic to devolve into an empire. We are only into our third century. Perhaps our massively spun mainstream media is up to the task of eroding our own republic.
posted by sangfroid at 8:59 PM on July 20, 2005


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