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Terrorists Followed Media Violence Script
(10/25/01)


A response to Terrorists Followed Media Violence Script:

>> do you think the parties responsible for 9/11 did it because they watched too many disaster movies? <<

As I wrote in a Counterpunch response to a Counterpunch article:

Morgenthal must not read his Los Angeles Times, because the Times quoted cultural critic Neal Gabler on the terrorists' obvious media borrowings: "Just as pop culture may provide a matrix that can help survivors cope, [Gabler] added, it also seemed to offer a blueprint for the terrorists. The precise choreography of the attacks suggested the planners were consciously using movie-like images to terrorize the public."

To elaborate, I've discussed all the ways terrorists could terrorize America with another correspondent. Forget about anthrax and bioterrorism. As one example, using advanced switching technology, they could phone in 1,000 anonymous bomb threats to American businesses per hour. Or they could hack into the Internet and disable itsomething I've read about as a daily editor at Corante.com.

These attacks would paralyze the country far more than the one-time airplane strikes did. So yes, I agree with Gabler that the terrorists may have gotten their ideas from the media. They concluded that many low-level incidents wouldn't shake up America's complacency. Only a bold, unmistakable gesture would.

Does that answer your question? Terrorists have been terrorizing the world for decades, so it's not as if this is something brand-new. The question is how they chose to follow acts like the attack on the USS Cole, not whether.

Apparently, they're thinking big. Take out as big a target as possible with the fewest resources expended. That's why I suspect the anthrax attacks will prove to be from homegrown anti-government terrorists. These attacks are too "small" and amateurish for Bin Laden (as I perceive him).


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