More U.S Media Scare Tactics, or Legitimate Threat?

Today, I read an articile on the BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14857416 – that states there is a serious threat to New York City and Washinton DC in the next few days in accordance with the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. Evidence has said to be found during the Bin Laden compound raid.

Possible terror acts are said to be vehicle bombs in either city, or targets to bridges, tunnels, and public transit. In response, both Washington and NYC are beefing up security and warning citizens to be “the eyes and ears of vigilance” (Hilary Clinton).

This story, though frightening and intriguing, is yet another example of scare tactics put out through the US government and media. Yes, it is obvious that a significant anniversary of a terrorist attack could spark fear of another, but how many warnings, alerts, and reports must we hear of potential attacks before they lose meaning? Every Christmas since 9/11, terror alerts have skyrocketed. Every September 11 there is talk of a possible threat and airport security is tight. Everytime there is a rumour of any possible blacklisted Middle Eastern entering the country, we are notified. And frankly, at first, it scared us.

People avoid holiday travel. People avoid air travel completely! We are now body scanned when we want to go on vacation. Our shoes are potention bombs. Our toothpaste is categorized as a possible explosive. And our nailclippers, OUR NAILCLIPPERS, could help take down a plane. Our intense fear of dying, of being killed in a terrorist attack, does not only provide justification for ridiculous laws and regulations, but it is a major consequence of such scare tactics like this recent report.

Across the United States, Canada, and the World, this September 11, 2011, was going to be a day of remembrance, mourning, and memorial. Events, speeches, TV Specials, and candle-light vigils were going to dominate Sunday. But if you live in NYC or DC, you may be thinking twice about attending such activites after reading about these threats. Many people, especially those in New York, are still deeply scarred from what they witnessed 10 years ago. They have a legitimate reason to be. But is this a legitimate threat, or is it just another scare tactic to keep us on our toes, to remind us that we are not safe, and never will be?

I guess we’ll find out on Sunday.

 

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