A suspicious water cooler was found in the middle of Times Square near 45th Street and Broadway, outside the Marriott Marquis hotel, witnesses and police said. That’s not far from the spot where authorities say Faisal Shahzad left a car bomb that failed to detonate. So the area was cordoned off for a three block radius as the Counter Terrorism Unit of the New York City Police Department sprung into action.
Then I turned my television off.
This was being broadcast live from CNN and I was working on my computer when I got a tweet from a famed writer in the UK asking if NYC was experiencing a bomb threat. I turned on the television saw that he was right. Tweeted a response, watched for ten minutes as the bomb robot failed to conclusively determine whether it was a bomb or not. With my television off, I called a friend and said that there will be nothing there but a bunch of killer beers and (gah!) I was right, nothing but water. I hate when I am right. I wanted it to be filled with deadly nitroglycerin or something that would make the cost of this event worthwhile. Instead, all we get is the cautionary tale that water in plastic bottles may eventually be the death of us all. Okay, good lesson. Lets get on that. Get water to everyone on Earth and get it out of plastic containers. We should be all over it. That is the real news story here so I will report on it again later.
In the meantime, Mayor Michael Bloomberg acknowledged after that incident that terrorists have targeted New York. “We have to take every precaution, as you know, because we remain a prime target for terrorists,” he said. “That’s something all New Yorkers understand, and it’s something that we need Washington to understand, as well. We will continue doing everything we possibly can to protect New Yorkers from terrorist attacks,” he said. “We have, as you know, built the most comprehensive and sophisticated counter-terrorism operation of any local police force in the world.”
Was that before or after the bomb X-ray robot failed to be able to “conclusively” rule out the nature of the threat and human lives were put at risk to finally determine the nature of the threat? So much for technological sophistication. And to be fair New York City gets anywhere from 90-140 bomb threats a day, so I know that the job of a counter-terrorism agent working for the New York Police Department must be a non-stop roller coaster ride, hopefully without too many sudden stops.
I don’t know who to blame in this orgy of media gone mad. Do we really need a second by second broadcast of such an event while it is happening? Let me pose a question. If a terrorist were to plant a bomb, in the middle of Times Square but below the ground out of line of sight, and instead place a water cooler above ground to detract from his real bomb, if he were to wait until every camera in the world were pointed at it, and THEN detonate it, aren’t we doing his work FOR him? He planted the bomb and when it went of, if there were no cameras, it would just be another bomb, albeit in a prominent place, but we have had those all the time, bombings in London, bombings in Paris, bombings in Bagdad. This is not to say that those bombings are not terrible, but we usually get there AFTER the fact. We see the carnage, but not the event. Does anyone happen to think that seeing and recording the event all over the world, would make the potential for terror, for inducing fear and loathing, for making people suspicious of everything and everyone be EXACTLY what the terrorist is hoping for? Could we be doing a better job for him than he could ever get for himself?
Just posing a question, I leave it to the much brighter and more capable minds who run our government, who run our media centers, who decide how important each and every explosion all over the world should be to the psyches of the people who are seeking, no striving to live in world fraught with peril brought on by governments who cannot decide what is most important in the world today. Governments that are managed by CEOs who determine exactly what is the greater good and if it means that people should be traumatized into their homes, so be it. If people should rush out to their movie theaters or shopping malls, so much the better. Bartender, retail therapy for all my friends. And if people in nations not familiar with bombings in public places should have to see them, they should see them in full color, in slow motion, with shrapnel ripping people into tiny bite-sized pieces because no special effects budget will ever be able to get that realistic. EVER. Scaring people into their homes would never be the goal of a government bent on martial control of all aspects of our society. I am confident that corporations only want what is best for us and we know that ultimately RATINGS are all that matter. If it bleeds, it leads, if it explodes, well it totally DOMINATES the marketshare. How could I question our corporate masters and their firm and controlled hand in managing our national welfare? These are not questions for the unwashed masses to consider, unless they are using WATER ® a registered trademark of the Greedy Corporation.
But I will pose this question instead: How much money, how much energy, how much time are we spending fighting an imaginary enemy who only has to make a threat and then watch us squirm ourselves to death every time we THINK there is a threat?
And for you rabid patriots who say that Osama Bin Ladin is real and a dangerous threat, I say to you, nay! So far, all I have seen is a tiny enemy who, using mostly fear tactics, armed with weapons from a war over 20 years ago, (AK-47s and the oh-so ubiquitous desert rocks) and some weapons stolen from the forces who occupy their country, hold our entire nation as a hostage, we are afraid to fly, we are scanning our water and air and food, we are now afraid to go to Times Square, we are spending billions on a war in a country that for the most part has NO redeeming features (other than the precious life-blood of our technological excess, OIL) that we are willing to kill other humans, bankrupt our nation, sacrifice our brothers and sisters, to chase a man and an ideology that certainly do not warrant the attention (or the hundreds of billions or the tens of thousands of lives lost). Why can’t we just stop aiding and abetting terrorists in terrorizing our own nation?
Personally, we cannot get out of those countries soon enough. Let’s fix the problem on our end. Stop using so much damn oil. Use what we have in a more responsible manner. Stop letting it float off into the oceans from our sloppy ocean going vessels with drunken captains, or allowing it to flow freely from underwater facilities who should have every resource at their command to make getting that oil as safe as possible, be that training, technology, human development or just spending the half a million dollars on the part that would shut off the flow during a damned emergency. Find better, cleaner and more energetic power sources, stop making robots of mass destruction (when the war started there were probably 100 robots for the entire army, now there are over 12,000), stop bombing that war-torn region (which has been war-torn for over 1000 years or more) stop sacrificing lives over the irrational idea that our religion’s imaginary friend is better than their religion’s imaginary friend. Can’t our imaginary friends just get along? After all, they are just imaginary…