For those of you who may have missed it over the weekend, press reports say that terrorists trained in Pakistan have slipped into Germany over the past little while. They’re planning to kill us innocent folk at random partly because the German army has 3,000 soldiers in Afghanistan working as part of the international force to
piss off the poppy-growers rebuild the country.
I’m sure it all makes sense to our Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, whose efforts to scare the public into thinking they’re in danger of attack and to clamp down on civil liberties to combat a threat – real or imagined – has inspired the more artistic among the hoi polloi to start stencilling his image on the wall.
Oh, you remember the Stasi, don’t you? The State Security branch of the former East Germany? Spied on people – terrorised them?
Schaeuble is trying his best to push through measures which amount to the most invasive encroachment on civil liberties on German soil since the start of the Cold War. Scariest among them is his wish to allow online searches of people they just don’t like.
In other words, the government here would have the right to somehow secretly install a keylogger in your computer so they could track everything you do online. Every email, every search, every chat, every forum post. Everything.
How they would get beyond a well-maintained firewall is beyond me, but fortunately they’ve just told him he can’t have his way – at least not for now, anyway.
This all fits a pattern of course. The US Department of Homeland Security – a most Orwellian of labels if there ever was one – perfected the art of keeping the populace in a state of constant paranoia almost from the day it was formed a year or so after September 11, 2001. Anyone remember all those scares about white powder in envelopes a few years back? Duct tape? Orange Alerts? No surprise that this has been accompanied by an erosion of civil liberties including a warrantless surveillance program.
Like with everything else originating in the United States, it takes a few years to wash over onto our shores, but eventually it makes it here.
Is resistance futile? Perhaps not.
For those hoping to survive the coming onslaught of terror attacks in Germany, here are a few tips:
- Don’t walk, cycle, drive or take a taxi. In 2006 there were a total of about 5,000 traffic deaths in Germany. The media plays this as good news here, because the numbers have been declining every year from a high around 20,000 in 1970.
- Don’t take the train. You never know.
- Don’t take a bus. You’ve seen how they can blow apart so easily.
- Be suspicious of your neighbour, especially if he looks foreign. If you see a group of five or more, report them to the police. You never know.
- Don’t go shopping. Above all, avoid public markets and squares. You never know.
- Report fat people at once. That could actually be a suicide belt. You never know.
- Remind people that because the terror cell which perpetrated the attacks of September 11 camped out in a suburb of Hamburg, it could happen again.
- Keep the hype going by reminding people that Germany was targetted last year in a foiled suitcase bomb plot. Just don’t tell anyone that of the nearly 500 terrorist attacks or plots in the whole of Europe in 2006, that was the only one carried out by Islamists.
- The day the first terrorist attack hits, make sure you turn around and tell me, “I told you so.” To that I’ll respond: yeah, and in the meantime, another thousand people have died on roads in this country. Another 50,000 died in Hamburg during the Hiroshima of Germany. You think we’ve got problems today? Sure, there are always problems. LIFE is a problem. Deal with it. LIVE it.
Or have we forgotten what a great American once said? The only thing we have to fear is Fear itself.
© 2007 lettershometoyou