By Charlie Doherty
Politician’s today vow to protect us from things we cannot see and cannot understand. The biggest threat of all is that of international terrorism. This is a network of sleeper cells dotted across the world, hell bent on the destruction of western ideals. This has created a reaction in governments to begin what they call a “War on Terror”.
In reality much of this threat has been manufactured and manipulated by politicians for their own political gain. What we perceive to be terrorism today is told to us through are governments, security services and international media organisations.
Leo Strauss was a political Philosopher and classicist, who specialized in classical political philosophy. He was one of the shaping forces behind the Neo conservative movement in America. He was an elusive figure who never was filmed or interviewed. What he taught to a loyal group of followers was that America itself holds its own seeds for its own destruction. He believed that it was the role of politicians in society to implement inspiring myths that everyone could believe in, even if they might be a lie. But this was what he thought of as a “Necessary Illusion”.
In Britain the government and media tells us that there is an overwhelming network of terrorist sleeper cells waiting to attack you and everyone around you. But out of 664 people arrested under the terrorism act since Sep 11, none of them have been convicted to belonging to al-Qaeda. Only 3 people have ever been convicted to have any association with any Islamist group. But none of these convictions had anything to do with a terror plot. They were for the possession of Islamic literature and for fundraising activities.
The overall convictions in Britain under the terrorism act since Sep 11 are members of Irish terrorist groups, such as the UVF and the Real IRA.
Many of the arrests that were claimed to be part of a greater al-Qaeda network were in reality an absurdity. One example of this is that of Mr Zine Loo Barden, who the police believed to be running an international terrorist training camp in London. But under closer examination it was shown to be a self defence course for body guards and was called “Ultimate Jihad Challenge”. His only client was a security guard from a local super market. Mr Zine was cleared of all charges.
A more high profile case was the MI5 foiling of the gas attack on the London tube in 2002. This was also found out to have no foundation. No one has ever been charged for the planning of a gas attack on the London tube. But at the time it was a myth that swept through the media.
As in Britain as well as America there is no evidence what so ever of a well connected and terrifying, evil network of terrorist. But this does not stop the government and media from continually telling us that there is one. What we see is a fantasy and a projection of our worst fears. This not to say that there is no terrorist threat, but the fact is that we have an exaggerated perception of a possibility of terrorism. What is very clear is the way America and other governments have simplified this complex and dangerous threat. They have spun it into a simplistic myth of an organised web of unequally powerful terrorist who will strike anywhere at any time.