Ivo Skoric on Sun, 17 Nov 2002 22:12:01 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Fear Factor

Wasn’t there another suicide bombing in Israel recently? Or did Israel 
again killed some Palestinian civilians mistaking them for terrorists, 

The difference between Israel and the U.S. is that the terrorist danger in 
Israel is real, everyday fact of life, while in the U.S. it is mostly perceived, 
unrealized threat. A couple of days ago US National Security adviser, 
Condolezza Rice, told in a press conference, that the US captured a 
number of high ranking Al Qaeda leaders, but that she couldn’t tell 
where, when, how and whom. She was barely able suppressing to burst 
into laughter. 

Closely followed was her statement that the U.S. received a very serious 
threat of a large scale terrorist operation against air traffic, oil industry, 
infrastructure, etc. So, it is an unspecific threat against unspecific 
targets, and the president changed the color of our terror alert status 
once again from blue to orange. They can strike anywhere, anytime, but 
that’s about all that we know. It must be fun knowing that little and being 
able to scare such a large number of population with such a little factual 

However, at New York JFK airport, they close the gates 90 minutes 
before the departure time, now. How early would they like people to 
come to the airport? Would a day earlier suffice? What’s the point of the 
air travel, then? If it is not going to save you much time over the 
traveling by train, or by ship, for that matter.

Anyway, a friend of mine, en route to Sarajevo over Amsterdam, booked 
a flight with KLM-Northwest and arrived to JFK 65 minutes before her 
scheduled departure. She was told that gate is already closed, according 
to the new regulations, and that she has to reschedule her flight. Of 
course, the $100 rescheduling fee would apply. Clerk pointed out that 
they have a new $1.5 million scanning machine.  That machine now 
obviously needs to be paid for...

When she started arguing, she was given a spiel about how “We here 
had September 11, which you in Europe did not.” Well, she said, “I 
happen to be from a European country which had a September 11 every 
day for five years, so what?” Do they close the gates at the airport in 
Sarajevo 90 minutes before the scheduled flight departure? I don’t think 
so. Neither do they have $1.5 million scanning machines, do they?

What they do have, is that they are the world champions in sitting 
volleyball. Israel is the closest contender. With the championship status 
in this sport being most closely related to the number of young, athletic 
people, that got crippled in their prime.

What they do have, is that they have less of what is theirs every day: 
94% of Croatian banks are already successfully privatized into foreign 
hands. So much for the war for independence and the seat at the UN. 
And in Bosnia, after liquidating BH Banka bank in Sarajevo, Texan Tony 
Robbins, moved on to preside over “re-structuring” of Hercegovacka 
Banka in Mostar, supposedly, bringing it in compliance with Western 

Also, the ‘international community’ ordered Serbia to close 4 largest of 
its banks, labeling them “the pillars of Milosevic’s regime,” leaving 
Serbia virtually stripped from domestic financial infrastructure, leading to 
a near complete consolidation of post-Yugoslav states financial 
resources in foreign hands.

While most of U.S. citizens do not know all those facts, they are aware 
that their government does not exactly behave as Santa Claus abroad. 
So, they understand that they should be scared - however unjustly are 
they targeted in retaliation for the actions of the government that most of 
them never elected (let’s see - Bush won with less than 50% of vote of 
less than 50% of electorate, so that makes about a maximum of 1/4 of 
eligible voters supported him...). 

And they are scared. However, this doesn’t apply to Europe, indeed. Do 
citizens of, let’s say, Norway have to live under ‘orange’ terror alert? No, 
but, as Jimmy Carter, succinctly put: “For every $1 an American gives, a 
Norwegian gives $17."

Ivo Skoric
19 Baxter Street
Rutland VT 05701

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