The Face of Your Enemy

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posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 06:14 AM
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We seem to be living at a point in history when the word "enemy" has taken on meanings and connotations enough to keep most of us cautious, if not outright scared to death, all of the time. Our enemies seem to be both everywhere and nowhere at all. Most of us, at least in the west, never even come face to face with those who we consider to be against us. And, yet, we invest so much of ourselves into fear of them that we have quite literally learned to mold our very lives around our fears.

Given that I am a bit older than the median ATS member, I have an understanding of this blind fear which supersedes our current demons. I can remember when the boogieman was not an Arab at all. In fact, I can remember when the boogieman of today was actually our ally against the boogieman of yesteryear. This small and random happenstance of perspective has led me to ponder and analyze how things have changed, over the course of my life... and how they have stayed the same. Those intellectual meanderings have been festering within me for some time and they now lead me to write this thread... So, without further ado;

The Face of Your Enemy



The Cold War





I was born into a world where "enemy" was an easy word to understand. It was black and white. There was a very clear "us" and a very clear "them". Capitalism versus Communism. And, though I was born a bit late to have experienced the "Communists in our soup" era of McCarthyism, I most definitely was born into the unfettered terror that era had given way to. The stakes were high, during my childhood, and one image was constantly drilled into my head:



An image that was always there. I personally had many nightmares about nuclear war. But, hey, can you blame me? As an elementary school student it was common for us to have nuclear war drills. We'd be instructed to curl up in a fetal ball, under our desks, and we were assured that this would somehow be beneficial to our safety.

Even as a six year old I was pretty sure that the "fetal ball" defense would not stand up to vaporization. But what else was there really to do, other than present a shape that made for the most organized and orderly dust pile?

My entire childhood was haunted by the specter of and the fallout from the "red scare". The news would often remind us that the doomsday clock was always just a few ticks away from letting us all know that the party was officially over and that the cockroaches and Keith Richards were due to take over the world. The news, the MSM, often sprinkled in healthy doses of Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce just to keep our fear on its toes.

The atmosphere of society was utterly permeated by fear during this period and we, surely, knew the face of our enemy.



But, then, a funny thing happened on the way to the apocalypse...

An actor who had the gall to think himself a politician said a few words...



... and, as if by magic, the boogieman, who had tormented us and forced us to live in fear, simply went away. Without firing a single shot. Without the launch of even one ICBM, it was over.

People who had literally spent their entire lives in terror suddenly had nothing to be afraid of. And this, well this was problematic indeed. I mean... if there is no threat of a boogieman, hiding in the closet, to keep the kids in bed, then how can order be maintained? Common sense tells us that you simply have to have a villain if you are going to write any heroes into your story.

It didn't take long for TPTB to find one for us.

The Arab Menace Version 1



Oddly, even though, in the waning years of the Cold War, Iran had taken 52 American citizens hostage, and kept them hostage for well over a year. It seems that the cult of the Ayatollah Khomeini didn't have the sauce to be our boogieman. For reasons I'll never quite understand, we opted to make the enemy of our enemy into, well, our enemy. And the new face of terror and fear became this guy...



... and, knowing just which buttons to push in order to get the American public adequately frightened and angry, this guy came complete with the specter of weapons of mass destruction.. And if that wasn't enough to get us all on board with our new boogieman, the ante was upped... This guy came complete with his own army of super soldiers, known as the Republican Guard.
This was a dire enemy indeed! And we rallied round the flag as our leaders prepped us for war.

But this plan hit an unavoidable snag. The boogieman wasn't very boogiemanesque once the shooting started. In fact, when we attacked this boogieman his defenses pretty much folded faster than a 1990's Internet IPO. And we learned that "Republican Guard" was pretty much boogieman code for "really hungry guys who like to surrender."

This period of time stands out so vividly in my mind. I was a young man who had just gotten married and had become a father for the first time. I was working two jobs to support my new family and, for a couple of months, my ritual was to wander in, from work, look at my son, as he lay in his crib, sound asleep, and then turn on CNN so I could watch the days "smart bomb" footage. I probably spent an hour, each and every night, in this surreal video-game like reality... the news showing night vision footage of bombs as they struck buildings, cars, planes, roads... anything and everything. My life was good in those days, as were most other peoples I knew.

And this does not bode well for boogiemen, nor for the effect that they are supposed to have upon a general population. It didn't take long before the specter raised in Desert Storm was behind us and we entered a strange little stage of history that I will call...

The Quiet Time



This was the ten year (give or take a bit) when we lived, for the first time in a very, very long time, without a boogieman to frighten us. These were heady and wonderful years. Jobs were plentiful. Prices were low. People really seemed to have evolved beyond their past paradigms and it truly felt like we might just make it. These were, undoubtedly, the best years of my life thus far.

Of course we did have a couple of flare ups, and some very demonic folks tried to make themselves into boogiemen. But, overall, they failed to capture our imaginations to that degree.

One act, during this period did bring us back to that state of terror that always seemed to be just an instant away. That act was the Oklahoma City bombing.



The day that this happened I had walked into a Target Department store with my (now ex) wife. Being male, I did what I always did upon entering a department store... I made a beeline for the electronics department. Upon arriving in that magic land of gadgets, I found throngs of people staring at a wall of televisions which all carried live images of the above... the shell of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building smoldering away.

I didn't ask anyone any questions as I stared blankly at the screen. I instantly and instinctively knew that I was looking into the face of my old enemy. I knew that the boogieman had come to call. My first thought, like I think most had, was that it simply must be Islamic terrorists. Even though we had yet to reach the era of "The Arab Menace Version 2", it was a given that western people didn't do these kinds of things. Right? Right?

Of course the answer is "Wrong". It turns out some misguided Americans, thinking of themselves as "patriots" were to blame. Guys named Timothy McViegh (Who, incidentally, died by lethal injection on June 11, 2001, just three months to the day before our next boogieman appears), Terry Nichols, and Michael and Lori Fortier.

This group did not meet our collective definition of "boogiemen". Though, interestingly, they foreshadow into this very strongly.

Our magical decade without a boogieman couldn't last though. And as we are all aware, on September 11, 2001 we were offered up the most vile and vicious boogieman that even a fiction writer could fathom.

The Arab Menace Version 2





There is nothing I can say, regarding this date that hasn't already been said thousands of times, by thousands of ATSers already. Some events transcend words... This one may be the most graphic and wholly manifest example of such an event. This tragedy created rifts in our world the likes of which had not been seen since those days of McCarthyism. Rifts which continue to haunt and polarize us. And, from the ashes of those towers. From the blood of the 2,996 innocent victims of the heinous acts perpetrated against us on that horrible day - our new boogieman arose...



What can be said? As a boogieman, Osama Bin Laden and his purported organization, Al-Qaeda fits the bill perfectly. They are like ghosts. Evil spirits who can live everywhere, anywhere, and nowhere at all. Al-Qaeda is everywhere, Al-Qaeda is nowhere. All most of us really know is that these are people who live far away, worship a God we don't understand, and who want to kill us, for no reason we can comprehend, with a zeal that we find more than disturbing.

This time around there is no economic situation to "bring down the wall". There is no nation for us to point at - a nation that might, one day, fall, leaving us with no go-to boogieman.

Al-Qaeda is the perfect demon to hide under the bed to keep all the kiddies from getting up at night. Al-Qaeda is the perfect villain to dangle in our faces in order to justify just about anything.

This villain has been our reason for nearly ten years of non-stop war. Hundreds of thousands of human deaths can be lain at the feet of our "war" against this boogieman. Ten years of fear, panic, sorrow, and loss. Loss of freedom, life, and of hope.

The Face of Todays Enemy



And this brings us up to date. We now find ourselves in a society stretching at the seams. A society on the brink of insanity. TPTB seem to have created the perfect boogieman... a little too perfect. During the McCarthy years we certainly turned upon one another. But this time around... this time we are turning on one another with violence. Our actions, and reactions, go beyond simple fear and have leaked into the realm of pure and real hatred.

Our compassion... our sense of commonality... our trust... all victims of this latest boogieman.

Now we sell out our rights, our neighbors, and our souls as we seek safety and retribution for the day that those two towers collapsed into dust. Now we turn upon one another like ravenous dogs left unattended. We polarize into factions, spew vitriol, and make threats with intent.

Some of us threaten to take up arms as a means of taking back the peace that we once knew. Some of us even try. We kill one another as if we, ourselves, were boogiemen. And we do this all with a wanton abandon. We do this all with a blood lust that brings with it a troubling truth...

In our war against our boogiemen, we, ourselves, have taken upon ourselves his semblance. We find ourselves behaving in the same misguided ways as our enemies might.

And in our actions, whether they feel warranted or not, we come to an ultimate and unavoidable truth. If we do not learn to temper our actions and our outlooks... if we cannot find our commonality, once again, and strive to be shining lights in this world... then the day may well come, and very soon, when we awake to discover that we, and our neighbors, community, and even our government all fall into the trap.

When that day comes, you won't have to look far, at all, to see the face of the enemy.



Just my thoughts. Thank you for reading them!

~Heff




posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 06:35 AM
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Thanks for making me think out of the box, really good post, and thanks for taking the time to put this up, takes time and im too lazy eheheh.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 07:24 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Bravo to you , good sir! Very well thought out and presented rather eloquently. It seems that a lot of people tend to forget that it's the little things that really matter. Our commonalities and our subtle differences all help to color this world that has the potential to be beautiful beyond words. I for one stopped believing in the Boogieman a long, long time ago. Peace.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 07:53 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


I think people are too afraid to look in the mirror in case this happens...





Apologies for that, could'nt be helped.

On a serious note however, I think most but not all people are well aware that they are lied too constantly, manipulated en masse and that they allow it to happen but the real problem is that to do anything about it you need a leader to unite people against a common enemy. This is the stumbling block because the system is already in place in a way that nobody can gain influence without taking part in the very system that they want to stop.
There are very few people with unquestionable motives, ive yet to come across one in my time, even people with the best intentions are corrupted during their quest for a better world.

Heck, even if you managed to get past all the pitfalls, guess what, you are the new boogieman!



I believe it was Adolf Hitler's propoganda minister who once said "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it"

Maybe some people really do believe everything they see and hear but thats another thing ive yet to come across.

edit on 13-1-2011 by XXXN3O because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 08:10 AM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


well done Heff !!

now if you can only get that massage to the masses, and they were willing to put aside "American Idol" for 10 minutes.......we might have a chance..

would be interested to know if you have any solutions?

S&F

Parker



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 08:18 AM
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A simply fantastic thread........

2nd line



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 08:21 AM
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Originally posted by ParkerCramer
reply to post by Hefficide
 


would be interested to know if you have any solutions?



Turn on your TV, open a box of microwaved nacho's crammed with junk, suspend your thoughts and gorge your mind on the crap that vomits into your head...



We are all in this "war against idealogical extremists who do not believe in free societies who happen to use terror as a weapon to try to shape the coinscience of the free world" together!

We will defeat the evil ones in the end!




posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 09:47 AM
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Thanks for the input and addition guys!


I debated about jumping on the current "bandwagon" while authoring the OP to this thread. But, as I weigh things out, throwing in a slight addendum seems appropriate:

Our Current Enemy





I believe this relevant as, one look into those eyes, and we can see a real boogieman... one who nestled right amongst us.

Now how long before someone like this...



...uses the actions of the few to scrutinize or demonize the intentions or ideas of the rest of us?

~Heff



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 01:21 PM
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Yep, sometimes I look in the mirror and I just want to slap myself. "How did YOU let this happen? What lies did YOU swallow? What actions did YOU fail to take?"

I don't like to be defeatist--and I'm not so sure that I am--but I sometimes feel that the only meaningful thing I, or anyone else can do, lies not so much in today--it's too late for that--but rather in the future.

On that day, the day of reckoning that I feel we ALL will face, we (I) will be faced with the opportunity to just say "no." No matter what the cost. S&F.

"An orderly pile of dust," I'm still giggling...



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 01:40 PM
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Originally posted by Hefficide

I believe this relevant as, one look into those eyes, and we can see a real boogieman... one who nestled right amongst us.

Now how long before someone like this...



~Heff

gosh, that was weird looking at Napolitano.
I had a flashback to the Janet Reno days
and the Waco Massacre.
hmmmmm
double Janets
edit on 1/13/2011 by boondock-saint because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 01:53 PM
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reply to post by XXXN3O
 


WOW Bush said the same exact thing about repeating things to get his point across
can't remember what post but i seen the vid on here a few days ago



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 02:07 PM
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"Boogieman" are created to look evil by the true "evil" The more scared you are the easier you are to control.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 02:47 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


Awesom awesome read. Very well written and well said. Thank you for the opportunity to read something that is actualy quite enjoyable.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by Hefficide
... and, as if by magic, the boogieman, who had tormented us and forced us to live in fear, simply went away. Without firing a single shot. Without the launch of even one ICBM, it was over.

People who had literally spent their entire lives in terror suddenly had nothing to be afraid of. And this, well this was problematic indeed. I mean... if there is no threat of a boogieman, hiding in the closet, to keep the kids in bed, then how can order be maintained? Common sense tells us that you simply have to have a villain if you are going to write any heroes into your story.

It didn't take long for TPTB to find one for us.


To be fair, the Zbigniew Brzezinski-engineered Soviet War in Afghanistan brought upon economic depression throughout the entire USSR, causing political unrest large enough for Gorbachev to squeeze through into power, giving him the consolation prize of hosting the multiple independence movements throughout the republics. Now a key point has to be made; this wasn't an American victory, this was a UN victory.

Its actually eerie how similar our war in Afghanistan has mirrored the former Soviet's. Notice what organizations Zbigniew Brzezinski now currently holds considerable influence in.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 02:57 PM
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Spot on Heff. I believe a thread speaks volumes when there is 70 plus flags and not even two pages of posts yet.

You truly hit a home run with this one. I believe an applause is in order.


MOTF!



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 03:18 PM
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Great post, Heff. Being new on here, I'm starting to identify those posters that I most associate with and appreciate, and you are definitely coming clearly into focus as just such a one. You know, I had a thought. You should move this over to the SHORT STORIES section and submit it in the WRAP contest. I bet you'd place with it! Peace...



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 03:34 PM
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Bang on the money with this thread! S&F I like your reference to how much television has affected us, I could almost see you standing In Target with drool running down you chin just soaking all the crap up.
This is going to be a killer thread just like "All Roads lead to Rome" was.

Thank you very much for the much needed run down of the "Boogie Man"

Regards, Iwinder



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 03:36 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


of course they will, everyone is capable of evil given the evil conditioning, everyone -so sad but true, give dog a dog a bad name ...
poor alone people, try to recognise them and help them, maybe just a kind word, an invite to a BBQ



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 03:37 PM
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reply to post by Hefficide
 


NICE! but sadly it is just a tip of the iceberg what you have laid out. The "invisible bully" still looms above us in the heavens to catch us when we overcome the fear of these "boogiemen", then comes the alien menace as Reagan so eloquently put it once. God and the Vatican or Illuminati and the boogiemen? Still leads to one true face of the enemy. The paper trail ends there because this enemy controls the money while is outside of the currency paradigm. Real power is ppl



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 03:41 PM
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Nice work Heff, reminds of the documentary Power of Nightmares.





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