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21 May 2003 @ 09:45 am
I'm just wondering..  
What's the point of the 5-level alert code system? Specifically, the 5 levels?

I mean, look at it. Bouncing between levels 3 and 4 for over a year. And you look at it from a government bureaucrat's position...they can't raise it to level 5, red (severe), since then if nothing happens, they look like they're crying wolf. And they can't lower it to 2, because then if something bad happens, they look unprepared, with their heads up their asses.

So we get this meaningless oscillation between two vague degrees of 'O Woe is Us!' And they wonder why the general populace is left with a general feeling of fear and uncertainty.

Something good: Vast tracts of free hard disk space.

Something bad: Recurring DNS problems.

Something disturbing: Having a waiter give you your drink refill, and then whisk it away 5 seconds later.
Current Mood: confusedconfused
Prester Scott: kittyprester_scott on May 21st, 2003 08:20 am (UTC)
I think, in a roundabout way, you've nailed the reason for the color code: to create the illusion that the Guv is "doing something about terrorism."
Rattus scientificusskorzy on May 21st, 2003 09:38 am (UTC)
There should be three levels:

"Be Alert", "Be Really Alert!" and "Oh oh! Its happening!"

I was just commenting last night that we'll *never* see the 'terror' alert below the 3rd level, so why have those two? I don't think anyone in the world should not "be alert" to such things, but.. I've often said this well before 9/11.

The reasons for the five levels seem to be purely for financial reasons. The higher it is, the more expensive law enforcement is, the more expense out of the tax coffers.

Hopefully in 2004 we'll have a more reasonable government...
Jenniferburan on May 21st, 2003 11:51 am (UTC)
So what the heck was up with that waiter?
Wesha the Leopardwesha on May 21st, 2003 03:30 pm (UTC)
WARNING: The following opinions may differ very much from common ones. Beware of emotional injury. DO NOT READ FURTHER if you're not sure that your mental health will not suffer.

1. Actual terror is just one of the methods of disrupting the country's internal workings. But, while a terrorist act requires costly preparations (though much much cheaper than appropriate anti-terror measures), there's an easier way; namely, the threat of terror. Just think: a few 'clues' skillfully thrown in at a proper time can make the whole anti-terror machine fire all cylinders, spending large pieces of its budget, and ending up nowhere as the clues turn out to be nothing. This tactic can be used repeatedly, to force the anti-terror structures run out of money and blurring their attention ('cry wolf" method). Then, when the anti-terror force is out of money and tired of 'false positives", it's time for real terror strike. I estimate that the appropriate delay period constitutes 3 to 5 years.

2. The chain of influence for a terrorist act looks like this:

Terrorist ---action---> Civilian ---fear---> Government ---reaction---> Terrorist

Terrorists act in expectation or hope that the above reaction will benefit them in this or that way, not necessarily an obvious one. To make terrorism disappear, it is enough to ensure that there will be no reaction to the terrorist act. The above chain should be broken, and that can be done at any link. Let's observer the possibilities.

a) Eliminate all terrorists - costly, and practically impossible, unless you can really read everybody's mind.

b) Eliminate action (by eliminating the means for it) - technically it's possible, but eliminating each and every possibility will return us to medieval age (should start with getting rid of airplanes and skyscrapers, medical labs, nuclear plants, etc etc...)

c) Eliminate civilians - it works, but does it make any sense? (also, see f.2)

d) Eliminate fear - one of the most reliable ways, and it works for me. Take it easy. Trust in God, fate or whatever it is. Think that if you're gonna die shortly, it's just because it's your time.

e) Eliminate government - another reliable way, if only the society was ready for that. Not yet.

f) Eliminate reaction - Israel's policy regarding is, no negotiations with terrorists. If a hijacked airplane lands in Israeli airport, it's stormed at all cost; terrorists either are killed at the spot, or receive a death penalty with no exceptions. Another illustration for this method from the opposite end of the spectrum would be some country ruled by dictatorship, where government doesn't really care what's happening with folk at all.
Glennglennj on May 22nd, 2003 07:43 am (UTC)
I like ice-cream.
Aaron, Lawyer Peppervarro on June 7th, 2003 09:09 pm (UTC)
2d, combined with being alert to what could constitute an attack, is what *should* be in effect.

The problem is that 9-11 was the perfect pretext for John Ashcroft and other hard-line conservatives to put through their pet unconstitutional ideas, all in the name of "fighting terrorism." And you have the U.S. well on their way to the second part of 2f, with plenty of willing helpers in stamping out dissent (e.g., anti-Dixie Chicks radio stations, Fox News, etc....)