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The War on Terrorism (1989)

Michael Kronenwetter

Terrorism for Tots!

You know the motto of Our Schools: Never too early to instill the proper terror in the kiddies. But for the name of the series ("Issues for the 90s"), Michael Kronenwetter's The War on Terrorism would seem to be a post-9/11 effort toward priming the kids to accept government domination (along with "wars" that fit no acceptable definition of war), so that Goldstein the terrorists don't "win."

In fact, this book was a comparatively early arrival at the Fiesta of Fear, having been published in 1989: before 9/11, before Oklahoma City -- hell, even before those paramilitary extremists executed that terrorist attack on the religious nuts at Waco.

I hate to think with what sorts of scary books they're scaring the kids these days.


Sample chapter/section headings:

  • AMERICAN REACTION -- A STUDY IN CONFUSION
  • ARE TERRORISTS "CRAZY"?
  • THE GARDEN OF TERROR
  • ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF RETALIATION
Sample excerpts that sound more current than they should in a place for the masses that are huddling and have a yearning to be something or other, &c.:
"Terrorist acts are sometimes designed to provoke a hostile response from a government. The terrorists commit their atrocities expecting that the government will respond so violently that it will demonstrate its own brutality. They hope that the government's excessive reaction will rally the nation's -- or the world's -- opinion against the target government. Governments that misunderstand the motives of terrorists often fall into this trap. Even a relatively small action by a few terrorists can sometimes trigger an enormous response from a government. The kidnapping of just two officials by French-Canadian separatists in 1970 provoked Canada's Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau into invoking the country's War Powers Act to combat the `insurrectionists.' Under this drastic measure, the civil rights of all Canadians were technically suspended. Several hundred totally innocent French-Canadians, including many political leaders and the editor of a major newspaper, were at least briefly arrested and thrown into jail" (p. 31).
(Quoting an Islamic Jihad communication reproduced in full in the book:)
"The Americans will experience for the first time the righteous anger of the Muslims in their own territory.... You must be aware that our actions are a response to your policy of terrorism against the Muslims. We accept your challenge!"
The letter heading is "In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful," but the writer(s) declare that their "retribution will be unmerciful and everywhere." (p. 48)
Marginally relevant tidbits, weirdly interesting:
"When the Japanese Red Army slaughtered the Puerto Rican tourists at Lod Airport in 1972, it was still unusual for one group to do that kind of `favor' for another. That is no longer the case. Only a few months later, West German terrorists cooperated with Black September in planning the attack on the Olympic Village in Munich" (p. 61).
"If we assume that terrorists are doing what they do only because of personal `hangups,' we lose all chance of outwitting or out-maneuvering them" (p. 23).
Why do they keep saying that "we live in a different world, since 9/11"? It looks like the same dumb world to me.