Gandhi’s Terrorists

I just re-found this, sent to a major web site some years ago. So far as I know, they didn’t do anything with it.  This is to remind them.

I have almost fixed the thinking and writing, other than that, minimal changes. So many things in life keep you humble, if you are paying attention.


Were I  a radical peace activist, or a Mohammad Gandhi, I would have an enormous advantage, relative to MLK or Gandhi, or the US Homeland Security organization.

The Internet is that advantage.  We mere citizens can choose to castigate pretty much anyone in some way, it doesn’t take very many for very long and is quite safe, but you do have to be clever out there in the retail world of non-terror information ops. I am not going to help with that.

At the strategic level, as an organization, “Major DoGoodersAnonymous”, for example, I could announce that my goal was to get the US out of Afghanistan/Iraq or prevent an attack on Iran, and that I was going to cost the world economy $1B tomorrow as a demo of my seriousness, and that I would do so by shutting down air travel for the day.

The Dept of Homeland Security has an impossible problem, defending via lethargic and corrupt bureaucracy against the ingenuity of motivated attackers.  Thus, they have to over-react to any possible threat, and that is a weakness to be exploited.

They do over-react, as do other security organizations with the equivalent problem.  After major disruptions, e.g. both the threats to airplanes in Britain and the false alarm in Atlanta, it took a week for world air travel to get schedules back to normal.

Maybe they didn’t cost $1B, but a hell of a lot.

So, if a couple of completely independent people wanted to shut down the world’s air travel system for a day and disrupt it for more than a week, they would, for example, <not too hard to invent new ways, so I won’t tempt a conspiracy rap>.*

Announcing this in advance makes it more effective, as TSA will necessarily reason that Al Qaida will use the confusion, etc.

Gandhi and MLK had to face actual weapons wielded by fairly smart people.  TSA is not in the same class.

So, pass this along to whoever needs a new idea for pressuring our gov, please?

Someone needs to get serious about all this, as the gulag comes closer every year.

Yet another mild warning about how hard it would be to keep a modern civilization running if anyone at all decided to stop it.  A country can get very poor very quickly.**

It seems to me that Gandhi and MLK both had help from their more radical colleagues, the ones they could be moderate and peaceful people by comparison to. I believe many academic studies give those radicals considerable credit in the overall success of their causes.

Wonder why the radical colleagues don’t get equal billing?  And why the radical colleagues thought they had to or should use violence?  Our rulers are willing to sacrifice millions of minions in wars, so long as they make $,  their priorities are clear.  Sabotage affects their profits, and need not risk injury to fellow humans.

The terror for our rulers is loss of wealth for no political gain.

Sabotage : terrorism Gandhi would approve of.

*In any case, look at Bruce Schneier’s web site, where he had a contest for a terrorist event to be made into a movie.  Some really good ideas, including my own.

**Also, it should reassure you about your fellow humans : nobody does these things unless their world has become extreme.  People are people, no special attributes anywhere, so you KNOW that people you think are acting crazy have been subjected to extreme conditions to make them act so.  Fixing conditions is often easier than more violent approaches and generally has many fewer side-effects FUBARing your future.

I changed the spelling from ‘Ghandi’s Terrorists’ to the correct “Gandhi’s Terrorists” because the mis-spelling was not unambiguously clever in combining India and Arabic, perhaps not at all.  I still like Mohammad Gandhi.

Added later, this is a recent example of the problems from failure of a backup system in Delta’s fight management system.

Added much later, as an example of over-reaction or an abundance of caution of the kind that could so easily be taken advantage of by unscrupulous groups, here is a good example.

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