ANTIDOTE TO TERRORISM'S BUBONIC PLAGUE:
How can you inoculate your children and loved ones from
Terrorism's Bubonic Plague? What can you do
to stop the spread of Terrorism's disease of mind and body?
Learn to vaccinate yourself and your family from Terrorism.
Read this powerful story on how to neutralize Terrorism's
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
Friday--November 8, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 422
Vigilance: The Antidote to Terrorism's Bubonic Plague
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York
City, Nov. 8 --The bubonic plague of Terrorism is attacking New York
City. And, there is an antidote.
responsible for the deaths of one of three people in the 14th century
The first reported case of bubonic
plague in more than 100 years hit the headlines in New York City a few
days ago. A couple vacationing here from New Mexico went to Beth
Israel Hospital complaining of flu-like symptoms. The
53-year-old man and 47-year-old woman were put into isolation when doctors
identified their ailment as the bubonic plague, a disease that wiped out
one-third of Europe in the 14th Century.
The plague is still on the short
list of Terrorist biochemical weapons. Not too many years ago
the Japanese in World War II dropped plague infected fleas on the Chinese,
attempt to wipe out their enemies.
Today, the plague isn't the same
threat it was centuries ago. With the advent of antibiotics in
1940, the bacteria-based disease can be treated if it is caught early
enough. Streptomycin is the drug of choice for treatment. The
stricken are bitten by a rodent flea infected with the bacteria
Yersinia pestis or by handling an infected animal. -
The disease spreads to the lymph nodes which become hot, swollen, tender
and hemorrhagic giving rise to the characteristic black buboes. Bubonic plague is not contagious. It's sister, a
pneumonia-based plague is. If one catches the latter, a sneeze
can transmit it.
While health officials are
downplaying the danger of the recent case in New York City, the
aftershocks of its presence signals another dimension of Terrorism--the
fear of some insidious disease being unleashed upon the millions of people
jammed into close quarters on Manhattan Island, home to the tenth most
crowded city in the world.
The bubonic plague scare
screams Sirens of Vigilance to the ears of mothers, fathers, grandparents
and loved ones of children who are constantly playing in the sand at the
thousands of New York City's playgrounds where an infested rat may have
scampered at night, or petting a family dog or cat that is allowed to go
outside and may have been targeted by a rat host. Bubonic plague stirs to
life the dark shadows of
Terrorism's Fear, Intimidation and Complacency. The name Black Death
(from dried blood under the skin turning black) invokes intense irrational
fear. It is a reminder to everyone
in this metropolis of more than eight million that the never-ending threat
of Terrorism can appear in a flash, in new and different disguises.
The Norway Rat -
introduced in the 1700's - most common of the 28 million
rat population in NYC
Fortunately, the couple from New Mexico brought the disease with them.
They were vacationing here. Forty-eight hours after their arrival
they became ill. Less than three dozen cases of the plague
are reported in the U.S. annually, and New Mexico and the Southwest appears to
be the epicenter of bubonic plague infection.
But that isn't much solace to a New
Yorker, or, for any parent or citizen.
A case of bubonic plague has the same
impact on many as a suicide bomber, or the sniper in Maryland who drove
the entire nation into a state of Fear and Intimidation. Terrorism
is a plague. It is spread by the fleas of Fear, Intimidation and
Terrorism feeds on threatening one's security.
When individual insecurity is multiplied, it becomes a societal plague. It grows
as the paranoia of an individual, family, neighborhood, community becomes
infected by the Fear of the unknown, the Intimidation of the unexpected,
and the Complacency of feeling powerless to "make a difference."
Terrorism is like the scarecrow
in the farmer's field--while it often doesn't do anything--its presence
warns of the possibility that stick figure looming over the stalks can
come to life and wreak havoc on the crows.
Terrorism is such a scarecrow.
Currently, it is squatting on it haunches waiting to spring out the
Every America knows it, or is exposed to it. We hear the
threats of its potential harm to us daily, spoken from the lips of our
President, in reports from the CIA, FBI and Homeland Security Department.
By all accounts, Terrorism is about ready to leap out of the darkness and grab your children,
grandchildren and loved ones. Extending the threats, it's about to attack your home.
Home Security warns it may be living in clandestine harmony in your
neighborhood, selecting its targets as you
sleep, work and play. It is like infected fleas, pervasive and
elemental, biting all the tender skin it can.
In summary, Americans are
being conditioned they are in the crosshairs of Terrorist sniper scopes.
Going to the store or gas station, to Disneyland, or a movie, or just
taking a drive--is the same as walking into a potential mine
field--anything can happen.. A bomb can explode. A sniper's bullet
can pierce the windshield. A "dirty nuclear bomb" can explode
and foul the atmosphere with radiation.
Terrorism has done a wonderful job of making the skin crawl on the back of
America's neck, especially when the impotency of law enforcement to find
Terrorists in long-established cells continues to dominate the headlines.
Our inability to find Osama bin Laden is but one example, and the
reluctance of the U.N. to support America's drive to quash Terrorism in
Iraq is another.
Furthering the Fear of
Terrorism is a new word--"trigger events." Trigger events are situations
that might "trigger" retaliation against the United State by
Terrorist groups. One "trigger event" being flagged in the headlines is the scheduled execution on
November 14 of Aimal Khan Kasi, a Pakistani convicted of killing two
employees of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1993.
In a plea to Muslims not to retaliate or
seek retribution for his death, Mr. Kasi told the press from death row
that "I'm against attacks on civilian Americans." While
he was against the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, he
supported the one on the Pentagon. He said military targets are
justified, while civilian attacks are not.
The bubonic plague's appearance in New York
City is yet another trigger of Terrorism. It makes one wonder
what will be next? What threat will pop up to make us
all dive for cover? What threat will make us clutch our children and
scurry back to our homes, lock the door, and wait in Fear and Intimidation
for the dark clouds of Terrorism to pass?
I propose we are suffering the Bubonic
Plague of Terrorism. The Fleas of Terrorism have bitten us, and
injected into our society the constant threat of the disease exploding in our
systems at any time. In a sense, we are all carriers of the
Bubonic Plague of Terrorism. That's the bad news.
The "good news" is there is an
It's called the Pledge of Vigilance.
Since the disease of Terrorism is
based on our Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies about the next
appearance of a Terror Act, we need to inoculate our thinking against
those forces that make us shudder and shrink from life. Our paranoia is a symbol of our weakness,
a signpost of our national vulnerability. It suggests we
are powerless to fight Terrorism as individuals, and that we are sheep
waiting to be slaughtered, maimed or branded by Terrorism's Scarlet "T."
This kind of attitude is called "defensive thinking."
In Vigilant terms, it is "Complacent Thinking." It
broadcasts to our youth that we, the parents of our society, are helpless to
protect our offspring. Children have radar. They sense
our disquiet. They feel the rigor of our powerlessness. We can infect
them with the Bubonic Plague of Terrorism through our silence, through our
Complacency just as though we were an infected flea biting them. We
must correct "defensive thinking" immediately.
"Offensive Thinking" is the
antidote to the Bubonic Plague of Terrorism. It is the serum
used to inoculate
children from the fallout of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
The Pledge of Vigilance is that
antidote. It contains antibodies of Courage that
suffocate the Fear, and Conviction that neutralizes the impact of
Intimidation on a parent or loved one. And most importantly, it
offers a vaccination against Complacency--that sense of powerlessness and
futility--by offering a person the choice to take Right Actions against
Terrorism's debilitating disease.
A parent or loved one who feels
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency attacking them when they read a
headline, or hear on a news show the latest Terrorist threat, can drive
away those feelings by calling upon the Sentinels of Vigilance for
strength. One can say, "STOP TERRORIST THOUGHT!
ENTER VIGILANT THOUGHT!"
To combat the psychology of
Terrorism, a parent must muster the Courage, Conviction and take the Right
Actions. This teaches a child how not to be Fearful of the unknown, how not to be
Intimidated by the shadows of life, and how not to be Complacent and feel
powerless in a world laced with constant threats of Terror.. The
only true method for such teaching is role modeling.
It is a parent's duty to face Terrorism.
And, to realize a child is not immune to its infectious bite.
Children hear everything--the news on
television, the gossip at the playground, the conversations at school, the
discussions parents have. They need ways to sort out the
One way is to teach them the power of
Courage, Conviction and Right Actions. A parent who plays with
his or her children will find a thousand ways to show the child that the
"boogeyman" can always be beaten by "the rescue hero." Heroes
are those who stand up to danger, who deny its threatening power.
Playing games whose theme is "good guy over bad guy," furthers the idea of
Vigilance in a child.
It also is a conduit for a parent to learn
what is going on in a child's mind. Children's fantasies are
their future realities. Playing games with children were the
goal is to teach Courage, Conviction and Right Action over Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency is a great training ground for Vigilance.
Older children can be trained in
similar ways. If they are old enough to read and understand, a
parent or grandparent can send them a Pledge of Vigilance, and ask them to
think about using its Principles of Vigilance in their daily lives.
They can remind the youth that life is full of Terrors, and to overcome
them, one must have tools and systems to counter them. Asking
a child to tell you his or her Fears, Intimidations and Complacencies is a
start. But a better one is for you to tell the child what yours are,
and how you use Courage, Conviction and Right Action to overcome them.
Once you drop your defenses, the child will drop his or hers.
Then you can enjoy a communion, and the inoculation process has commenced.
I urge all readers to take the Pledge
Consider it your antidote
to the Bubonic Plague of Terrorism. If you learn
to subscribe to the Principles of Vigil lance, and pass those
on to your children and loved ones through deep, emotional communication,
you will create a Shield of Vigilance around your child, grandchild
or loved one that will withstand any Terrorist's attempt to
infect them with Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
It will also be your
inoculation against Terrorism's Bubonic Plague.
Take the Pledge today,
and pass it on to your loved ones. Vaccinate them against
From Terrorism's Gallows
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