Predators are flying over Bryant Park in New York City hunting Terrorists below. Their mission, to instill Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency in their victims--to drive them away.
Is it right to Terrorize the Terrorists? Find out.
21, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 586
Terror Predators Hawk & Stalk New
York City Parks
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
ZERO, New York City, Apr. 21--With the war in Iraq winding down to the
art of managing the anarchy of freedom, a new clear and present threat
looms over at least one of New York City's most famous parks.
A Harris Hawk
readying to grapple its victim
It's a Predator circling above the city, looking
for "kill" targets below.
Unsuspecting thousands of New Yorkers mill about
Bryant Park, eight acres of greenery located directly behind the world
famous New York Public Library, unaware that slicing in the sky above
is a hungry Predator, eager to slash his talons into the innocent,
unsuspecting flesh of his victims strolling and bobbing their heads
below, peacefully trying to eek out a life in the madding crowd of
The Predator is equipped with incredibly advanced
laser-like vision, able to detect a twitching whisker or an eye-blink
from literally thousands of feet above the park. His job--to
kill with indiscriminate passion the unwary, the unprepared below, and
do it with surgical precision so that few if any of the New Yorkers
realize what he is doing until it is too late.
"Starbuck" Hawk teams up and dives and swoops on the "enemy
The Predator's name is Mr. Harris
"Starbuck" Hawk. Like most Terrorists, he works in a cell, or a
pack. He teams up with others of his kind to dive and
swoop down on the "enemy below." And, like any Terrorist,
his job is to inject Fear, Intimidation and Complacency into the mass
Terrorism, unfortunately, is often limited to the
idea of killing others. The core of Terrorism is not about
the deaths of the innocent, but the ripples and waves of fear it
creates in those who survive. The goal is by "cutting off
one head you can make thousands bow in fear."
Mr. Harris "Starbuck" Hawk is doing just that.
He is flying death to his victims.
When they see him, Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency boil within, and they run for cover, fearful the Predator
will seek them out to set an example to others. Such is the way
of Terrorism--to make the world kowtow, to rule by Fear.
Another example is Iraq. For over two
decades Saddam Hussein ruled with violence. Anyone who
opposed his rule was tortured, raped or put in prison. The
rest of the society of 24 million people, trembled in Fear, doing
Now, liberated, the people are rising up from the state
of oppression, speaking out, demonstrating, following their religious
preferences, tasting the fruits of freedom which include anarchy.
But New York's executive director of the Bryant Park
Restoration Corporation, a private not-for-profit organization, has
elected to use "Saddam Hussein Tactics" to rid his "kingdom" of its
natural freedom, and to impose "Terroristic Rule."
His target is the pigeon population of Bryant
Park, where an estimated 5,000 New Yorkers spend their lunch hour
every day under constant threat of being bombed by pigeon poop.
One man in an expensive business suit was taking
a bite of his sandwich when a pigeon flying overhead unleashed his
waste, part of the pigeon poop spattering it on the $6.95 deli
sandwich and the remainder blasting against his $1,500 suit.
It appears pigeon
flocks have been reduced at Bryant Park
In what is termed an "ecologically safe" assault
on the pigeons, the restoration society funded $15,000 to hire Master
Falconer Thomas Cullen, 51, who helped reduce the bird population at JFK airport. There seagulls rather than pigeons were
the threat. Flocks near the seaside tarmarc were flying into jet
engines when planes took off and landed, presenting a safety threat.
Cullen's use of Harris Hawks and falcons to drive away the gulls
reduced the damage to the aircrafts, which was estimated to be $4
million a year, by 60 percent.
Predators are also used for bird control at
Edwards Air Force Base, and at commercial airports in Toronto and
Cullen and his
assistants fly Harris Hawks over the eight acre site from 9a.m. to
In midtown New York's Bryant Park, Cullen
and his assistants fly Harris Hawks over the eight acre site from
9a.m. to 5p.m. He keeps the hawks in a van, and after one
flies, he releases another, rotating them.
One of the most hard-working hawks is named
Starbucks. Harris Hawks are about 18 inches long and have a wing
span of about 45 inches.
Pigeons recognize the hawks as their
natural enemy--their "Terrorists." The hawks are the only
raptors that fly in packs--working as teams to drive the prey toward
waiting allies who swoop down once they are exposed with deadly talons
and ripping beaks.
The battle in Bryant Park, however, is a
bloodless war Cullen says. "Our goal is not to kill the pigeons but to
increase their stress level so they stop populating the park.
chicks are not fed to Cullin's Hawks
To sate the thirst to kill the prey,
Cullin's Harris Hawks are fed dead baby chickens by their handlers out
of eyesight of the public. The bloodless Terror is used because
the idea of a young child watching a Harris Hawk's talons rip into the
neck of a pigeon or seeing the hawk's scythe-shaped bill carving into
the pigeon's entrails for lunch, would raise more concern among the
public than the pigeon poop.
The more "humane" idea of breaking a baby
chick's neck and feeding the dead infant to the hawk out of the
public's view was far more appealing to the falconers and the
Using TerrorHawks isn't a new idea to instill
Fear and Intimidation into the pigeons.
Our allies in Iraq, the British, gave Cullen the
idea, he says.
A Harris Hawk
named Buzz flies at 4 a.m. every morning to circle London's most
In England, the Tower of London was plagued by
pigeons, he said, fouling the historic site with their waste as well
as creating a nuisance to visitors. Some also claim that pigeon
droppings carry various diseases, adding a health threat. Several
falconers compete for business where a yearly contract to keep sites
pigeon-free is worth over 40,000 pounds.
Hawks and falcons were successfully used by the
Brits to remove the pigeon threat, Cullen says.
The message the TerrorHawks offer the world is:
"When is Terrorism bad and when it is good?"
Some might argue the pigeons have a right to the
park, and there are people in the public who don't mind pigeon
droppings splattering on them. "It's part of New York City
culture," said Jan Lane, a frequent park visitor. "If you're not
ducking pigeon poop, you're not a real New Yorker."
Then there are the animal rights advocates.
As with the anti-war protestors who denounced America's role in Iraq,
there are those who believe the rights of the pigeons supercede the
rights of the humans.
"Pigeons were here first," they claim.
pigeons are not indigenous to New York City
Cullen argues that point. "Pigeons are not
indigenous to the city. They followed the people," he said.
Then there is the question of violence. Is
the breeding of baby chicks and breaking their necks just after a hawk
flies, a justified way of rewarding the hawk? Is the life
of a baby chick worth the price of pigeon-poop freedom?
In Iraq, as in all wars, the issue of the price
of collateral damage is raised to measure the justness of war.
Some claim that the price of a baby chick's life isn't worth the
reduction of pigeon poop.
If Terrorism has a role in society today, it is
to remind us that it never goes away--even when it comes to managing
Harris Hawk on
a mission over North Korea
Right now, we're trying to fly Harris Hawks over
North Korea. Our mission--to keep the North Koreans from
building radioactive pigeon poop to drop on us, or our allies.
And, then there's the question of whether the North Koreans will sell
their radioactive pigeon poop to other Terrorists.
So, when we meet with North Korea this week
in China, our negotiator should strut into the conference room with a
Harris Hawk on his arm, followed by an aide who is snapping live baby
chick necks and feeding them to the hawk.
That should make the North Koreans tremble.
Then, there's Syria. And Pakistan.
And Iran. And, there may be a lot of other places that
threaten to drop pigeon poop on us, and others.
It gets a little muddy, doesn't it?
Is a Terrorist the pigeon or the hawk? Hmmmm.
I guess it all comes down to one
simple point of view--What's the intent of the pigeon? What's
the intent of the hawk?
Vigilance for the preservation and protection of the Children's
If the intent of either is to
threaten the safety, security and future freedom and prosperity of the
Children's Children's Children, then it has to be a Terrorist.
bathing in Bryant Park fountain
If the intent is to preserve and
protect the safety, security and future freedom and prosperity of the
Children's Children's Children then it is a Sentinel of Vigilance.
But who answers the question?
Does the woman who likes the pigeons
answer or the one who likes a clean suit?
I'm glad I don't have to wrestle with
the moral dilemma of Terrorizing pigeons in Bryant Park.
I'm glad I can look at the people in
Iraq demonstrating both for and against the U.S., and also glad that
our Harris Hawks of Vigilance rid the world of Saddam Hussein's pigeon
20--Happy Easter-Passover 2003
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