May 11, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 242
Osama bin Laden Is Alive And Well...
Disguised as a Northern Pike!
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, May 11--Osama bin Laden is
alive and well and hiding in Lake Davis in Plumas County, California.
He's taken on the disguise of a Northern Pike.
The State of
California has been conducting a massive military campaign to
eliminate him that includes precision bombing, electrocution
and futile attempts to poison him. The Terrorist survives
despite massive efforts to destroy him and all of his children.
In a sense, the infamous Terrorist has transformed himself into
a Northern Pike--commonly known to the 20,000 residents of Plumas
County as "saw-tooth Satan spawns."
The Northern Pike,
a fast-breeding rapacious species considered a prize catch in
its native habitat east of the Mississippi, is considered a
savage outlaw and "unconscionable Terrorist" to the
residents of Plumas County who depend on tourists seeking the
joys of trout fishing in Lake Davis.
The Northern Pike are decimating
the trout fishery of Lake Davis, 45 miles west of Reno.
According to California Fish and Game officials, the "Terror
Fish" is considered a savage outlaw that consumes any trout
in sight. Its hunger is as insatiable as its ability to
escape all attempts to bomb, poison and electrocute it out of
No one knows how the Northern Pike
got into the famous trout-rich lake. All they know for
sure is that the trout are disappearing and the Northern Pike
In 1997 the Department of Fish and Game poisoned
the lake, killing the pike and every other living thing in it.
The poison, rotenone, also destroyed the local town's drinking
water supply and leaked past where it was supposed to, killing
fish for five miles downstream. The county's fishing business
went blank for a year and crippled its economy.
In a scenario not unlike the one the
United States is embroiled in as it unsuccessfully attempts
to hunt down Terrorist Osama bin Laden, the California Fish
and Game Department officials have tried just about everything
to destroy the ravenous trout-eaters.
In 1999 they brought in a "special
forces assault team" composed of big brown trout.
brown trout's mission was to "eat the pike."
The theory was great--"my fish is bigger than your fish!"
However, the brown trout decided the Northern Pike weren't suitable
for their taste, and began to eat other fish. So much
for the "special forces." (brown
In a parallel strategy
used by U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, the embattled Fish
and Game warlords tried to envelope the Northern Pike and herd
them into areas where they attempted to net them. They
even tried electrocution.
They built barriers underwater
and ensnared the pike in areas where they hoped the the "Terror
Fish" would be driven by hunger to eat their own spawn
(eggs), but found the voracious fish liked to munch on ducks
and snakes and other small animals along with trout. Starvation
was not a viable tactic.
Again, aping the relentless air strikes
by U.S. bombers to drive al Queda Terrorists into the open,
the Fish and Game Department tried strategic bombing against
the prehistoric-looking pike. A couple of weeks ago they
bombed one acre of the lake. They used 1,000 feet of detonation
cord placed just below the water's surface. The bombing,
according to the New York Times, killed all the pike
within 25 feet of the detonation. Unfortunately, these
were pike that the agency had put in cages in the test area.
All the uncaged pike in the area got away. However,
there was collateral damage--the bombing killed two free-roaming
As in most wars America wages, reparation
was immediately offered to the local residents for the collateral
damage. Senior biologist for the Department of Fish and
Game, Ivan Paulsen, said the State of California would replace
the number of trout lost to any bombing by "supplying two
live trout for each one bombed out of the water."
The reparation comment drove me back
to memories of Vietnam. In 1966 we were on a search
and destroy mission. As we swept across a rice paddy a
water buffalo charged us. We killed it, as water buffalo--used
by farmers as oxen--seemed to have an instinctive hatred for
Americans. At the same moment a pair of eyes appeared
from a thicket of grass. Instinctively, we fired,
thinking it was a Viet Cong lying in ambush. Unfortunately,
it was a young girl, frightened and hiding.
The chief of the village nearby ran
screaming at us. He was upset - the water buffalo
had been killed! As an experiment in bolstering
relations with the Vietnamese, Washington had issued an "instant
reparation" program. Attached to our group
was a Marine Captain who carried a sheaf of papers listing the
value of certain items such as a hut, cooking ware, clothes
and other household and personal items, as well as livestock.
He and the chief
haggled. The Captain looked through the sheaf of papers
and then peeled off a handful of "dong"--Vietnamese
Curious as to what was happening,
I approached the Captain and asked what he was doing.
The Captain showed me the list of "instant reparation"
items. "We pay for our damage as we go," he
said, "it improves relations with the people."
I asked if I could take a look
at the list. He handed it to me. I glanced through
each page and then handed it back. "Where is the
price of a human being?" I asked.
"We don't pay for them,"
he answered curtly.
"Well, we just killed a
fourteen-year-old girl by accident. You mean a water buffalo
has more value than a human being?"
"That's right, Marine!
Who the hell are you, anyway?"
I walked away, sloughing through
the tepid rice paddy water toward the scene of the dead girl
whose mother knelt beside her and wailed mournfully. A
sheaf of papers without a price for a human life, I thought.
How insane! How insane!
Two rainbow trout for
every one killed. As I read the words, I realized
the attempt to make good one's mistakes, but at some point in
time the price of something becomes immeasurable.
Two replacement daughters for the Vietnamese woman would not
compensate her for the one she lost--perhaps a hundred or a
thousand would never equal the loss of her daughter, or even
In my own way, I still pay for that life. Often
I awaken at night to the young girl's eyes looking through the
grass--two wide-eyed orbs staring at us--and I wish the clock
could be turned back. She is my Northern Pike--a symbol
of how Terrorism can ravage one's Emotional well being for life.
I view the Northern Pike
in Lake Davis as an example of the constant threat Terrorism
represents to our society. Once it takes root in the marrow
of a society, as it has since September 11th, it doesn't let
loose. It continues to spawn. No matter what
the State of California has done so far to rid the "enemy"
from the lake, the pike reappear, seemingly impervious to all
attacks. In so many ways, this is exactly what is
happening with Terrorism. No matter what we seem to do,
it rears its ugly head here or there, killing, maiming and then
hiding to attack again and again. In Russia on May 9th,
Terrorists loaded a bomb with nails and chunks of metal and
blew it up during a parade, killing 12 children.
In Germany, a student walked into his school and began systematically
killing teachers. Yesterday, Cardinal Law sought an injunction
so his depositions regarding the mishandling of child molestation
priests would not be published until he chance to edit them
for "mistakes" in his testimony. In Bethlehem,
Terrorists under siege in the Church of the Nativity were set
free and exiled to live in Europe where many believe they will
perpetuate their ideals as a compromise for prosecuting them
for their crimes against humanity.
The battle with the Northern Pike is symbolic of the battle
against Terrorism. It tells us that governments alone
are not efficient tools to deal with the problem. It suggests
we need a world community of citizens to help decide the outcome
of Terrorism, a coalition of both Parents of Vigilance, Communities
of Vigilance, States of Vigilance, and Nations of Vigilance
rather than a few "government leaders" deciding the
fate of the terror around the world.
While the Northern Pike Terrorism story
is a drop in the bucket in relation to the world of Osama bin
Laden's, it foreshadows a microcosmic look at how we really
need to deal with the threat of Terrorism.
. During the initial efforts to rid
the lake of the "terror fish," the Department of Fish
and Game took command of the effort and alienated the community.
A few "leaders" decided what was to be done at the
exclusion of public opinion or public input.
Without the agreement from the
community of Portola, the poisoning of the lake and contamination
of the local drinking water created a virtual uprising.
In 1997 150 police officers, including SWAT teams and sharpshooters,
were brought in to quell the protests against the poisoning.
Twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) in fees and fines were
paid by the state in reparation to people sickened by poison
fumes and to businesses afflicted by the loss of commerce.
Terrorism begat Terrorism. .
The cure became more harsh than the ailment. After the
confrontation, government decided to enlist the aid of the community
in the fight against the Northern Pike.
Bill Powers, mayor of Portola
says the result is the town has become a "Community of
Vigilance," rather than a "Community of Terrorism."
In an act of desperation as well
as humility, the Fish and Game Department formed Lake Davis
Steering Committee and stocked it with local and country residents.
The Committee also includes officials from Fish and Game and
related agencies such as the Department of Water Services.
Acting in concert with the community,
state and local meetings are held regarding how to most effectively
protect not only Lake Davis from the Northern Pike Terrorists,
but also how to keep them from moving downstream to Terrorize
the open waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Deltas where
they could decimate California's dwindling salmon and steelhead
populations as well as other species.
The enlistment of the community,
or, perhaps better put, the community's insistence on being
"enlisted" in the battle against the Northern Pike,
is an example of the need for Community Vigilance in all battles
The government, acting alone,
without the support of the grass roots community, cannot solve
Northern Pike Terrorism or Osama bin Laden-type Terrorism.
Terrorism attacks local people, innocent children and women.
It is a "doorstep" enemy, a neighborhood virus not
a national one.
Homeland Security cannot protect
our children from the poisonous venom of Terrorism when policies
are designed in an governmental vacuum and issued from
the top down. Just ask the California State Department
of Fish and Game.
Instead, such anti-Terrorism
policies need to rise up from the local communities, meeting
the government half-way, in a partnership similar to the coalition
created in Portola.
The ultimate responsibility of
any effective anti-Terrorism policy is not to "kill Osama
bin Laden," but rather to rid the Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency that Terrorism injects in a child. These policies
begin at the doorsteps of each of the 100 million households
in America, not on the floors of the Senate or Congress.
Terrorism is a state of
mind. A suicide bomber only kills the innocent to
inflict Fear and create Intimidation and drive societies into
a state of Complacency. The killing isn't as important
as the shock waves it creates in its attempt to poison the minds
of its future victims that they are helpless to fight back.
Terrorism is all about using one's power to intimidate, killing
is just a side dish on its plate.
All the metal detectors
and bomb sniffing dogs in the world cannot shield one from Terrorism.
Only Courage, Conviction and taking the Right Actions by the
citizens of a community counters Terrorism. When
Terrorists realize the citizens of a community are not
Fearful of their violence, or Intimidated by it, or driven into
states of Complacency by it, only then will we create a viable
defense against their Emotional Venom.
The community of Portola,
California reached this conclusion after its community was
ravished by both the Northern Pike and the government's ill-fated
attempts to solve the problem. Bill Powers, the
mayor of the city, had chained himself to a buoy in the lake
to stop the poisoning. (Lake Davis
on the right and below) Now that the
government and community are acting together to resolve the
problem, Powers praises the State Fish and Game Department.
It was his Courage, his Conviction and the taking of Right Action
that shifted the emphasis from government rule against Terrorism
to Community-Government teamwork.
Fran Roudebush, a former
Plumas County supervisor who considered the Department of Fish
and Game public enemy No. 1, is now chairwoman of its steering
committee as well as head of the local Save Lake Davis Coalition.
Ms. Roudebush (see photo on left)
recently won the American Hometown Leadership award from the
National Center for Small Communities.
Her community is even talking
about re-poisoning the lake, but doing it during the the right
time of year, with the right water temperature and the right
amount and type of poison. "But if we do it,"
Ms. Roudebush says, "it's because the community says, 'This
is what we want.'"
What do American communities
want regarding the fight against Terrorism? This
will only be answered when coalitions against Terrorism are
formed at the grass roots level, as they have been in Portola
against the Northern Pike.
The Parents of Vigilance Principles
call upon each local community to form Vigilance Leagues.
While these "leagues" have a responsibility to work
with local, state and national agencies regarding "physical
terrorism" protection, there is also another charge that
is more powerful. It is the community recognition and
goal to insure its children are not Emotionally as well as Physically
poisoned by Terrorism.
In a more perfect world,
all of us concern ourselves with each other's welfare--not only
outside but inside. In such a state, Emotional Abuse
of a child becomes as important as Physical Abuse, and, perhaps,
more so. While external wounds may heal, internal ones
tend to last a lifetime.
Societies that are Vigilant about
the welfare of child's "state of mind" as well as
his or her "state of body," enjoy the richest harvests
of their prodigy. The community of Portola
melded their brainpower to resolve the threat of Terrorism with
the government, a unity of forces rather than a unilateral effort.
Becoming a Parent of Vigilance
does not mean one usurps his or right to parent a child as he
or she feels best, but it does suggest that Terrorism of the
child needs constant Vigilance so that the Northern Pike don't
infest the child's lake and poison his or her ability to swim
free, not worrying about the Osama's bin Laden's lurking in
the bull rushes.
It means we need to start organizing
today, to protect our lakes from the voracious Northern Pike
who are swimming toward us.
TO: May 10--The Death Of Innocent Vigilance