Wednesday, 21 January 2015

cracker-barrel or bravado

In response to the terrorist attacks in Paris, the farce protection level on military installations, which is I suppose a reliably prudent step to take, have been raised a tick.  Like DEFCOM, this threat-com scale ranges from Normal to Alpha, green and tranquil and I doubt if the American public, fed so long on roughage, could ever again stomach such relaxed protocols, to Bravo, blue but guarded, a more or less perpetual state of vigilance that’s sort of the settled equilibrium struck in the years following 9/11, on the lower end.
Charlie, yellow with enhanced measures to be deployed, is the next step—with Holy Hell Delta to follow. The level, however, was elevated to Bravo-Plus, whatever that is. Nous ne somme pas Charlie… I almost wonder if that weren’t on purpose and what exactly the message is supposed to be. Maybe it is so that all those blatant reminders need not be replaced yet. They’ve breached that level before, of course, after the 07/07 attacks in London or when mobilization was up-tempo again on Iraq (you break it, you buy it) and people still weren’t quite running around with their hair on fire and losing their wits, but then seemed also to have a touch more sympathy and solidarity. Is this sort of colour-coding, dipping the banners just a gauge of how likely we are to escape by the grace of dumb-luck or providence, which have foiled more diabolic plots than intelligence and command-and-control? Moreover, I’d venture that the latter has incited more incidents than its prevented.