This public service message brought to you by The Herald, yesterday:
This frenzy of breathless fear mongering is ostensibly prompted by the warnings of a “global expert in extreme events”. From the anonymous editorial (first image above):
Herald on Sunday editorial: Terror threats are our new reality
Terrorists must, because of their inherent weakness, select soft targets.
Stop right there anonymous editorialist. Soft targets like New York, London, and The Pentagon? Soft targets like the USS Cole, American embassies, American air bases, and American military bases? I hope that nonsense is not representing the views of your expert.
Few may be softer than a country that likes to think it is closeted by its isolation. An air of complacency prevails even though examples of terrorism, notably the Bali bombings and last year’s Sydney hostage crisis, have taken place very close to home. This makes New Zealand something of a “sitting duck”, according to Bridgette Sullivan-Taylor, an expert in the field. Her warning should be taken seriously, especially as it echoes the concerns of this country’s Security Intelligence Service.
Total terrorist attacks (as defined in this framing) in sitting duck NZ are zero.
I am not any kind of expert on these topics*, but it seems to me that (1) terrorist attacks are not limited to soft targets, (2) most terrorist attacks are directed against major military powers, and (3) it follows that fear mongering based on our “sitting duck” / weak and insignificant status is nonsense. An attack may happen here, as it may happen anywhere, but as a “sitting duck” our chances are reduced, not increased.
What terrible writing and coverage by The Herald.
*Oddly enough both my wife (in England) and I (in India) have each missed bombings by a few hours, and together we narrowly missed an unexploded bomb situation (in England). So yeah, I know it does happen.