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How the Dutch do things, part I: the Dutch Against Terrorism

If anything is a guarantee against good health and stress-free living, it is the human race: specifically the Dutch part of it. The Dutch don't look so bad on the surface. They lead humdrum little lives and say hello and goodbye to each other and help customers promptly in shops. As individuals they are vulnerable unpersons who want to be liked, and so their attacks always come from an impersonal group. Like the folder I found in the junk mail this week, "What Is Being Done Against Terrorism? And How Can You Help?" And under it a button reading "The Netherlands Against Terrorism", as though this pamphlet were the work of a popular movement, rather than government propaganda which, as final insult, is predominantly orange, the colour of the Dutch royal family: when democracy is in danger, go feodal!

It seems fairly obvious what is being done against terrorism: nothing. The Dutch government is actively participating in it. But wait, the pamphlet has a glossary at the end to explain the terms: terrorism, infiltration, radicalization, propaganda (ha, that's a laugh), plotting, innovations, and forensic research. After all, this junk mail is distributed among all layers of Dutch society and not every cloggie has an education, far less a brain to educate. And terrorism is here defined as committing severe violence with the aim of imposing political or religious views on others. That still sounds like what the oppressively right-wing and rabidly Christian George W. Bush, President of the USA is doing, and what the Dutch government is helping him do, similarly bleeding the taxpayers to fight an unjustifiable war that is causing tempers to rise to terrorism-provoking levels, and not just among poor Islamic immigrants. So maybe the definition needs to be amended: but only when this violence is the work of coloured non-Christians. But to the average (white) cloggie, that goes without saying.

The definition of propaganda is nice, too: misinformation to gain support for certain political or religious views. Where "certain" is the right word; any misinformation put out by the civilized modern West isn't propaganda. Like this pamphlet, which not so much contains definite misinformation as strongly implies the falsehoods that i. terrorism comes from "foreigners" (ie. non-white non-Christians) ii. our responsible, caring government is doing what it can to protect us. It's not protecting us from leaking radioactive waste, and while it launched an aggressive anti-smoking campaign a year or so before I wrote this, only strong lobbying from the environmentalists is making it (pretend to?) take measures against industrial air pollution that is blackening the lungs of smokers and non-smokers alike. Small price to pay for prosperity, isn't it? Especially when the prosperity is just a matter of statistics and the actual population is, for the most part, one paycheck away from homelessness.

So it's really nice to know that highly expensive F16s zoom across the country to intercept any suspicious craft (so far, all alarms were false) causing the well-known ear-splitting roars but at least being more cost-effective than armed nuclear warheads that just sit there being menacing or, worse still, accidentally go off. It's great that ordinary civilians are urged to call the police over any suspicious abandoned-looking bag - so far, all alarms were false, including an abandoned laptop bag at Utrecht that had the authorities shut down the station and paralyse national train traffic for half a day; what terrorist needs a bomb in this country! It's wonderful that our phones and internet connections are being tapped - yet another false alarm, someone was arrested for boasting about bombs on a public forum, it turned out to be a joke - for our own protection against fundamentalist Moslem attacks, and also of course to check our own political correctness and see if we're trading illegal downloads and possibly make a profile of our online shopping tendencies for marketing purposes to make their spying pay off, so ISPs will no longer have to foot the bill for the tapping activities? It's absolutely inspiring to know there's a website to report hate sites, like, er, the white nationalist site asking for sperm donors that a Google search quite irrelevantly turned up?? I wonder where they're going to find the females stupid enough to hatch out their little Hitlers, not that Hitler was particularly Aryan himself. Oh, wait, coloured hate sites, I get it! Like the site that had to be taken down for publishing bible quotes to the effect that homosexuals were sinners and should die, wait, no, that was a white cloggie site too. I'm afraid the hate sites I would report, if I could be bothered to note their URL rather than just spitting on the ground and hitting the Back button, would not be "terrorist" enough. They'd fall under "freedom of speech".

Oh, and it's also nice to know that teachers are suppressing racism in the classroom and that any foreign person expressing "radical" ideas (like, Allah is Great, or Bush is a butcher?) should be talked to soothingly and offered a job and a better future: in other words, that terrorism of the kind referred to by this pamphlet is paying off. Because, in practice, terrorists are not just people who try to rule through terror - that definition covers all political and religious institutions worldwide - but poor brainwashed sods with nothing to lose who sacrifice their own lives, as well as those of many others, to somehow make the world a better place for the next generation. It is extremely gratifying to discover that the only effective way to combat the arrogance and corruption that brought forth this pamphlet, among other things, is sheer, radical violence. The kind that has moderate reformists tut-tutting: "Now now, you didn't have to get violent." It's so sad that they're wrong, because this kind of violence is a cure that kills the patient. So maybe I should just accept that there is no cure and suicide myself (can you still go to jail for attempted suicide these days?) but if I'm going to die, I'll take a few bastards with me: a bomb under my sweater should do the trick. Oops, I'm a terrorist now.

But then tut-tutting is how the Dutch do, er, nothing. When not actively rabble-rousing themselves, the Dutch fall into meaningless euphemisms. The pamphlet mentions radical ideas. The writers were too chickenshit to say outright: fundamentalist Moslem ideas. Or even just fundamentalist religious ideas, because there are some scary fundamentalist Christian communities in this country. They won't have their children inoculated against serious diseases because if the children fall ill and die, that is God's Will. So the parent sneaks the baby to the doc on the sly for inoculations; God's Will doesn't matter if the community doesn't know about it. And the doc has to inoculate the baby twice, or give away that this child was already brought here for inoculation by the other parent. These communities have brought forth political parties that want bible teaching enforced in schools, everything shut down on Sundays and no votes for women. It's pointless to report these radicals; they've been around for ages and when I go voting, I'll find their parties listed alongside the socialists, communists, liberals and Christian-democrats. We're such a tolerant country you know.

(Update 2007: these parties are now part of the government. Where's a jihad when you need one.)

What the writers were also too chickenshit to say: people (with radical ideas) who are out to cause damage. This is phrased as: people who pose a danger to Dutch society. Hell, I pose a danger to Dutch society! I don't talk to people I don't like, I don't celebrate the Queen's birthday, I don't go to Spain on holidays or visit my parents at Christmas; if everyone were like that, Dutch society would come to a screeching halt! What is meant, is: people who may cause grave harm to each other and to their surroundings. The reason the writers can't put it like this, is that Dutch society itself, from the corrupt politicians and carcinogen-producing industrials to the simple civilians who are killing the environment by simply being too numerous, causes grave harm to all humans and their surroundings. And this must be allowed; only harm from foreign elements must be disallowed. This is the discrimination subtly imposed by this oh-so helpful pamphlet: "How the Dutch Are Flaming Hypocrites And How You Can Help".

I leafed through this waste of ink and paper, not out of interest for the infantile testimonies of national anti-terrorist muscle, or the debilitatingly obvious advice of what to do in case of terrorist attack (or severe storm, or aeroplanes crashing into buildings - it has happened in the Netherlands, but that was "only" an accident) but looking for an email address so I'd know who to flame. Wisely, the propagandists had included none. Then again, I shouldn't blame them. This crap was commissioned by a government, voted to power by who? By the brainless baboons overpopulating this country, this pamphlet's target audience. In fact, between the lines of this implicitly but clearly racist work, I read an attempt to prevent racist outbreaks. For instance, the most important thing we can do against terrorism is not to distrust, but to trust and respect each other. (The Dutch, respect each other - bwaaahahahahahaaaa!!! - in what alternate reality?) Almost everyone in the Netherlands is against terrorism you know, regardless of faith or religion, in other words, please don't lynch your North African neighbours, wait until they say something suspicious and then let the police handle it. Please, people, we have an international reputation of tolerance to keep up. No one may take our mini-country seriously, but let us cherish and maintain at least that one illusion we have about ourselves.

There is one simple thing that we can do against terrorism, of the small-scale underdog kind: stop insulting people. But this is something that the Dutch, as a nation, are culturally, psychologically, inherently, quintessentially, congenitally incapable of. Unless when threatened with severe violence.

PS. I would never of course commit acts of terrorism myself: like any inhabitant of a "free" country, I'm too cowed and powerless to take an effective stand against corruption. If I were more Dutch, I might, however, get drunk in a pub with a coupla yobs, beat someone to death and wake up next morning remembering nothing. Senseless violence is so much more tolerated than the motivated violence of terrorists.

PPS. Going to the site to flame the pamphlet-makers anyway, I found: still no email address, but a so-called "discussion forum" where we, the Dutch (the whole site was Dutch-only, foreigners were clearly not welcome) were allowed to post on a few set topics which were also the questions from the pamphlet. Apart from a few naff posts about "respect human life but kill terrorists" and "don't criticize the campaigners, they're just doing their best for you" (at the taxpayers' expense, cost of this outrage: 4 million euro) the paperthin social stratum of intelligent Dutch people (they exist! they exist!) had thoroughly done the job for me; I need not add anything! Although the moderators have already closed down one topic that clearly didn't get the hoped-for reactions. Oh, and you too can order a special custom-made Button Against Terrorism (not a joke)!

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