DHS Zombie Scenarios: Designed to Desensitize?
Dictators have always used creative ways to dehumanize their opponents. In Hitler’s Germany, Jews were portrayed in pictures, articles, textbooks and propaganda films as sub-human filth; vermin, apes, dogs, malformed and malevolent. This systematic dehumanization effectively chips away at the moral repugnance most have against harming other human because they are taught that the object of their contempt is NOT human. Not human, sort of like Zombies?
In Obama’s America numerous government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense have issued BOLO lists of “domestic terrorists” which include veterans, members of the Tea Party, pro-lifers and Right-wingers. Take note that most of these “groups” are comprised of ordinary people who are patriotic, law-abiding, prefer limited government, and believe in the Constitution. It’s for their beliefs they are pegged potential terrorists. The label “terrorist” when applied to these generally conservative Americans is like unto Hitler’s use of “vermin” in reference to “Juden.” The words are dehumanizing. It was a German citizen’s duty to country to expose and punish “vermin.” In Obama’s America, certain political elitists believe it is their patriotic duty to expose and destroy the Tea Party, pro-lifers, and any groups that pose a threat to the sacrosanct authority of the state.
For several years DHS has been holding “Zombie Drills” and “Zombie Apocalypse Training” during which actors in zombie garb with horror makeup and glassy eyes confront armed government agents in mock attacks, purportedly to hone the tactical skills of the agents. But most recently the Pentagon has jumped aboard the corpse cart, laying out complete battle plans for a full-out Zombie invasion. One could surmise that this is just a cutesy approach to training which heightens morale among the domestic agency troops. I disagree. Given the increasingly hostile attitudes of government agents, and the agencies giving them orders from Washington D.C., it should surprise no one that dehumanizing opponents of the state is a central motif for all armed domestic agents’ tactical training.
The DHS drills use live actors made up to look like threatening, though dead, human beings. They have human form, but lack the pathos of non-zombie humans. They walk and groan, but lack human warmth and intelligence. Killing actor zombies with firearms which carry blank rounds is the step between shooting decidedly non-living cardboard cutouts and killing living humans with whom one can identify. That in-between step in Hitler’s Germany looked like “apes” and “vermin.”
I’m troubled by the use of zombies not because of the nature of the zombie phenomenon, but because of the nature of the United States Government, and many increasingly inhumane state and local governments. The novelty of zombies has worn off–they’ve expired if you will. Nevertheless everyone should be alarmed when government agencies which brand military veterans, people of faith, and Conservatives as potential “domestic terrorists” begins to use moving, breathing, human targets as fodder in their para-military drills.
The path of desensitization is one of increments. Few are sufficiently psychopathic to kill another human without devastating anxiety–unless their level of exposure has been high. I believe that Zombie Apocalypse scenarios are being used by agencies with armed law enforcement to provide that exposure by degrees, and will eventually create domestic armies to be turned against opponents of the state, zombies or not.
by Marjorie Haun 10/30/14