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Buffalo News readers must break the cycle.
Boys in Blue do Blitzkrieg Bop
Speaking of unfortunately
named initiatives, police recently carried out “Operation Shock
and Awe” in the Buffalo theatre in the war on drugs. Police Commissioner
H. McCarthy Gipson’s 3-day secret police raid swept across the city, netting
an unimpressive amount of drugs, guns, and cash, and resulting in 78 total arrests.
Some Buffalo residents are confident the raids provided the nearly incomprehensible
levels of massive destruction needed to dissuade all future drug use in the
city, while others feel the operation was a tragic waste of perfectly good narcotics
and pit bulls.
Buffalo News reported that the raid netted “about six pounds of marijuana,
seven ounces of crack cocaine, five guns and more than $11,000” in the
execution of 38 search warrants. If you break that down, it’s 2.5 ounces
of pot (that evil drug that causes countless Buffalonians to enjoy Cartoon Network
programming more than they really ought to), 0.18 ounces of crack, 0.13 guns
and 289 bucks per warrant executed—not exactly an “awesome”
rate of return. Divide the total take by the amount of people arrested—78—and
it’s hard to imagine what all of those people were actually charged with,
especially since I’m pretty sure money is not classified as a schedule
The brutality of the News
article’s wording is worth remarking. It leads off like this:
‘flash bang’ concussion device is detonated inside a Kensington
Avenue house as Buffalo Police SWAT officers, clad in black armor and brandishing
automatic assault rifles, storm a lower apartment.
seconds, there are multiple shotgun blasts. At the same instant, another officer
cradles a 1-year-old boy out the front door and down a flight of steps to
smoke clears, three large pit bull terriers lay dead, in pools of their own
Jesus! So this
is good police work, huh? The cops just stun-grenaded a friggin’ baby
and shot three dogs dead for a teaspoon of crack, and we’re supposed to
Awe,” or “Schlag und Awe” in the original German, was a term
developed by the Nazis and first put to print in the glossy WWII era propaganda
magazine Signal. As expounded upon in a United States' National Defense University
report from the mid-‘90s, the military goals of Rapid Deployment are "to
affect the will, perception, and understanding of the adversary to fit or respond
to our strategic policy ends through imposing a regime of Shock and Awe."
In Nazi Germany and modern America, the “adversary” is both the
defined enemy and the news-consuming public at large. The Buffalo police are
trying to scare the shit out of you with an inappropriately named, historically
disconnected bit of military marketing might. (This isn’t a new tactic:
a previous campaign of police intrusion was dubbed “Operation Clean Sweep,”
after a search-and-destroy campaign in Vietnam.)
The News is, ahem,
signaling, there will be a lot of "flash bang grenades” and “multiple
shotgun blasts,” initially. If Gipson is in fact following the doctrine
of Rapid Dominance, he is seeking to “paralyze” the dealers’
“will to carry on” in the face of such an overwhelming use of force.
But fear not, fellow
fiends; as it’s been demonstrated historically, the shock fades and people
fight back. Supplies will not dry up, nor will Buffalo police officers be shouting
“Vere are your rollink papers?!” in your face any time soon. The
law of supply and demand cannot be denied by mere mortals, even with badges
and guns. Trying to stem the flow of narcotics to any city by attacking supply
is like trying to stop water from leaking through a sieve. Yes, Joel Giambra
is actually right about something.
And fear not brave
dealers; although the News is quick to tell you, "The word out on the street
is that Buffalo is very hot with narcotics raids and no one knows who is going
to be next," you should continue to supply, uh, your customers with powerful
the pentagon’s 2003 Iraq operation of the same name is
any indicator, the raids will play well in the media, having
the desired, noisy effect of signaling the enemy’s imminent
defeat, and then slowly but surely lead to intractable quagmire
and defeat. Let’s just hope they don’t douse the
city in white phosphorous. Try to act impressed when they declare