I think they do these travel “advisories” every so often as a way for us to renew our fear memberships that we all hold with the government. Sometimes we forget that our government is out there, working 24/7 to make us safe from the boogeyman terrorists. And it’s considered blasphemy against the State to deny that there’s a perfectly good reason our liberties are being systematically confiscated. It’s for our own good. So, they’ve got to scare us periodically to remind us why we have to depend on them.
To that end, the travel advisory can’t be specific, because then 99% of the population would just avoid that one place that’s supposedly at risk of being attacked. That wouldn’t do any good as far as trying to make everybody afraid.
But issuing vague warnings doesn’t really do anything either. If it’s vague, people don’t really know what they’re supposed to feel. Are we supposed to be afraid to fly in a plane? Or drive a car? Ride a bike? Walk down the street? Or, are we just supposed to travel “with caution,” whatever that means?
People aren’t going to be cancelling their travel plans just because the government issues some general travel alert about possible, potential terrorist attacks. As if all of a sudden, terrorists pose this brand new, never-before-seen threat. They might attack something somewhere in the world at some point in time, so watch out. This time, we really mean it.
Writing for NBC News, Rob Lovitt pointed out why people don’t really pay attention to these vague warnings anymore:
“‘It’s like calling “Fire!” 15 times,’ said consultant Peter Tarlow, president of Tourism and More Inc., in College Station, Texas. ‘As more people ignore it, the value of the warning decreases rapidly.’ Consider, for example, the color-coded alert system the Department of Homeland Security implemented in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. Although it spanned five colors, ranging from green (low) to red (severe), it remained at orange (high) from August 2006 until the system was discontinued in April 2011. ‘People just stopped listening,’ said Tarlow.”
They want to keep us in this constant state of fear so that we’re more docile and willing to do whatever we’re told in order for us to feel safe. And what’s most important is that when we do feel scared, we run to the government for security.