What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: Devar
The Washington Post published an article in March titled “Terrorized by the War on Terror”, written by Zbigniew Brzezinski. The author makes the case that America has been hurt as a result of this elusive “war”.
Fearmongering is the method with which the “war on terror” is allowed to continue, ever emptying our already empty national coffers, increasingly infringing upon civil liberties, and sinisterly slaughtering innocent people in the crossfire.
The article explains the correlation between the moniker “war on terror” and the use of fear:
Constant reference to a “war on terror” did accomplish one major objective: It stimulated the emergence of a culture of fear. Fear obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue.
What is the natural result of a fearful populace? Widespread disagreement and disunity in what is to be done. We become weakened in our resolve and pathetic in our understanding of what response must be taken to maintain our liberties and God-give freedom—both from enemies within and without. The author continues:
The culture of fear is like a genie that has been let out of its bottle. It acquires a life of its own — and can become demoralizing. America today is not the self-confident and determined nation that responded to Pearl Harbor; nor is it the America that heard from its leader, at another moment of crisis, the powerful words “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”; nor is it the calm America that waged the Cold War with quiet persistence despite the knowledge that a real war could be initiated abruptly within minutes and prompt the death of 100 million Americans within just a few hours. We are now divided, uncertain and potentially very susceptible to panic in the event of another terrorist act in the United States itself.
Are we safer as a result of this so-called “war on terror”? The author thinks not:
That America has become insecure and more paranoid is hardly debatable. A recent study reported that in 2003, Congress identified 160 sites as potentially important national targets for would-be terrorists. With lobbyists weighing in, by the end of that year the list had grown to 1,849; by the end of 2004, to 28,360; by 2005, to 77,769. The national database of possible targets now has some 300,000 items in it, including the Sears Tower in Chicago and an Illinois Apple and Pork Festival.
Much like the pigs on the Animal Farm, our political leaders are making a concerted attempt at keeping the populace in fear. Instead of roaring like lions for liberty, we bleat like sheep for security. ‘Twas not always so…
The author concludes his article with a question:
Where is the U.S. leader ready to say, “Enough of this hysteria, stop this paranoia”? Even in the face of future terrorist attacks, the likelihood of which cannot be denied, let us show some sense. Let us be true to our traditions.
Can anybody say Ron Paul?