Culture of Fear

One of the articles on the front page of the PD today highlights how the recent foiled bomb plot in Britain, the Lieberman/Lamont primary, and the upcoming 5-year anniversary of 9/11 are bringing the issue of national defense to the forefront. Two weeks ago, when asked (on Fox News, of course) if Americans have forgotten 9/11, Bush, I'm sure wearing his trademark shit-eating grin, replied that "it seems like a faded memory to some. I think a lot of Americans, though, understand the stakes of the world in which we live."

Sigh. Patronizing fuck.

I understand. I understand that you are neck-high in shit and don't know how to get out. I understand that you cannot admit that you were wrong and are wrong and thousands of Americans, and god knows how many other innocent civilians, died because of it. I understand that you now have to keep up this fucking war because if we were to wage peace, then we'd have to take a hard look at what's going on here at home, and that shit is depressing to the majority of Americans who aren't rich as fuck and getting huge tax breaks.

If the recent foiled bomb plot showed us anything, it's that the a war in Iraq is not what's stopping terrorism. Vigilant domestic security and investigations are. We have no clear exit strategy for Iraq. There doesn't seem to be any clear progress. Many would argue that our presence is actually antagonizing attacks. Lamont's defeat of longtime Democratic Party stalwart Lieberman, a defeat that was due almost wholly to Lamont's strong anti-war platform, shows the American public as a whole no longer supports the war. However, those who are spearheading this ridiculous campaign for "freedom" and "democracy" will point to what happened in Britain as a sign that we have to blow more shit up. Because if the American public is afraid, they will happily surrender their civil liberties, along with massive funding that could support the war here at home, and ignore other world citizens' safety, to keep the big, bad, terrorists out. And Bush just needs to produce more rousingly patriotic sound bites where he throws around empty terms such as "freedom" and "democracy", which mean nothing but sound great, to get the support of those who think that their backwater stomping grounds or suburban subdivision are next in line for a huge act of violence.


Thursday, Bush used the phrase "Islamic fascists" to describe our enemy in the war on terror. It's statements like these that make four out of ten Americans think that Muslims in America should have to carry a special ID. Why do I have the feeling that these are the same people who think that all blacks, Asians, and Latinos all look the same?

Many cult watchdog groups put out information that includes tips to identifying a cult. Questions to ask yourself about a group to identify whether or not they are a cult include:

*Do they put the demands of the group before family, school, and interests?
*Are they vague about what their beliefs are until you're in the group?
*Does the leader demand unquestioning agreement or obedience?
*Does the group feel that only they have spiritual truth and that all other groups and churches are wrong?

Scarier still are the early warning signs of fascism, written by Laurence Britt after studying facist regimes such as Nazi Germany, Mussolini's Italy, Francisco Franco's Spain, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar's Portugal, George Papadopoulous's (not the dad on Webster) Greece, Augusto Pinochet's Chile, and Mohamed Suharto's Indonesia. They include:

* powerful and continuing nationalism
* disdain for human rights
* identification of enemies as a unifying cause
* supremacy of the military
* rampant sexism
* controlled mass media
* obsession with national security
* religion and government entwined
* corporate power protected
* labor power supressed
* disdain for intellectuals and the arts
* obsession with crime and punishment
* rampant cronyism and corruption
* fraudulent elections

We should be afraid, but not because of foreign terrorists. I understand a lot more than you think, President Bush.

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