Bush's Politics of Fear: Keeping the United States Safe

“Knowledge is the antidote to fear.” Emerson


Remember those Republican ads that were ran last September just prior to the first presidential debate? A very personal and clear message for all Americans: “weakness invites those who would do us harm.” Bush was portrayed to be a priori the candidate most likely to keep the nation strong… and thus safe.

But the politics of fear was not restricted to the Ultra-Right, and was adopted by the Lesser-Right as well. Kerry and his advisers were quick to hum the same tune, and joined in a seemingly patriotic duet. A duet which many thought had a clear voice (Bush) and a mouthing accompanist (Kerry). In politics, truth is seldom reflected but often refracted; distortion, by way of lies and repetition, almost always winning the day.

Over six hundred more dead Americans, thousands additionally maimed, and fifty plus billion dollars later in Iraq , the message from the White House remains unchanged from that of eight months ago. Fear, like fire, at times needs some stoking… the bellows in this case provided by the White House and the Pentagon to a voluntarily captive mainstream press.

Fear has been stoked by the administration through well choreographed PR work but, as if we were all complicit, denunciations are seldom heard to this unrelenting tauroscatology; yes, this nonstop bullshit the public is being fed via a consenting press. Prof. HG Frankfurt’s recently published 67-page treatise on this subject could not have come at a more opportune time as zombie-like Americans partake in this communion of male bovine fecal excrement that keeps the lion’s share of the population spiritually tied to the gods of ignorance and deceit.

Whether we’ve been programmed to believe the half-truths and three-quarter lies pitched by this ultra-rightist government, or it’s a convenient predisposition to believe what’s in our selfish interests, little by little more Americans are starting to realize that the US is not safer today, but less safe. We are coming to grips with the fact that the blood and money spent to date in Iraq have not been an investment in security, but rather a tribute… a payment to politically-driven fear.

Politics of fear is certainly nothing new, disguised by whatever other names. What does seem different this time around, however, is the meekness and credulity exhibited by such a large segment of America ’s population. Could it be that consumerism, our apparent hallucinogen of choice, has numbed our political common sense?

Bush may have formally declared his war on terror after 9/11, but his cabal had already predetermined the battles which were to come long before his inauguration. Thanks to this ominous event, the neocon elite was able to start the empire-building process with a patriotic rally of the people, saving the Bush administration from the arduous task of selling Americans on the malignancy of the axis-of-evil, or others who might interfere.

In his quest to “keep America safe,” Bush has dressed every type of potential challenger or competitor- whether individuals, groups or sovereign nations- with the uniform of terror. Even respected international organizations have received the President’s scorn; the latest to join the fray being Amnesty International.

How can Mr. Bush answer the criticism from an organization that the US has found credible in the past by dismissing their findings as “absurd”? What might be termed as absurd is the government’s hypocritical indignation against those dubbed simply as America ’s haters. Perhaps it’s Bush and his associates who should be granted an epithet, that of truth-haters, as details emerge of how war and occupation are being conducted, whether in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo … or the thousands of Iraqi homes.

Keeping the United States safe does not rest solely on the shoulders of Homeland Security or the military. Domestically, Homeland Security will be no more than an expensive psychological pacifier, a wasteful gigantic bureaucracy sure to make all other government agencies shine by comparison in both efficiency and effectiveness.

Militarily, it would be foolish to believe that if the existing war minds in the Pentagon are unable to handle guerrilla warfare in one or two fronts, as it’s the case now, they could just add several new fronts; say in Syria , Iran , Korea , perhaps even Venezuela … and the list could grow. Idiotic and nonsensical, one asks? Not to these brilliant minds…

One can just deduce a truly Machiavellian response to that: “Damage done to a man should be such that there is no fear of revenge.” After all, what are those stockpiles of latent destruction waiting for… if not for their use?

Waging preemptive, domination wars may play to a false sense of security… but in the long run, and taking exception to what Machiavelli said, there will always be revenge. Let’s not forget that those countries that may fear us today are sure to hate us tomorrow… for someone wisely said that there is a short road between fear and hate.