Part II: George W. Bush’s Lasting Legacy to America: These Days of Fear
These Days of Fear
Out of the coffers of antiquity and history have been opened the days of fear, emancipated to hover above the land of the free and the home of the brave. Yet it is fear that is slowly eroding both our freedoms and bravery. The days of fear have been reintroduced by a government intent on milking the fear factor for everything she’s got. It is fear that paralyzes, the ultimate weapon of power and control, a mechanism that attacks primitive human emotions and insecurities. If the citizenry is made to fear, whether it be real or invented, those in power can garner whatever they want for their own sinister motives. Fear freezes us dead in our tracks, it erases our rational and analytical human mind, replacing it with the fright of animals in danger. Fear is the headlight that makes the dear freeze. It is the sharp claws that makes a herd of gazelle flee. Fear is the unmistakable evasion of humans most animals in the wild exhibit.
An unknown commodity before 9/11, fear was conveyed back to Americans with the grizzly and almost surreal images of New York City under attack. Played over and over again, for the first time in modern times mass murder on such a violent scale could be seen again and again, ingraining into our minds the evil perpetrated on that malevolent day. If before 9/11 we did not know fear, after that day fear certainly made her presence known. In our minds remained entrenched the images of such cruelty, paralyzing the nation and its economy to the point the government had to beg us to return to our consumerist ways. For months it was fear that returned Americans to churches, mosques and synagogues. A nation that mourned soon turned to a nation suffering the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, from our youngest children to our oldest grandparents. Thus, the seeds of perpetual fear were dispersed to the citizenry along with the avalanche of white dust rushing down the glass steel canyons and concrete jungles of New York City.
For the last three years, the Bush administration has used a vast array of fear tools to control the masses, pressing different buttons for different results. When a war with Iraq was called for, the administration launched the vocabulary of fear with a full assault on our fragile and still insecure minds. “Imminent threat,” “grave and gathering danger,” “smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud,” “WMD’s,” “nuclear weapons,” “45 minute strike capability,” “another 9/11,” “Saddam-al-Qaeda connection,” “our way of life is in peril” and many more phrases were used to condition the American mind to the upcoming offensive war against a nation that could not even threaten its neighbors. In short, at a time when we were still vulnerable to the memories of the devastation unleashed on 9/11, when flags still draped homes, cars, streets, shops and clothing, and at a time when scars had yet to heal Bush and company exploited our every emotion to launch their war of choice and profit.
Bush, lucky to have been president on that fateful day and riding the tidal wave of support from the meteoric collision of planes with buildings used the American people to unleash a war that had been in the making during the previous year. During that time, Big Bird could have been Commander-in-Chief and he would have garnered the same level of support. It did not matter who led, the nation gathered behind the Office of the President. With the constant barrage of fear phrases being used by the administration, the Iraq war became a reality. The cowards in Congress dared not go against the swell of public support. When the administration had incessantly manipulated the masses that Saddam had some connection with 9/11 and al-Qaeda, it was impossible to not grant the President full warmonger powers.
In the last year, the Department of Homeland Insecurity has been charged with pressing the buttons of fear for the President’s political needs. Together with the ruling party and an Attorney General wearing McCarthy-style delusions mixed with evangelical zeal, fear has been used for convenience and control. At various times during the year, the media is used by the administration to deliver a reminder to the American public that Arab bogey-men still linger, that al-Qaeda still wants to kill us and that our bridges, tunnels, cities, buildings, restrooms, highways, restaurants and all other places we do commerce could be possible targets. Yet these warnings, when yellow turns to orange in the gay-pride like warning system, always seem to come about when it is politically convenient to the Bush administration. The use of this color-coded system is manipulated every three or four months to remind us of our duty to fear and our obligation to acquiesce.
At present, the days of fear are getting more severe, increasing in number and the innate level of fright. Presidential elections are fast approaching, you see, which is why the Secretary of Insecurity rushes towards the cameras ready to command us that fear must not be lost, that it is now an American institution, to be cherished and adored. To fear is to be patriotic; to fear is to be American.
The days of fear are being used to erode our rights and freedoms from right under our noses. The more we are made to fear, the theory goes, the more freedoms we will gladly exchange for more security (police state). It does not matter that what America once stood for is made to disappear, we want to be safe from the perpetual dark-skinned bogey man lurking in our closets and underneath our beds. It is our own fear that is eviscerating our rights, it is the fear implanted into our primitive minds by those in power that is turning our children’s future into one missing all we have taken for granted.
The case is being made, quite successfully I might add, that our way of life is under attack. The corporate media bombards us with fear-inducing news stories and analysts predicting the next terror wave. It systematically conditions our mind to the mistaken belief the nation is in great peril. Fear is being bred into the American psyche. It is being used to erase rights and freedoms, even with the consent of the governed.
The Soviet scare has ended, along with the fear-inducing propaganda our government used to control us for so many years. Today, the newest enemy to be resurrected is the evildoer personified, the Arab terrorist. This entity has no country, no home; he lurks in every city and in all regions. He is our new marketable enemy, a perpetual evildoer that will not implode like the old Soviet Union nor collapse under his own weight. This enemy is the perfect enemy for the military-industrial complex, better than the American Indian, the German Nazi and the Soviet Communist. He is Muslim, wanting nothing more than to attack Christians and to end our way of life, because, if the truth be told, he hates what we stand for, he hates our freedoms and democracy, and so he fights to the death. This assures those who market war that Americans will always comply with the “intelligence” and “commands” they are given.
The Muslim terrorist can be branded and re-branded since he is like a ghost, unseen and seldomly heard, moving clandestinely through the randomness of daily life. Names, whether real or concocted, can be turned into the next Osama bin Laden, demons reincarnated from the fires of Hell that personally unleash terror around the world. Nobody will ever know, or care, or ask or investigate whether or not he is fiction or real, a figment of one’s creative imagination or the product of years of seething hatred at America’s foreign policy. This new enemy cannot be touched or seen or found. He can be at many places at once, omnipotent and omnipresent, commanding thousands at a time, forever able to escape the greatest military the world has ever spawned. He is the perfect adversary for the perfect profit making scheme. Since we fear what we do not know, these ghost-like terrorists are the cleverest invention ever created by the warmongers and the profiteers. They are the product of sheer genius, for an enemy that cannot be found equates to a perpetual stream of profits for those who favor the economies of war.
As the election approaches, the outbursts of fear keep increasing. They are in place to remind us who the “War President” really is. These announcements are meant to awaken inside us the memories of the man who stood bewildered as New York City’s twin towers collapsed. Every fear factor orange, as always unsubstantiated and without details, commands us to remember who is conducting this so-called war on terror and is bringing the wrath of American vengeance to those innocent thousands of Arab and Muslim descent.
If BushCo finds itself on the verge of losing this upcoming election, fear factor orange will be manipulated and played like a symphony orchestra, booming threat after threat and warning after warning to make us feel even more insecure. Fear will be used to convey the message that during times of danger and war it is unwise to change leadership. Of course the absurdity of this conjecture will not stop them from using it. The national paranoia will be milked for all its worth in order to re-defraud the American people. Our communal schizophrenia will be used and abused so we vote against our interests and those of the nation. Our minds will continue to be scared by a complicit media that plays to the tune of the government and the commands of its corporate parents.
Manipulation of reality, conditioning of fright, stress on our lives and anxiety at night, what Bush wants most is for us to be terrorized. He wants us to continue giving him power and control over our daily lives. He wants us to fear so that we give him the shredder that will tear to pieces the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our fear imputes to our children, our paranoia helps transform our lives. Freedoms, liberties and the last vestiges of democracy are we compliantly giving up.
Beware the leader who instills fear into his citizenry, for it is he who we must most fear. Beware the leader who preaches war abroad and enemy attacks at home, for it is he who is the real enemy. Beware the leader who robs the people of rights and freedoms, for it is he who must be shredded. Beware the leader who stirs up misguided patriotic fervor, for it is he who is treasonous. Beware the leader who never tells the truth, for it is he who is the biggest liar.
Over a land of freedom has been growing a volcano of lies, spewing its hot molten magma of fear onto millions of honest, descent people whose only concern is living in security for themselves and their children, without fear being bombarded onto their daily lives. Inside the raging crater of lava the fire of Bush do we see. It is leaders such as he who impute fear for selfish, political and self-aggrandizing reasons onto the very people they lead that are the epitome of human malice. It is so-called leaders such as Bush whose volcano must be made dormant, never to spew toxic malignancies into the breathable air we inhale and never to surface again from the once-pristine lands of Earth.