Fearmongering

When I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 at the urging of my in-laws I pulled two things out of it. They were:

  • The film really makes some huge leaps and stretches in some of its information in an effort to cast a poor light on the Bush administration
  • There has been, since 9/11, an almost constant effort to keep the general public in a state of fear.

When you think about it a bit, the second point really is quite obvious to me. We've got this wonderful color chart put out by The Department of Homeland Security that is supposed to tell us what the risk terrorist attacks is. My question is, what good does this do outside of scaring people? Isn't that the definition of a terrorist? I'm not implying that the Department of Homeland Security is involved with terrorism in that sense.

What i'm saying is that when you look at the warning level, most people would think that when its high that we should do something different. Gee, when its Red, maybe I should avoid going to the mall. Maybe I should cancel that vacation. This is exactly what is wanted by terrorists in general. They want to disrupt the lives of the people. They want to make them afraid to do things they would normally do and therefore appeal to their leaders to remove the threat and through that cause the governments to do what the terrorists are wanting.

Keeping people in a constant state of fear is not good. It will cause them to do anything, and support anyone that says that they'll make things better. Hmmm....

Listening to the news coverage of Republican National Convention in New York earlier it became pretty apparent at what the whole GOP is banking on. Fear. All I heard was 9/11, 9/11, Kerry flip-flops, 9/11, 9/11, 9/11. 9/11 was a terribly thing that happened and it opened the eye of the US that the large puddles that separate us and the rest of the world don't mean that we're not part of the worlds problems. It is, however, not a campaign slogan. It seems that some people just don't get that.

Take the VP Dick Cheney for one. He recently made a statement down in Iowa that:

"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice,
because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be
hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States"

Gee... sounds to me that he's not saying "Vote for us because we're better" but more "Vote for us we'll have another 9/11" Sounds like fearmongering.

Comments:

Others, whose views I do not necessarily endorse, are much less forgiving of the state of affairs.

Posted by M. Mortazavi on September 17, 2004 at 06:01 AM CDT #

By the way, I forgot to include a trace to an earlier note on the effectiveness of blogs in doing politics.

Posted by M. Mortazavi on September 17, 2004 at 06:18 AM CDT #

The Cheney quote you mention I think represents one of the lowest points in American politics. I cannot believe that the Republicans have sunk so low as to prey upon our worst fears in order to stay in power.

Doesn't the Cold War seem like cake compared to today's climate? And we are talking about complete annhilation back then!

Posted by Watt on September 17, 2004 at 08:50 AM CDT #

Fear-mongering makes much more sense if you see Bowling for Columbine. The pattern is nothing new. Remember the "domino effect?"

Posted by Richard Elling on September 17, 2004 at 07:17 PM CDT #

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Phil is an Area Technical Engineer in the Central Area of Oracle's Field Service in North America. He has 15 years of experience supporting Sun's entire product line.

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