Through the informational tubes of our lapdog media, these feeders have been forcing a fatty fantastic fear down our throats as relentlessly as foie gras producers do to geese and ducks. The intent, perhaps, is to make us juicier, tastier marks for these hucksters to consume, to numb and dumb day in and day out until we produce a subservient delicacy born from extreme terror. Most recently, officials like Donald Rumsfeld and even President Bush himself have tried comparing Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups to the Nazis, bringing into the public discourse a once little known umbrella term used by the far-right called "islamofacism." What's worse, they have used their limitless forums to subtly and now brazenly compare opponents to their agenda to enablers of atrocity, an outrageous charge without merit.
We are told to be afraid whenever it is politically opportune, as MSNBC's Keith Olbermann commendably detailed in a piece for his prime-time show, showing side-by-side several highly questionable terror "threats" next to the political scandals and ugly truths that preceeded them by days or even hours. Additionally, he has been railing against this newfound Nazi rhetoric, just yesterday asking Bush that infamous query "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" and days earlier calling out Rumsfeld and evoking the legendary newsman Edward R. Murrow. Despite what Bush, Cheney, and their cohorts say, we need more men like Keith Olbermann, not less.
In a recent televised interview, author Salman Rushdie responded in the following manner to Bill Moyers' question of whether or not America was "doomed to live under a fatwa" -
"Yes, I think... And I think — one of the reasons I can say this is that, having lived in England during the years of the of the IRA campaign — it became something that people, in a way, came to accept. That every so often a bomb would go off in a shopping mall, shopping center, and in the end, people refused to allow that to change their daily lives and just proceeded. And I think that refusal to be deflected from the path of normality also played a great deal of the role in the defeat of the IRA, that they didn't achieve their goal. And I think it is, I mean, it's something I've written quite a bit about, that the answer to terrorism is not to be terrorized, and it becomes important to continue."
While Rushdie encourages us not to be paralytically afraid in these troubling times, the most frightening thing is just how little this Republican administration does to actually protect us. From failing to secure our ports and nuclear plants to stubbornly inflaming anti-American sentiment on a daily basis, the same people who demand our loyal silence and blind devotion sabotage, blunder, and willfully conspire against the American people in pursuit of an agenda that is antithetical to our democratic values. The fascists of the 20th century used fear and arrogance as arrows in their quivver to control their populace, and this proto-fascist neoconservative cabal acts in the same manner. We, as a people, should be smarter than this. We must stand up to these cruel administrators of anxiety and reject radicalism masquerading as patriotism, because if we do not, we are doomed to repeat an ugly history--American style.
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