Fear Is The Weapon Of Mass Destruction

By Gary Simon
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Apr 14, 2006, 01:00

If some of us aren't expressing it, we're at least privately questioning the breakdown in federal and state law and the failure of leading officials to restore accountability to a system designed to represent, at least on the surface, a majority of its people.

We're flabbergasted that politicians of Faustian proportion could disrupt our checks and balances as effectively as they do and are just as astounded at the range of criminal activity within our federal, state and local governments. We're even more dismayed at the public's limp reaction to this usurpation of power.

Personally, I don't know which devil to admonish the most: Washington or my own neighbor, for both are guilty for what has happened to our lives, laws and Constitution.

We've allowed our leaders unlimited dips into the national well and have done little to pay closer heed to history's lessons.

As a result, the rich have gone on to enjoy unthinkable profits while the rest of us have been left behind with fewer benefits, protections and freedoms.

All of this intrusion into our private lives could possibly been avoided had we been on the lookout for two particular elements: first, the laying down of a national consciousness and second, the intrusion of that most troubling emotion: fear.

Thoreau, and not Roosevelt, first wrote about the poisonous state of fear without adequately explaining its daunting effect on our lives.

I can suggest however, that the less educated and informed a public is the more easily manipulated it becomes.

Conversely, while many of us are aware of the psychological unraveling that takes place when education is put on hold and fear raised to its highest level, we should likewise be prepared to take up the battle against fear and its accompaniment: propaganda.

It's baffling how certain Machiavellian maneuvers, such as the illegal invasion of another country, the illegal use of presidential powers, the illegal tampering with voting machines and the violation of human rights, to mention a few, can silence a democracy and derail its checks and balances.

Whenever I'm in the presence of those still in denial about this country's attacks upon itself, I often lose my audience before I can finish my first words.

I'm often conscious of my tone and usually go out of my way to lighten my message.

It still doesn't make much difference since my "audience" generally refuses to hear, probably because their government doesn't want them to hear.

That being the case, my running declaration of indictments won't do much to change their minds anytime soon, regardless of my approach.

Frankly, I don't believe certain groups of people want their minds changed.

I, on the other hand, find it incredulous that I'm even writing about these blemished and intrusive times.

I also find it incredulous that our country has lost its moral center.

I find it incredulous that we've lost our free press, an independent judiciary and an inspired leadership -- all in one Halliburton swoop.

I find it incredulous that after 230 years we're still a country devoid of enlightenment and lacking in reason and moral judgment.

If ever we had an American Renaissance or a commitment to a true national education, then the likes of a Cheney, Rumsfeld or Bush could not have made it to the front stage.

Fortunately, the real weapon against abusive power is not the military or any overt form of aggression but rather the power of the mind to see clearly the infractions that cancel and eradicate our freedoms.

This power calls upon us to put aside our own shortcomings and exert a universal willingness to defend that morality which already exists in the human psyche as well as in nature.

Men and women consumed with power have no knowledge of the labor that goes into the building of a national conscience.

Those who control the comings and goings of today's power lack, through their own improper conduct, a trusting conscience.

To their credit and that of their predecessors, whatever grit and compassion that were once a part of the national work force have now been removed.

Our salvation, therefore, must be to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps and turn history on its side.

Only through unified and conscientious actions can a new door open and allow us to rebuild from a position of knowledge. In the end only enlightenment and reason can ensure a truer and more lasting democracy.

Whatever support system we had to preserve our views and freedoms has been craftily dissembled . . . but not while America slept.

No, America was definitely not asleep. This time around its mind was shut while its eyes were open with instructions from the top levels of government blurring most clear vision.

It was also during this time that Washington's money-changers -- its congressional representatives -- benefited heftily through favors and tradeoffs while the majority of its constituents moped quietly behind . . . but awake. And they're still awake. The difference now is they're being asked to see through a different pair of eyes.

In defense of the American citizenry, however, (and one can make an arguable defense) it has some most formidable opponents in Congress and Corporate America.

As much as this administration lacks in polish and sophistication, when it comes to exploiting fear and propaganda, certain key players have learned their history very well.

What we, the average citizen, essentially did was to allow oil and power to remain in the hands of crafty manipulators while our common sense was placed on hold.

Although those at the helm may tell a different story, the truth is that what began with the Rockefeller crowd over 100 years ago has escalated into an irreversible contest for oil and world domination today.

Because I consider myself one who still views the world with his own pair of eyes, I can't stop voicing the questions I raised five years ago: How did they get elected and why are they still here? How is it that the majority of us are still behaving as though there's no recourse to what could be considered impeachable offenses?

I think the answers may not be that elusive and that what makes us feel so stressed is that we're in too much denial. I have a hunch that the majority of us don't think about what we should be thinking about most of the time.

Instead it's all about what and how our leaders and, of course, the press instruct us.

It's about political persuasion and how the public, when caught between tragedy and patriotism, will stand behind the flag first as it did four years ago and will do 300 years hence.

Karl Rove knows this. Richard B. Cheney certainly knew this. Anyone connected with the Carlyle Group and G.W. have always known this.

Then why is it the rest of us don't?

It's safe to say this government isn't much different from the one we had at the turn of the century. This group is simply better at pooling its resources and molding a public to perform unconditionally at the first command of its leader. A public should be aware of how power and greed direct the workings of its government. However, the plain truth is that most people aren't that circumspect.

My mother once had an expression that she used on her children when events would turn against her. "You can't fight City Hall," she would utter at least once a month. It was the other 29 days that I used for querying: "Why -- why can't you fight City Hall?"

And I'm still asking, although I'm keenly aware that the deception which began with the first Rockefeller is very much alive and well in the current House of Oil.

I'm also aware that if I had spent an hour a day watching what most folks view on television, then I would probably have gone from stressed to jittery by now. The same would hold true had I eagerly followed politics, especially this administration's politics.

I'm further convinced that had I forced myself to study every mispronunciation, to listen to every disjointed comment of a national leader whose character has led to the lowering of educational, professional and business standards, then I would certainly have gone from jittery to thoroughly strained by now.

But the truth is I'm not following CNN, CBS and G-d help us all, Fox Entertainment.

The hours saved have gone to other beneficial uses, such as studying the dioxins in the air and reading up on the global warming that G.W denies. It's also afforded me the opportunity to seek out other individuals who are willing to speak openly and frankly about issues that concern them, subjects over which we might liberally agree. With them, with this circle of friends, I can think aloud and ponder true conservative subjects like health, job security, pentagon waste, White House waste, balanced budgets and government interference. In the presence of their camaraderie I can also hope that the FBI won't be overly zealous any time soon about breaking down my door.

I've always thought myself a liberal, and because of the mockery Reagan made of that now infamous word, it isn't inconceivable for me to imagine the FBI forcing its way through my front door.

Yet a party that falsifies an economy, ignores an unforgivable deficit, reinvents the Constitution, turns evolution on its backside and a country's open spaces into a wasteland, should have more problems than I do.

That's the party that should be looking over its shoulder. They're the ones who should be feeling the stress. Not me.

But they're not. Instead they're making people I care about more anxious by not giving them the news to which they're entitled -- news that reflects accurate investigative reporting. Most of what we hear is either about the "democratization" of Iraq, the "upholding" of our Constitution, the constant legislating of give-a-way programs to the Far Right, Gas & Oil and Timber & Forestry Industries and the "vision" our infamous leader has for "protecting" our Freedoms.

Yet, if a fraction of the "real" news actually leaked out and reached the ears of some of the public, would conditions be different? Possibly, but probably not, at least not until we start opening our minds.

As for me, I need to hear a truth which appears to have hit rock bottom. I need to see Justice out in the open and not just occasionally squeezed between the thousand heartbreaks and defeats. I need to see it enacted in the courtroom in my hometown, New Orleans, and I want to see the full scoop reported in the Times-Picayune and every Picayune from here to Washington.

I want to see an immediate halt to protecting millionaire politicians. I want to see the buck stop somewhere safe and go toward feeding hungry mouths. I want to see it judiciously directed away from the Michael Chertoffs and all future Michael Chertoffs yet to come.

What's more, I don't need ABC, NBC or NPR or anyone else to remind me of the silliness of our newscasting when it reports how the economy appears to be "running" on course or how "stabilization" is spreading throughout the Far East.

I thought that's what those sexy magazine tabloids at the checkout lines were all about. Besides, isn't Tom Cruise more important than finding bin Laden?

Isn't LSU or Florida State football more important than finding bin Laden? One would think so since no one wants to mention bin Laden.

But our media has no problem talking or writing about football and Tom Cruise 24/7.

Now why is that?

Furthermore, I don't wish to hear only what my government wants me to hear about war or be the butt of their jocularity as they sit around the Oval Office playing with sophomoric words like Homeland Security and Weapons of Mass Destruction and expect me not to gasp at the simplicity of it all.

Incredibly, every comical word and term this administration has dreamt up has found its way in to print.

They knew that the rest of us would be waiting for any forthcoming "news" since we usually accept all news as gospel. They also knew that unless we swallowed every syllable and paragraph then we'd run the risk of the unThinkable; we'd all be called unAmerican and unPatriotic. G-d, forbid!

A government built on fear is one that is to be feared and eventually to be removed.

If not, a government that feeds off the confusion of its own people will only result in the gradual eroding of everyone else's civil liberties and an increase in the anxiety felt in docile, democratic circles.

I don't think there's any question that the fear factor has been raised.

The question is why and for how long.

For the moment, though, just pause and look into everyone's eyes. Listen to their words. These are not the happy faces I saw during the Clinton years. At least then we were talking about halting the proliferation of guns and nuclear weapons. Now it's assumed that everyone who doesn't pack a weapon may need therapy or counseling or some serious schooling regarding our misread second amendment.

Years ago there were no bumbling speeches from important leaders who would deliberately involve us in preemptive war.

Only a decade ago we were setting aside public lands for our children and actually planning to preserve a heritage. Today it's not heritage we live with, but fear; fear of our government, fear of our employer and even fear of the people next door.

It's also fear that has since separated me from those with whom I occasionally meet casually. It's fear that has separated me from those who believe America's role should be that of the aggressor . . . and I don't.

It's fear that has separated me from those who believe it's America's role to dismantle social programs . . . and I don't. It's fear that has taught others to disrespect their own states' rights and civil liberties . . . and I don't.

I've also observed invisible and not so invisible walls going up that will take some time to lower.

Frankly, I can't see mine coming down anytime soon. Nor do I believe I would want them to; that is not until some very simple words like Health, Liberty, Democracy and Constitution are taken back into our lives and those precious walls of Justice and Freedom are protected, preserved and put in place once again.

But until that day arrives, I intend to stay a bit closer to home and a bit closer to others I choose to trust.

Whatever goes awry outside of my circle, I still might have some control.

If it goes too far, if the talk gets too loud or unfriendly, I'll still try to listen although I'll probably not agree.

And if it makes any difference, I won't shut the doors until I'm forced to.

However, there's one point I can guarantee and that is I won't change or reverse my thinking just to make others or a few grumbling neighbors happy.

If I did that I really wouldn't be American, now would I?

Copyright © 1998-2006 Online Journal


Informant: Friends


Fear as a weapon

Mother Jones
by Glenn Greenwald


In one sense, it is difficult to understand how the Bush administration has been able to embrace such radical theories of executive power, and to engage in such recognizably un-American conduct -- first in the shadows and now quite openly -- without prompting a far more intense backlash from the country than we have seen. It is true that the president's approval ratings have sunk to new lows in 2004 and 2005. The broad and bipartisan support he commanded for the two years after the 9/11 attacks has vanished almost completely. And yet, despite all of the public opinion trends and the president's steadily declining popularity, there has been no resounding public rejection of the administration's claim to virtually limitless executive power and its systematic violations of the nation's laws...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp


Independent Media Source

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