Saturday, March 24, 2007

Robert Fisk: The crushing fear that stalks America

If "we" left Iraq, she said in a quavering voice, the jihadists, the "terrorists", could come here to America. They would attack us right here.

I sighed with frustration. I was listening to her voice but it was also the voice of the woman on Fox TV, the repeated, hopeless fantasy of Bush and Blair: that if we fail in Iraq, "they", the monstrous enemy, will arrive on our shores. Every day in the American papers now, I read the same "fear" transformed into irrationality. Luke Boggs - God, how I'd love that byline - announces in his local paper: "I say let the terrorists rot in Guantanamo. And let the Europeans ... howl. We are a serious nation, engaged in the serious business of trying to kill or capture the bad guys before they can do us more harm." He calls Guantanamo's inmates "hardcore jihadists".

And I realise that the girl in Dr Noll's seminar isn't spouting this stuff about "jihadists" travelling from Iraq to America because she supports Bush. She is just frightened. She is genuinely afraid of all the "terror" warnings, the supposed "jihadists" threats, the red "terror" alerts and the purple alerts and all the other colour-coded instruments of fear. She believes her president, and her president has done Osama bin Laden's job for him: he has crushed this young woman's spirit and courage.

But America is not at war. There are no electricity cuts on Valdosta's warm green campus, with its Spanish style department blocks and its narrow, beautiful church. There is no food rationing. There are no air-raid shelters or bombs or "jihadists" stalking these God-fearing folk. It is the US military that is at war, engaged in an Iraqi conflict that is doing damage of a far more subtle kind to America's social fabric.
Terrorized by 'War on Terror'
How a Three-Word Mantra Has Undermined America
By Zbigniew Brzezinski
The "war on terror" has created a culture of fear in America. The Bush administration's elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America's psyche and on U.S. standing in the world. Using this phrase has actually undermined our ability to effectively confront the real challenges we face from fanatics who may use terrorism against us.


Librocrat said...

You're watching Fox News? Why?????

The idea that the terrorists will come here is ridiculous. Not because they won't, but because they will anyway. If they want to get here, they will. They're not putting any resources into stopping them - instead, they're "cutting them off at the source." And for SOME reason that I still fail to understand, the "source" is a place that wasn't a breeding ground for terrorists. Hmm...

Afghanistan made some sense. Iraq is like bombing Sweden. WTF.

Gary said...

Neither of these were from Fox News so I fail to understand the question. Here in the Texasland we have a great many voters and elected officials ruled by FEAR! They do watch Fox News and listen to conservative talk radio.