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How Fear Has Permanently Changed America

By The Reverend Published: August 14, 2007

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After 9-11, the Bush White House began a fear campaign to get what it wanted. I'm simply stating the obvious. This fear campaign continues to this day and I expect it will go on for a very long time to come, promoted specifically, but not exclusively, by the authoritarian Republican Party.

Fear and greed, of course, are two of the most powerful motivating factors in human experience. Wall Street would be a ghost town without those two motivators.

It will be six years in just a few short weeks since 19 hijackers carried out their completely successful "terror" event in our country. The fear and shock created that day were substantial, I admit, but not as substantial as the fear that Bush's administration has carefully nurtured since that event. This carefully strategized nurturing has led to an institutionalization of fear in the American psyche, which has led to an institutionalization of fear in our laws and policies. How naive of me to think our country was better.... stronger....with more character....than to allow that to happen.

Fear led many Americans, some in positions of power, to keep their objections to themselves when freedoms were given away in the Orwellian Patriot Act.

The neo-conservatives long awaited plan to occupy oil rich middle eastern lands, starting with Iraq, could have never been carried out without the ever-present, and constantly cultivated atmosphere of fear.

Fear, so easily brought to the surface by the repetitive dropping of the words, "mushroom cloud", or "weapons of mass destruction", among many others, led to the illegal "pre-emptive" attack and occupation of a sovereign nation. How many times did we hear, for example, that Saddam "gassed his own people"? How many times did CNN show us the sick video clip of the dog being experimentally gassed?

Childish color coded fear charts and strategically announced breakups of American soil "terror" plots were enough to hold objections to obvious Iraq lies at bay. The very few dissenters were demonized, in itself a fear tactic.

On and on it goes.....even today, 6 years removed, half of America's population would agree with the unbaked saying, "the Constitution is not a suicide pact", with it's non-veiled implication that our foundation as a country can easily be dispensed with if we become too.......scared.

Fear was used to institutionalize torture, of all things, a year ago. Fear was used to justify kidnapping and "rendering" people off to secret torture prisons. Fear was used to deny the historic right of habeaus corpus. Fear was used to explain how U.S citizens could be declared "enemy combatants"(whatever that means) and subsequently denied all rights guaranteed by the Framer's. Fear led to Guantanomo and Guantanomo was established to promote fear.

This very successful use of fear by the extremist neo-conservative White House, 6 years removed from the fear event, also accounts for the political "opposition" party's caving in and flushing the 4th amendment to our Constitution down the commode two weekends ago.

Senator Russ Feingold(D-WI), the lone "no" vote on the Patriot Act, understands how the motivator of fear still drives the process today. Speaking in the context of the Congressional approval for gutting the "probable cause" part of the fourth amendment, Feingold said this....

The White House, Mr. Feingold said Friday in an interview, "has identified the one major remaining weakness in the Democratic Party, and that's its unwillingness to stand up to the administration when it's making a power grab regarding terrorism and national security." Link

Indeed. Why can't the Democratic Party members "stand up" in support of our Constitutional freedoms? They're afraid.

Anyone who has ever played organized team sports knows that when you see fear in the eyes of the other team...you've won.

And so it is with the neo-conservative "team". Confronted constantly with Rovian smoke and mirrors and a relentless deceptive "message" of fear, our elected officials have demonstrated there is nothing they won't give up, all on our behalf, naturally, to quell their fear.

With this latest Constitutional giveaway, the Iraq "stay the course" strategy is a shoo-in and Democratic oversight a myth.

That's why Karl Rove could step away from the White House to begin washing and waxing next year's Swiftboat. All Americans may have lost their Constitutionally organized nation during the Rove-led "reign of fear".....but all that matters.....all that really counts...is that he's won.

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