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Last Updated: 09/28/2006What Code Orange Effect?
What is your support worth?
Are we safer now than before the Bush Administration declared its War on Terror? The fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks lit up media channels not but nine days ago, and all that I can think is that another year passed of pointing fingers.
In 2001, headlines posted “U.S. under attack”, as Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the 2,973 lives taken on 9/11. The 2002-year rang in with cross hairs targeting Pakistani militants after Daniel Pearl was abducted and killed that January. 2004 was the year of the Madrid bombings. The Heritage Foundation published a popularly circulated report, “The Madrid Bombings: Staying the Course in the War on Terror”. Do you remember “London Terror” flashing across television screens for two weeks in 2005?
As of now, 2006 remains free of “terrorist attacks” in the north, yet bold broadcasts from your favorite news channels were sure to still purport the dangers of explosive breast milk.
Corporate media and the US government continue to emphasise and exploit the threat to Americans and western society.
So, again, what is your support worth? It’s a difficult question to answer. If you live and die by the weekly George Bush axiom, “they hate our freedoms”, as most of us do, you submit yourself to a state-sponsored fear worthy of at least a code orange.
Often times, in the same speech, Bush asserts, “[the] terrorists want to kill all Americans…including women and children” – how thoughtful of him to qualify women and children as Americans. Nonetheless, looking past Bush’s inner feminist, this is the line that strikes fear in my heart. After hearing these words, I swear allegiance to the clan – Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush – as the US military stampedes through the Middle East, and inaudibly creates place for themselves in the American psyche.
The value of fear yields a simple decipher – unequivocal support for the protector. What's a bit more complicated is the manipulation of the support.
The US government embraces a monopoly of power over the world, and does so because of its ability to incessantly legitimise the status quo of war in the minds of its base through media. “Politics begin where the masses are, not where there are thousands, but where there are millions, that is where serious politics begin”, charged Lenin. Fear and politics are married, and it is the people that pay the cost, outside and inside of the US.
“Political power in the international sphere may be divided…into three categories:”, EH Carr philosophised, “(a) military power, (b) economic power, [and] (c) power over opinion; [yet] in its essence, power is an indivisible whole”. Be sure that this is a belief held and exemplified by all governments. There is an unremitting pattern the world will continue to witness and governments will persistently exploit.
Whether the aperture of fear rests in the consciousness of America, whispering not to stand in the way of the protector, or be it in another country of supremacy to come, do not anticipate the power to squander or the fear to dissipate anytime soon.
1 USA Today international edition, 12 September 2001
4 Lenin, Selected Works, p.295
5 EH Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis 1919-1939, p. 108.
Graham Bearden is the editor of The Peace and Conflict Monitor