Thursday, August 26, 2004

from this sensible essay:

"The trauma of 9/11 stimulated infinite possibilities for worry--some quite plausible, but most inspired by remote what-if fantasies. A society bingeing on fear makes itself vulnerable to far more profound forms of destruction than terror attacks."

1 comment:

Jeffrey Hill said...

This article reminds of a very funny Steven Colbert skit where he gathers a bunch of representative democrats at the convention and gets them to air their grievances. He asks the hippie what the world needs and the hippie responds: (paraphrasing) “Peace, man. With peace all the other problems will fall into place.”

Colbert then says: “You realize you are killing the Democratic party?”

What Greider assumes to be Bush fear mongering, others consider to be a sober and determined approach at solving the problem. But Greider can not fathom that because he thinks the war is un-winnable:

“Other nations have confronted terrorism of a more sustained nature without coming thoroughly unhinged.”

In other words, there is no chance of victory so be cool, brother. Everybody else accepts it. Besides, it’s our fault that they want to murder us.

One of the lines that gave me a chuckle was when Greider was ridiculing missile defense:

“We'll probably never find out whether or not it works, but, like so many cold war concoctions, it may make people feel safer and stronger”

When Bush challenges Cold War institutions and alliances or backs out of arms agreements, he is recognizing that those “cold war concoctions” are no longer making us safer or stronger. But Greider is appalled by that kind of action. He would prefer that we chain ourselves to these obsolete alliances.

Finally, when I think about a rhetoric steeped in fear, I think of The Nation and its shrill cries about the PATRIOT Act, the Evil John Ashcroft, the Sinister Karl Rove, & the mystical brownshirts of the Bush Junta. When I think about people becoming unhinged, I think of the last half dozen Gore speeches and the beet red face of howlin’ Dean.