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Fooled Again

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Message Larry Sakin
You can always tell when it's campaign season. Suddenly, all kinds of terror plots across the US are getting foiled, and groups of suspicious men meeting in skanky Florida warehouses are arrested and accused of working in tandem with Al Qaeda. The terrorism threat color wheel remains at "yellow" or elevated risk of terrorist attacks. President Bush gets tough with the media, calling them traitors if they don't tow the line and just run the White House press releases. Oh, 21st century democracy is a beautiful thing to behold.

Yes, the short attention spans of the American people have been distracted back to that old bugaboo, the supposed "war on terrorism". What happened to the big hullabaloo over domestic phone and internet spying? And what happened to the indignation over the Iraqi abuse and murder charges in Haditha, Abu Ghrab, Mahmudiyah, Falluja, and a hundred other places around the war-torn area? And the mass demonstrations by people concerned about the immigration issue? Poof! Gone like a fart in the wind. All the conservative leadership in the US has to do is pull out the old "terrorists are out to get you" card, and suddenly the American people fall strangely silent.

Americans are generally good folks, but we can be such rubes. Conservatives have been playing this game for sixty years in this country, and we fall for it every time. During the Korean War, we went through the fear mongering of Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy, who made Communists to be the greatest threat to our democracy since King George III. At the same time, Republican leaders were paving the way for Nazi's to make their way into the United States. In the 1980's, President Ronald Reagan made Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi a threat to our way of life, even asserting that Qaddafi had sent three assassins to the US to kill him, admitting later that the Libyan assassins were a fabrication. But just for good measure, Reagan bombed Libya in an attempt to assassinate Qaddafi. While all this was going on, Reagan was engaged in a traitorous enterprise selling weapons to Iran, another sworn enemy of the US. The weapons sales proceeded in order to gain the release of American hostages held by the Palestinian Hezbollah and to fund an illegal war in Nicaragua.

And so conservative Republicans are at it again, this time covering their real intentions of occupying the Middle East, controlling oil distribution in the area, and transferring taxpayer funds into the hands of greedy government contractors and the financial elites under the thin patina of terrorism. And it'll work, too, because as long as we remain afraid for ourselves and our families, we'll gladly vote in our dear leaders again, and let them trample all over our rights without so much as a peep. We won't question the reasons why they so conveniently trot out the terror threat every two years, nor will we recognize the similarities between the latest threat to our lives, and to the ones in the past. That would take time away from performing our patriotic duty; being good little consumers spreading our miniscule wealth among the Wal-Marts and Target's that make our country so strong.

We Americans loved to get fooled; we want the false sense of security we gain by all the macho rhetoric of the Republican right. As long as our dear leaders tell us they have everything under control and don't ask us to do anything more than feed the collection plates at church, or shop 'til we drop, we'll happily be lulled to sleep, and be fooled yet again when the prophets of doom come 'round in another two years.
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Larry Sakin is a former non-profit medical organization executive and music producer. His writing can be found on Mytown.ca, Blogcritics, OpEd News, The People's Voice, Craig's List and The Progressive magazine. He also advocates for literacy and (more...)
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