Tuesday, October 17, 2006

why are we so afraid?

in 2001, terrorists killed 2,978 people in the us, including the 5 killed by anthrax.

in that same year, according to the cdc,

heart disease killed 700,142 people
cancer killed 553,768
accidents killed 101,537
suicide killed 30,622
homicide killed 17,330
fatal workplace injuries killed 5,431
drowning 3,247
children who died in infancy 27,801

as bush pointed out in january, 2004, no one has been killed by terrorists on american soil since then. neither, according to the fbi, was anyone killed here by terrorists in 2000. in 1999, the number was 1. in 1998, it was 3. in 1997, zero.

numbers courtesy luke mitchell, harper's magazine, march, 2004

"think of the modern presidents who have governed our nation- roosevelt, truman, eisenhower, kennedy, johnson, ford, carter, reagan, bush 1, and clinton- and the various crises they confronted- the great depression, world war 2, the korean war, the cold war, the cuban missile crisis, the war in vietnam, iran's taking of american hostages, the danger to american students in grenada, saddam's invasion of kuwait, the terrorist bombings at the world trade center in 1993, and timothy mcveigh's 1995 bombing of the federal building in oklahoma. none of these presidents resorted to fear in dealing with these situations. none of these presidents made the use of fear a standard procedure or a means of governing (or pursuing office or political goals). to the contrary, all of these presidents sought to avoid preying on the fears of americans."

john dean, 'conservatives without conscience'


Sarah said...

I've got to read this book!

Anonymous said...

None of these presidents resorted to fear in dealing with these situations:

world war 2,
the korean war,
the cold war,
the cuban missile crisis,
the war in vietnam,
iran's taking of american hostages,
Saddam's invasion of kuwait,

Are you kidding me? The Nazis are coming! Communist will take over the world! The Cubans will destroy the earth! The Vietcog will be on our shores if we don’t kill them over there. America has been built on fear. You cannot possibly say that Bush is the only president to invoke fear. Fear is what controls people, and I don’t think there is a group of people on earth who have been more scared for longer than Americans.

betmo said...

well, i think that pearl harbor was a bit frightening- but roosevelt held things together 'we have nothing to fear but fear itself' is always a good line. russia putting nuclear missiles in a communist country 90 miles off of our shore did cause a bit of a ripple that we got over after they sailed away with them on their ship. no- i don't say that fear wasn't present in america at any given time but there wasn't the constant 5 years worth of daily fearmongering to put up with. fear is used for everything now and it was not used in that way by previous administrations. they dealt with it and at least attempted to keep things outwardly calm.

Chuck said...

The only thing I'm scared of is the regime that is systematically dismantling and destroying our Constitution- especially the Bill of Rights.

Obob said...

I aagree with bz, fear and basic economics has always driven our ploicies foriegn and domestic. All conflict starts with either economic gain or protection of investments and fear fuels the fires to drive men's souls. No President is without guilt nor no President is a sinner, just humans doing what they felt best for their country.
Name one conflict we have been involved in where there was no evidence of either our financial well being was not either protected or enhanced. Or another country used the previous for thier benefit and we took action/protected ourselves. Love may make the world turn, but money bought the roses.
Please note these are very, very simplified answers to complex events.

Renegade Eye said...

What your political program consists of means quite a bit. American conservatism has been an out of date, discredited philosophy since the great depression.

You can't get things done, without government programs. They are so against government programs, and have no alternative.

They are forced to lie about what they stand for.

The Future Was Yesterday said...

BZ must have been locked in an Evangelical church during the periods he mentions. Except for WW2, I WAS in a E.C. by force, and they ranted the very exact things he now spouts. Once outside the walls of insanity and back in the real world, people lined up to fight the germans. There was a concerted war effort like none other ever known. The only people screaming "the Nazi's are coming" was...you guessed it - the Nazi's in American churches. Nobody thought the cuban's would take over the earth. The biggest fear of the cold war was some dumbass war mongering Republican would hit the red button and ruin the world. The people that peddled "the commie's will take over the earth!!" were Republicans. On and on and on. Nothing personal, BZ, but you're just plain full of shit.

Are YOU afraid of the terrorists swarming our shores like killer bees? Neither am I, for had we not had a Nazi Evangelical Radial sneak in the white house via the doggie door, 9/11 would have never happened. Not only that,terrorists have BEEN in America for who knows how long. Where the hell have you been, BZ? Religious freaks have fought each other for control of the world since the world started. Osama just struck first, is all. He saw a fellow religious terrorist coming, and he smiled with joy. "The Idiot Has Landed." We would still be in Iraq had 9/11 never happened. That was decided by the Bush team long before the sad ass loser was installed as our first Dictator.

Fear is the only thing Evangelicals know how to preach, for one simple reason: their followers aren't too mentally stable, or they wouldn't be followers. "Get them scared and keep them scared" has been the first commandment of Evangelical douche bags forever. Bush is a living testiment to the mental health of the freaks.

If America's scared, it's because these horrible Nazi's first interest is NOT fighting terrorists anywhere; that is just a convienent trojan horse. Their first interest is controlling every thought, word, and action of every American. Evangelicals are why guns were invented.

msliberty said...

Another great post!

Fear is a powerful tool that keeps people in check, just as TFWY says.

Just think about how much behavior is controlled by the fear of going to hell.

Alec said...

I have to say, I think fear is pretty well rooted in American politics. Hell, it is well rooted in any politics, American or otherwise. Our own constitutional framework is built around a very well-justified fear of mob rule (what we call the unenlightened majority these days).

The problem with President Bush, as near as I can tell, is not his focus on fear. There are many, many reasons to be scared as hell given the direction of this country and the world. But much of it relates back to Bush's own policies. It is like refusing not only to abandon a sinking ship, but refusing even to toss off unnecessary cargo to stop it or slow it down.

shawn (aka blogstud) said...

And how many of our soldiers, our brothers-sisters-mothers-fathers-friends has the war Bush misled us into killed?

He should be impeached. Maybe after November.

We should never forget what Bush has wrought.

Uh-oh. I probably just put us both on the watch list.

Sorry b.