As color-coded terror warnings continue to rise and fall, the Bush administration continues to create a blanket of fear and uncertainly, which is spread over much of the U.S. As civil rights continue to erode, and bloody conquests in the third world are launched, fear is being used to manipulate the public and justify policies. Dissent is more important than ever. The voice of the people must stand up to the injustices and atrocities created by the Bush regime.Shortly after the horrific terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Bush pushed the Patriot Act through Congress. When the country was in a state of panic, wondering if another terrorist act was going to occur directly after 9/11, Bush pushed the act. The Bush administration knew no one would defy this act after the United States was attacked. The act has been a severe assault on civil liberties, allowing the U.S. government to use wire-taps, check people’s Internet information and library history, and jail innocent citizens and non-citizens with few questions asked. Bush also stated in his State of the Union address this year that he wants the act kept in power, after parts of it expire after this year. The age of “Big Brother” looms near. Bush will try to keep the act permanent, and John Ashcroft has already devised the Patriot Act II. The second act would only increase the FBI’s unjust surveillance powers and increase the broad definition of “terrorism.”
The Bush administration has also created an “us vs. them” mentality. He claimed after 9/11 that the world was either “with us or with the terrorists.” This mentality allows little room for opposition. Bush’s foolish and arrogant foreign policy has alienated much of the world from helping the United States. The United Nations was rendered pointless after the U.S. government launched an unjust war on Iraq, despite not having the approval of the U.N. Bush proved that he doesn’t care about world approval. He’ll do as he pleases, allowing the U.S. government to preemptively strike a country, without even having evidence for going to war. The U.S. government and media mocked the countries that were in heavy resistance to the second Iraq war, such as Germany, France, Russia, and Canada. Now, relationships that have stood for a long time have been weakened because of Bush’s “us vs. them” mentality.
The Bush administration’s ignorant mentality is also using fear and patriotism to hush dissent. Despite what wasn’t shown on the mainstream news, there was a massive protest movement that erupted in opposition to the Iraq war. Feb. 14 and 15, 2003 was possibly the largest protest weekend in history. Over a million people marched in London and Rome, and hundreds of thousands marched in New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other U.S. cities. The rallies were sparked all over the world. Other rallies occurred throughout the year, and theyÃ¸re still happening. Months of preparation and planning by global peace groups went into March 20, the latest day of global protest opposed to war and empire. Bush has only referred to protestors as “focus groups.” It should not be considered “unpatriotic” to question war, and protestors are not on the side of the terrorists. The rising tide of dissent has been silenced by the mainstream news in the U.S. and the United States government. The Bush administration still continues a destructive foreign policy, even when the world speaks out against it.
Fear has also been used to manipulate the public and create a devastating foreign policy. George Bush claimed that Saddam Hussein was a massive threat looming on the horizon. He apparently had large amounts of chemical and biological weapons. He was even going to create a nuclear weapon, but U.N. and U.S. inspectors found no weapons. Saddam was not the terrifying threat that Bush painted him to be. The U.S. government succeeded in frightening Americans into believing Saddam possessed powerful weapons and had ties to al-Qaeda to justify a bloody, imperialistic conquest. The Bush administration has kept the American public in a state of fear by using language such as “evil doers,” “thugs,” and “assassins.” These names only generalize and increase the stereotypes the West has about the Middle East. Not everyone is a terrorist or radical, but Bush fails to make that clear.
The only way the Bush regime has been able to justify his foolish policies is by the use of fear. People opposed to such destruction need to make their voices heard. The blanket of paranoia that has been spread over the U.S. needs to be shed, and the unjust lies and manipulation of the Bush administration should not be allowed to continue.
Brian Fanelli is a sophomore majoring in comparative literature.