Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Scare Tactics

Terror ...

Terrorist ...

     These two words, or their variations, are all one seems hear when one views something in the media, lately. It is as if they have cooperated with the government to strike terror into the population. And, as subtle as this action may seem, it’s like an iceberg: ice forms layers upon layers for years, maybe even centuries, then all of a sudden there is a shift in climate or a plate tectonic disturbance and the iceberg cracks, or shatters, in this context. At first one passes over-use of these words off as a 9/11 reinforcement—as something good for the country, but one must be careful of what a person can be led into.
     Now, I fully understand that “terrorism” has been around. In the Middle East, for a long time now, they’ve used it on one another, to my knowledge. But, I’m not here for a history report; I want you, the reader, to stop and think about what this one little word, terror, has done to a strong democracy. Terrorism brought us to our knees on 9/11, I don’t think that there’s a self-respecting American that doesn’t comprehend that, but, even with that looming five years in our past, the government, in my opinion, is taking this word out of context and way out of control.
     This has happened before. I’m vague on the details, but I know that there was a time, the Cold War era, that these standing times, one could say, pay homage to. We, the United States of America, once sided with the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) during World War II to fight the common enemy, the axis powers. As one probably already knows, the USSR was communistic, thus making them an enemy by all means, but they did not side with Germany, under Hitler, making them an ally. “The enemy of the enemy is my friend.” And, after Japan’s defeat, which came behind Hitler’s timely death, all we had left to deal with was Stalin, the leader of the USSR. It was a later date that I’m trying to refer to, though, as that was just a brief background to help clarify.
     In the 1950’s communism lost its meaning, much like the word terrorism has today. Communism conjured up names like USSR, Stalin, and enemy, much the same as terrorism brings to mind al-Qaeda, Bin Laden, and Homeland Security. People began to fear that “there [was] a communist behind every bush and under every rock” just waiting to get them. It struck fear in the heart of millions of Americans—but wait, isn’t that what terrorism is all about, making people so scared that they give in to one person’s, or persons’, will(s)?
     The “McCarthy Era,” as it was known, and still is, was a time when this misrepresentation of the word, communism, came to meet its peak. In, or at, this time a Senator by the name of Joseph R. McCarthy took advantage of this atmosphere of fear and managed to ruin the lives of many public officials that he claimed were communists, here, in the United States. He supported his claims with little or even no evidence whatsoever, which also led to his discrediting.
     Today, I believe that we live in much the same atmosphere, only the names of the players have changed, but it is still almost the same script. The word terrorism is overrated and overused, and, I believe that the government actually uses this to their advantage, much like McCarthy did with the word communism. So, now we have something much larger that could contend to accuse many more people.
A terrorist is someone who strikes fear into a person, or persons, to take advantage of them and make them comply. In that context—the original context— McCarthy, in a way, was a terrorist. The government, in a form, is using scare tactics, or terrorist tactics much the same way.
     So, when, and if, this conflict is ever over, since in true meaning one can never defeat terrorism, this word will return to its true meaning much like communism. The government has blasted this well out of proportion to help falsify this nation into a state of confusion so that they can gain their own ends. (i.e. Iraq—claiming Sadam had terrorist ties.) Under this administration, “terrorism” will never be won and this nation will continue to sink in world opinion, which is hard to gain back.

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