Using fear as a political tool
Speaking for the American Constitution Society on Sunday, November 9, 2003, Former Vice President Al Gore charged President George W. Bush's administration with a determination to "use fear as a political tool to consolidate its power and to escape any accountability for its use". But, in fairness, the same thing can be said about Al Gore's use of fear to affect Global Warming policies which add to his power and pocketbook. 
"Just as unilateralism and dominance are the guiding principles of their disastrous approach to international relations, they are also the guiding impulses of the administration's approach to domestic politics. They are impatient with any constraints on the exercise of power overseas - whether from our allies, the UN, or international law. And in the same way, they are impatient with any obstacles to their use of power at home - whether from Congress, the Courts, the press, or the rule of law," he said.
Chuck Spinney, a retired Pentagon analyst, cited the late journalist H. L. Mencken who wrote that "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed [and hence clamorous to be led to safety] by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." Again, replace practical politics with Global Warming hysteria and it still reads true.
Related SourceWatch Resources
- 9-11 Commission
- Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002
- Bush administration homeland security
- Department of Homeland Security
- embolden the terrorists
- global struggle against violent extremism
- homeland security
- information infrastructure
- Post-war Iraq
- The Power of Nightmares; The Rise of the Politics of Fear
- power of persuasion
- Treating dissent as treason
- War on terrorism
- Weapons of mass destruction
- Lauren Monsen, U.S. Secretary of State, at OAS, Cites Need for Action Against Terrorism. Western Hemisphere officials pledge solidarity, support, September 21, 2001: "Our support [in the global effort against terrorism is] without question and our solidarity [is] without end,' said Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs John Manley. There can be no cracks in our defense, no rifts to exploit, no vulnerabilities to embolden those who use fear as a political tool."
- NGO's and Terrorism: Excerpts from a speech delivered by Julia Taft at the Asia Society, undp.org, March 26, 2002: "Unfortunately, by using violence and fear as a political tool we too often find that terrorists are undermining the legitimate authority of governments as they try to influence the citizens with their own ideological and political values."
- Danny Schecter, The Power of Evil, znet/zmag, January 14, 2003: "What we learn here is that the phrase (Axis of evil) comes from the world of propaganda more than politics. ... Critics reject this lexicon of evil, whenever and if their criticisms are ever heard or seen in our media. And that's the final worry in the use of evil -- as constructed and deployed by politicians on TV. ... As Collateral Language [by Laura Redieh, ... published by NYU Press, 2002/2003] explains, the ambiguities inherent in, and the fears evoked by, the rhetoric of evil forcefully silence dissent. ... And that may be the most evil among all the evils in and outside the axes we operate within."
- Dave Lindorff, Bush and Hitler. The Stategy of Fear, CounterPunch, February 1, 2003.
- Tim Harper, Living in 'Apocalyptic Fear'. Americans More Scared Than Ever, Toronto Star, September 11, 2003.
- As Bush Marshals America for War Against the Axis of Evil, American and British Arms Companies are Showing Them Our Weapons, Buzzflash Editorial, October 16, 2003: "Yes, as Bush continues to use fear as a political tool, he's allowing American arms merchants to hawk their wares at a weapons of war "trade show" in Amman, Jordan, as we write this editorial."
- Gore Slams Bush For Security Failings, Calls For Patriot Act Repeal, theleftcoaster, November 9, 2003.
- Rick Weiss, Gore criticizes Bush approach to security. Freedoms Shouldn't Be Compromised To Fight Terror, Ex-Vice President Says, Washington Post, November 10, 2003.
- JohnHuang2, I, Gore. And I hate Bush! Part II, mytwocents, November 12, 2003. Referencing speech to MoveOn.
- Benedict Carey, "Can Fear Win Undecided Voters? Psychologists Say Maybe Not", New York Times, October 5, 2004.
- Dave Lindorff, "Black Helicopters? The GOP's Police State," CounterPunch, May 21/22, 2005.
- Chris in Paris, "Propaganda program #1 failed, so it's back to FEAR," AMERICAblog, June 21, 2006: "Remember to be afraid. 9/11. Hijacker. 9/11. Kill. 9/11. Screeching tires. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11."