'Boogeyman terrorism' a real threat to America
A TERRORIST cell is successfully operating in our nation; however, it is not the terrorist cell that one might assume. We need only to watch the Fox News Channel and listen to President Bush and it becomes apparent.
When Fox News reports on the Iraq war, it does so under the misleading banner "War on Terror." The banner is not the result of a careless control room graphic. It is designed to disguise the hoax that Bush's Iraq war has something to do with 9/11. It clouds the fact that the Iraq war is not an extension of radical Islamic terrorism or part of our "war on terror." They are as different as apples and oranges.
This distinction is not trivial, but a matter of great consequence. Americans are willing to make sacrifices to defend the country from terrorism. We have been told by the president that the sacrifices we are making in Iraq are for that purpose. I think not. We have been taken in by an enormous hoax by mixing apples with oranges. Why do so many of us not understand that although radical Islamic terrorism is a real threat, it has nothing to do with the war in Iraq? Why have we been taken in? What happened to our capacity for critical thinking?
As we grow from infancy, we slowly develop the skill of critical thinking. Without it, children can be easily manipulated by the boogeyman hoax. We use the boogeyman to get children to do what we want. It is an assault on a child's psyche, and it is wrong. The children are, in a very real sense, terrorized, and we are the terrorists.
Although it's not supposed to work on us adults, Bush has had success with the use of boogeyman-terrorism. For years he has frightened us into supporting or tolerating his nonsensical war in Iraq. The president heightens our fear by putting real faces on his boogeymen, the Shiites and Sunnis who are fighting Iraq's civil war. Bush will have us believe that if we do not "stay the course" in Iraq (whatever that is), we will be fighting those Iraqi combatants "on our own streets."
This is a pernicious lie. Those Iraqi combatants are killing our troops to get us out of their streets and killing each other in their ongoing civil war. It has nothing to do with a war on terror. Bush is inciting irrational fear and paranoia by distorting and misdirecting our legitimate fear of terrorism. It is rhetorical terrorism of the worst sort and a disservice to our nation.
Let me be presumptuous and assign some homework. When Bush finally addresses the nation on his new course for his Iraq war, listen carefully and note how and in what context he references the "war on terror." Will he somehow link or justify his Iraq war with 9/11 or the war on terror? You bet he will. You might then conclude that we are the targets of rhetorical terrorism -- and the leader of that terrorist cell resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C.
Joseph M. Gedan, a former U.S. magistrate judge and former assistant professor of business at the University of Hawaii, lives in Honolulu. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org