One line from the movie says something to the effect when people are afraid, you can make them do anything. It is stated by a U.S. Congressman who is a psychiatrist by training. This phenomenon of governming by fear has been recognized by many astute eyes for quite some time, but without Fahrenheit we can be pretty sure that the mainstream public would not ever pick up on it - because the mainstream press is gullible and is really only a mouthpiece for the government, as evidenced by a recent FAIR report. Only recently have any media begun to question Ashcroft's use of terror warnings as possibly being politically-motivated.
Moore's contention is that Bush and his people want you to be afraid - very afraid. Not because there are any real threats out there, but because they want you to get behind whatever legislation they try to pass - whatever war they wish to fight, etc. So you heard months of months of weapons of mass destruction, dirty bombs, and mushroom clouds. Why?
It wasn't because there actually was a serious threat from any of these things, it's because all the warnings helped to create a fearful mindset for everyone in the country. With everyone being so afraid of everything, they are apt to just say 'F it - do whatever you need to do to make my fears go away. If that means erasing Iraq, then so be it.' And there you have it - the Iraq war, Saddam, Osama, Zarqawi, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Islam, and whatever other 'boogeyman' Bush's crew wishes to drag off the shelf and put to good use.
Why is Homeland Security consistently underfunded by Bush? Because Homeland Security is just a joke - on the American people. The Homeland Security Department is just a farce - a media operation set up solely to support the terrorizing political tool called the Terror Alert System and to give that tool some legitimacy.
In today's Express paper there is a full pullout entitled Emergency Metro Guide. It includes the HOW-TOs of how the heck to escape all sorts of disaster that might strike you as you make your merry way to or from work - especially on the Metro system. It's classic Bush Administration scare tactics. I'm not saying that Bush and his people directly told The Washington Post to print this stuff - far from it. Bush and his people have created this incredible climate of fear and everyone - even newspaper editors - are brainwashed by it. How did they do it? Go see Fahrenheit. It describes many ways the Bushies have done this - the most prominent example being Ashcroft's manipulation of the Terror Alert Level - that candy-colored sign we talked about so long ago. Everytime the Bushies have to deal with some really negative news - BOOM! - raise the terror alert level to Orange or even Red. It's worked like a charm for a couple of years now. When you go back in time - over the past two years or so - you will be shocked at the timeliness of Aschroft's terror alerts - always falling on or near big bad news days for the Administration. Many good blogs like Atrios have been following these trends for quite some time now.
The latest piece of fearmongering by the Bushies is this latest warning put out by Bush officials - floating beer coolers. No, I'm not kidding. Check the opening graph from the Time article:
As the July 4 holiday approaches, Bush Administration officials are bombarding the nation's police, fire, emergency and corporate-security offices with another round of terrorism warnings. Although there are no plans to raise the threat level from yellow to orange, a senior Justice Department official says, "there's very serious intelligence that's corroborated, that's multiple sourced, that indicates that al-Qaeda is intent on hitting us and hitting us hard this year." The official concedes, however, that "we don't have specific information."
If you study the previous months and years you'll see we are always getting 'increased chatter' and there's 'new intelligence' and we have 'nothing specific'. In other words, be afraid, but no - there's really no way to protect yourself - so let us take care of that by letting us do whatever the hell we want - including passing the Patriot Act, fight unnecessary wars, etc. Check out the opening few graphs of an article titled 'Creating a Comfort Zone - How to How to Build Peace of Mind in Threatening Times' from the Washington Post on March 16, 2003:
There's something in the air -- the faint and persistent buzz of hazard. Some people are plainly scared. They've been told so often "it's not if but when" that images of terrorist attack pass through their minds every day. Some people seem untouched. They face the periodic and inscrutable announcements of threat with a mix of fatalism and defiance. But nobody doubts that they're living in a changed world.
After all, the unimaginable has already happened. The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were so unlikely and -- let's face it -- so successful that large-scale death from terrorism on American soil is no longer just a theoretical possibility.
So what does one do with that feeling and that fact?
It's a good question. And a really hard one to answer.
What follows in these pages is our attempt to help you come up with a reasonable and livable stance against the threat of terrorism. We're most definitely not providing answers, let alone The Answer. But we're offering some building materials that may be useful in constructing the very personal edifice that is peace of mind.
And now we have floating beer coolers... Every time I think I've seen it all from these guys... But by the time this July 4 weekend rolls around we'll be hearing another line from the Bushies - 'go enjoy your weekend'. Just the type of mixed message that continues to keep us on our toes.
Good doggie. <Ruff>!
UPDATE: Another article on the Bush Administration's fear-mongering.