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OfflineRonoS
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Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country
    #3074511 - 08/31/04 05:22 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

"Thanks to 9-11, the United States is once again succumbing to excessive fears...
It?s true, George, everyone is out to get you?.

A couple of news stories more almost flew under the media?s radar last week. Still, as we approach the third anniversary of 9-11, they caught my eye as symbols of how things have changed and yet not changed since the terrorist attacks of Sept 11.

First, American officials announced the scheduled construction of five new air bases along the U.S.-Canada border, stretching all the way from Washington to New York. The stated purpose of these bases is to help prevent cross-border drug smuggling. Yet this new surveillance is also in response to renewed concerns over national security in the wake of the recent 9-11 report. More than $35 million is to be spent on the first of these bases at Bellingham, Washington ? including the purchase of two boats, a plane and two military helicopters ? with the aim to "deter criminal activity and? help agents stop smugglers and terrorists," according to one of the pilots.

The second story came out of Ottawa, where Canada?s police chiefs have proposed a surcharge of 25 cents on monthly telephone and Internet bills to cover the cost of wiretaps ? a cost that has greatly increased in the aftermath of 9-11. "This is a very, very serious issue for us," said Supt. Tom Grue of the need to recoup this cost. "It has the potential for really paralyzing operations." The prospect of paying to be spied on has, naturally, raised the hackles of some civil libertarian groups, but so far the main opposition has come from the phone companies themselves. "We really don?t think the cost should be flipped over to the general public," said Bell Canada?s Jacqueline Michelis. "Twenty-five cents is a really significant amount to add to everyone?s phone bill."

So there we have it. Same threat, different responses. While the U.S. is preparing to spend millions on new air bases in a move that will finally dispel the myth of the world?s "longest undefended border," Canadians are set to debate whether or not the prevention of terrorism is worth adding $3 per year to everyone?s phone bill.

How can this vast difference in the scale of response to a common concern be explained? How is it that two nations, sharing the same geopolitical landmass, a fully interlocked economy and similar cultural traditions, can react to the prospect of another terrorist attack so differently?

One answer lies in an essay written by the American historian Richard Hofstadter 40 years ago. Penned under the shadow of the 1950s? McCarthy witch hunt, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" was a bold attempt to shed light on right-wing attitudes and assumptions at the time. "The clinical paranoid," writes Hofstadter, "sees the hostile and conspiratorial world in which he feels himself to be living as directed specifically against him; whereas the spokesman of the paranoid style finds it directed against a nation, a culture, a way of life whose fate affects not himself alone but millions of others."

Listen to any statement by U.S. President George W. Bush over the past three years and you?ll recognize this description. His every utterance belies an "us/them" worldview, in which the complexity and deep context of historical conflicts are boiled down to a simple hatred of American values and America itself. In turn, Bush?s record as president in the forthcoming election is to be judged only ? and explicitly ? on his alleged superior ability to defend America against the rest of the world.

It?s not just Bush. Many books published since 9-11 reflect this same sense of paranoia. Picked almost at random, here?s a small sample of recent titles: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World, Fear?s Empire, In Our Own Best Interest, Lost Liberties, The Enemy Within. Different books, with different points to make, but all share the same sense of paranoia that informs Bush?s outlook and response.

There?s something else going on here, too. Again, as Hofstadter notes in his essay, "The paranoid?s interpretation of history is in this sense distinctly personal: decisive events are not taken as part of the stream of history, but as the consequences of someone?s will." Hence Bush?s "wanted dead or alive" rhetoric in the wake of 9-11. Far easier, it seems, to reduce an event that was years in the staging to B-movie dialogue, rather than to dwell on its historical origins.

The trouble is, paranoia breeds paranoia. Despite the fact they fought as allies during the First World War, in the years afterwards both Canada and the U.S. eyed each other suspiciously and prepared for the worst. Canada drew up "Defence Scheme No. 1," plans for a pre-emptive invasion of the U.S. should America and Britain find themselves at war. For its part, the U.S. developed "War Plan Red," in which it prepared for the "complete control of Crimson" (i.e. Canada). This included the strategic bombing of Halifax and first-strike use of poison gas, if necessary. Then, in 1935, the U.S. Congress sanctioned the construction of air bases near the Canadian border to permit pre-emptive strikes against Canadian airfields, even though virtually none existed at the time.

Which brings us back to last week?s stories. Paranoia permits everything. It?s how you act on it that matters. As Hofstadter concludes, "We are all sufferers from history, but the paranoid is a double sufferer, since he is afflicted not only by the real world, with the rest of us, but by his fantasies as well."

Source


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OfflineDivided_Sky
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: Rono]
    #3074522 - 08/31/04 05:25 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

But the people that believe Bush allowed 911 to happen in order to take away all our freedoms, become supreme dictator, lie to the public in order to invade Afghanistan and Iraq for sake of killing children and oil, knowing no WMDs existed, and now hell bent on world domination, they are not being paranoid at all!


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OfflineRonoS
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #3074537 - 08/31/04 05:27 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Of course not...because they're right.  :smirk:


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"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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InvisibleKingOftheThing
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #3074619 - 08/31/04 05:45 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Divided_Sky said:
But the people that believe Bush allowed 911 to happen in order to take away all our freedoms, become supreme dictator, lie to the public in order to invade Afghanistan and Iraq for sake of killing children and oil, knowing no WMDs existed, and now hell bent on world domination, they are not being paranoid at all!




id honestly hope that wasnt true and i cant say i totally believe it ...but i wouldnt put it past is administration


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: Rono]
    #3074776 - 08/31/04 06:20 PM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

So there we have it. Same threat, different responses.




Same threat? Uh huh. Let me try to recall an instance of a Canadian embassy being bombed, a Canadian ship being bombed, a Canadian building having an airliner flown into it, a Canadian contractor being beheaded on video....

*crickets chirping*

.... Hmmm... better give me some time on this one.

Quote:

How can this vast difference in the scale of response to a common concern be explained? How is it that two nations, sharing the same geopolitical landmass, a fully interlocked economy and similar cultural traditions, can react to the prospect of another terrorist attack so differently?




Wait, wait! I know the answer to that one! It's because one country has had its embassies bombed, its ships bombed, its commercial buildings bombed, and the heads of its citizens sawn off on videotape while the other country -- despite confiscatory levels of taxation -- can't provide boots for their troops or keep fifty year old Sea King helicopters from dropping out of the sky on a regular basis let alone build a new military base.

This guy hasn't a clue.

pinky


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OfflineRonoS
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: Phred]
    #3076137 - 09/01/04 01:02 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Wait, wait! I know the answer to that one! It's because one country has had its embassies bombed, its ships bombed, its commercial buildings bombed, and the heads of its citizens sawn off on videotape


Well said...Makes one wonder what that country was doing to make itself such a target doesn't it?


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: Rono]
    #3076207 - 09/01/04 01:21 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Why, they were selling the Israelis arms, of course. This also explains why Bali got bombed, Turkey got bombed, Spain got bombed, French journalists get kidnapped and threatened with death, Russian airliners get bombed, Nepalese cooks and cleaners get beheaded... it's a long list.

If only that darned US had never sold an F16 to Israel. What a different place the world would be today.

pinky


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: Phred]
    #3077237 - 09/01/04 09:24 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

This also explains why Bali got bombed, Turkey got bombed, Spain got bombed, French journalists get kidnapped and threatened with death

Weren't all of these countries part of that little (ongoing) escapade in Iraq?

Russian airliners get bombed

Yes, I'm sure Russia has never done anything to the Islamic world that they (Islam) might want revenge for.

Revenge is a terrible thing. It will only continue the cycles of violence.


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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Invisiblefastfred
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: trendal]
    #3077267 - 09/01/04 09:40 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

>Revenge is a terrible thing. It will only continue the cycles of violence.<

Scientists have shown that revenge is good for your brain...

Also, it's easier to just kill the terrorists than try of figure out their fucked up world. A little military expense now will save us a lot of problems in the future.

I think we could get all the terrorists to come to the bargaining table, promising them major concessions.... And then kill them.

Otherwise we have to smoke them out one at a time, at great expense.


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Invisiblewhiterasta
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: Phred]
    #3077270 - 09/01/04 09:41 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Same threat? Uh huh. Let me try to recall an instance of a Canadian embassy being bombed, a Canadian ship being bombed, a Canadian building having an airliner flown into it, a Canadian contractor being beheaded on video.... 



Nope! Only the troops WE killed by "accident".Face it. America has lost it's "high horse" and it's people need to get off it.We are the aggresors no matter what rhetorical spin one places on it.Our actions are killing civilians, just as the former regime did.And we have mortgaged MY kids future to do this.
God Bless America(literaly)
WR:wexican:


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: trendal]
    #3077272 - 09/01/04 09:43 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

trendal writes:

Weren't all of these countries part of that little (ongoing) escapade in Iraq?

You can't be serious. Spain sent troops, yes. France was vehemently opposed to deposing Hussein -- how can anyone who posts in a political forum remain unaware of that fact? Bali -- not involved. Turkey -- also not involved, despite being NATO members. Surely you must remember the doomsayers predicting the terrible carnage that would arise from having to handle the invasion from a single entry point. The reason there was a single entry point was that Turkey wouldn't even allow coalition troops access to their country as a staging area, let alone actually participate in the action.

Geez, trendal!

pinky


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Invisiblewhiterasta
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: fastfred]
    #3077276 - 09/01/04 09:46 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

Also, it's easier to just kill the terrorists than try of figure out their fucked up world. A little military expense now will save us a lot of problems in the future.
 



Headlines read: Terrorists using drugs to finance violence.
WOT=WOD.
It is easier to kill your children when they misbehave than teach them compassion also.
WR:wexican:


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: fastfred]
    #3077279 - 09/01/04 09:47 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

fastfred said:
Scientists have shown that revenge is good for your brain...




I doubt it... Link?

Quote:


Also, it's easier to just kill the terrorists than try of figure out their fucked up world. A little military expense now will save us a lot of problems in the future.





What if your "little" military expense right now will breed many times more terrorists than there are now? You don't think you'll continue to have these problems in the future?

Quote:


I think we could get all the terrorists to come to the bargaining table, promising them major concessions.... And then kill them.

Otherwise we have to smoke them out one at a time, at great expense.




The problem is in focusing on individual terrorists. You seem to think that it is somehow possible to kill all the terrorists on Earth...it's not. I suppose technically you could kill all the terrorists alive right now...but more will come. You have to stamp out the root cause of terror. The practice of collectively punishing a people for the terrorists in their midst represses the entire people - providing fertile grounds for more terrorists.


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: Phred]
    #3077294 - 09/01/04 09:56 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Lol, my mistake, pinky :wink:

That was beside my point, though. I'm saying that there are "reasons" for all of the terrorist attacks, and they go beyond a simple hatred of freedom or country. Hate doesn't come from a vacuum. From nothing, nothing will come. You would be blind to not hear the "reasons" for beheadings and bombings. France banned headscarves in their schools. Yes, it's a silly reason and indicative of a pathological mind, but it is a reason. Of course that situation would not have existed were it not for the ongoing state-terrorism policies of a certain country...

If only that darned US had never sold an F16 to Israel. What a different place the world would be today.

It seems like you are trying to downplay the role of US foreign policy in the current terrorism crisis. The US sells a lot of arms to Israel, and that makes some muslim countries angry. Again, a silly reason...but still a reason. That is part of the reason for terrorism, but obviously not the whole reason.


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: trendal]
    #3077324 - 09/01/04 10:12 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

trendal writes:

France banned headscarves in their schools. Yes, it's a silly reason and indicative of a pathological mind, but it is a reason. Of course that situation would not have existed were it not for the ongoing state-terrorism policies of a certain country...

Wait a minute, wait a minute! Are you attempting to imply the reason the French government banned the ostentatious display of religious symbols as items of apparel (i.e. yarmulkes, hijab, crucifixes) is that the US supports Israel? Or is the "country" you refer to the PLA?

Have you read anything at all about the French government's published rationale for that law? A single article? You might want to do so before replying.

pinky


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: Phred]
    #3077336 - 09/01/04 10:19 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Are you attempting to imply the reason the French government banned the ostentatious display of religious symbols as items of apparel (i.e. yarmulkes, hijab, crucifixes) is that the US supports Israel?

No. I was implying that the situation which has allowed this type of terrorist action - beheadings and such - to occur is a result of the foreign policy of the US. Do you honestly think this type of thing would be going on if the US had not taken over Iraq? My statement had nothing to do with France's reasons, I was writing about the terrorist's "reasons".

Have you read anything at all about the French government's published rationale for that law? A single article?

No, actually, but since that was not what I was talking about at all, I don't find my lack of information on that subject alarming. Should I choose to talk about their motivations, I will educate myself before doing so :smirk:


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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Invisiblefastfred
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: trendal]
    #3077359 - 09/01/04 10:29 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

>I doubt it... Link?

Hit google, your fingers aren't broken. Also, I'm very hurt that you doubt me.

>What if your "little" military expense right now will breed many times more terrorists than there are now? <

Your argument is along the lines of "if I'm nice to the bully, maybe he'll like me and we'll all be happy". That is folishness. Not only is it folishness, but it's weak-minded foolishness. They hate us, they want to kill each and every one of us. The sooner you come to terms with that the better you'll be. I'm not trying to rip on you here, just your thinking.

>The practice of collectively punishing a people for the terrorists in their midst represses the entire people - providing fertile grounds for more terrorists.<

Hardly. If they are helping terrorists then they are terrorists themselves and the sooner we smoke them out and smoke em' the better off we'll be.

You also have your root causes confused... Terrorists cause terrorism. It's a sickness. These people are fucked in the head... The most humane thing we can do for them is to kill them. The alternative of committing these people to mental instutions or prison is just too expensive.


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Offlinedeafpanda
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: fastfred]
    #3077366 - 09/01/04 10:34 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

You can't please all of the people all of the time. There will ALWAYS be terrorists. Yes, we should go after them, but US foreign policy just compounds the problem. The "war" on terrorism should be fought by the intelligence agencies, not the armies.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: fastfred]
    #3077376 - 09/01/04 10:38 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

Well I looked around and found your evidence that revenge is "good for the brain"...that's not actually what they found. They found that revenge makes your brain feel "good". Revenge is sweet.

I'm not saying be nice to the bully, that's silly. I am saying that military force upon an innocent population for the actions of a few is unjust and will cause more people to become terrorists.

If a murderer lives in your neighborhood, you probably wouldn't enjoy it much if a government came and bombed the entire neighborhood...


--------------------
You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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Invisiblefastfred
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Re: Paranoia strikes deep in Bush country [Re: trendal]
    #3077433 - 09/01/04 11:06 AM (12 years, 3 months ago)

>If a murderer lives in your neighborhood, you probably wouldn't enjoy it much if a government came and bombed the entire neighborhood...<

If the neighborhood was knowingly harboring the murderer I would just as soon see the entire neighborhood burned to a cinder. If they aren't harboring the murderer then it should be a simple matter to arrest him, what with all the community help and all.

>You can't please all of the people all of the time. There will ALWAYS be terrorists.<

Plenty of people aren't "pleased", but that doesn't turn them into insane murders who will kill any innocent civilian. I think it's good for the gene pool to get some of these insane retards out of circulation. If we stir up a few more terrorists in the process, all the better. They were hidden carriers of weakmindedness and it would be to our benifit to expose them and kill them.

We're not just talking about ourselves here... This is a chance to civilize some savages and bring them freedom and reason for the first time. An entire race has been stuck in the dark ages of savagery for far too long, the entirety of recorded history almost, it's high time that we let the light in even if it burns a bit at first.


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