zakat

The Fear Factor

August 17, 2006 by  


By Dr. A.S. Nakadar

The people in Connecticut sent a strong message to President Bush and his neo-con allies that their days in Washington are numbered. Sen. Lieberman’s defeat is like the Titanic hitting the iceberg, a clear expression by the Democratic voters, Republican crossovers and independents. In primaries, voters can only vote for the candidates of their stated party. In general elections, voters can vote for any candidate of any party.

The victory of Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Primary is very significant because it is a clear rejection of Bush administration policies. This message has resonated throughout the USA and the world. It is a sign of the deep American anger for Sen. Joe Lieberman’s unabashed support for the Republican President and his unpopular war politics. It says much about the low esteem in which Americans hold this administration’s war politics. The message to Republicans as well as Democrats who support the neo-con agenda is that they have lost touch with reality and with grass roots people. Many consider the outcome of this contest a referendum on President Bush.

Sen. Lieberman filed papers to contest the November elections as an Independent. To disown one’s own party that helped you remain as a senator for 18 years is disloyal. Loyalty places the party’s interest above self interest. And it is not surprising that Sen. Joe Lieberman’s friends and colleagues in the Democratic Party disowned him after his crossover to an Independent run for Senate. But his friends and supporters don’t want to pressure him to step aside, saying he was too angered by his defeat to accept such counseling. They say he is in a denial phase. Another factor in not pressuring him is that Republicans don’t have a strong candidate who could take advantage of this fractured Democratic field. They want his support if he wins.

Republicans smell defeat in the coming elections. They are scared they are losing their majority in the House and the Senate, and of the possibility of impeachment proceedings against President Bush.

In the 2000 presidential election, some say the neo-cons manipulated or “stole” the Florida voting. In the midterm elections of 2002, Republicans rolled in because President Bush enjoyed high popularity following the dastardly acts of 9/11. In the 2004 elections, Ohio replicated Florida. The Muslim Observer (TMO) published reports citing widespread vote-counting irregularities. In 2004, the president’s popularity started waning. To mobilize conservatives, the White House used strategic focus on a red herring peripheral issue, creating an uproar in the country against gay marriage. This strategy successfully drove conservatives to the voting booths. Democrats, as usual, played into Republican hands by reciting their far-left dogma on yet another political third rail.

In the 2006 midterm elections, the Republican strategists used the issue of illegal immigration. This backfired. So the most potent strategy now left is to use the boogeyman of “terrorism,” creating “the fear factor.” We all are against terrorism and we Americans will protect our homeland from terrorism at any cost. It is incumbent upon all of us. But to use this terrorism boogeyman as a tool to make political gains is against American national interests.

The boogeyman of terrorism will terrorize us in the coming days. Our media, print, air and TV will vie with one another in its presentation. We will see Bin Laden’s and Zarqawi’s tapes in our media whenever “strategists” want to jog our memories. The crescendo of “The fear factor” will reach its zenith on election day, followed by a slow unwinding until the next use of this favorite Republican tool. If things get worse in Iraq, they will use the boogeyman of terrorism. If the president’s popularity hits new lows, again they will use the boogeyman of terrorism. If the economy worsens, they will blame it on terrorism. Even the election defeat of Senator Lieberman, has been described by some as a manifestation of the Democrats’ being weak on terror, some going so far as to say that his loss is in fact a victory for terror.

America’s standing in the world is at its lowest. Most don’t believe America stands for justice, peace, human rights and democracy. They say we use these facades to defy any country that doesn’t toe our line. Fear and hate begets fear and hate. For us to stand tall again in the world, it is time we weed out our warmonger lawmakers and the preachers of “the fear factor.” •

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