Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A culture of fear

At some future point, history will make its conclusion about the Obama administration.  History tends to be kinder remembering the talking points more so than the details about what went into them.  I don't know what my grandchildren will be taught about Mr Obama and his legacy, I can only write about what I see now through the eyes of a retired military officer and former intelligence analyst.

Obama and his master handler, Valerie Jarrett, promised "hope and change" during the campaign trail but instead have only manifested a culture of fear.

Obama and Jarrett, ably assisted by the likes of Wolf Blitzer, want us to be very afraid of Russia.  But Russia hasn't levied sanctions against the US.  Russia did not try to overthrow a legitimate Middle Eastern leader  (Assad) thereby giving rise to the most dangerous terrorist organization (Daesh).  Russia did not threaten to shoot down a valued ally's fighters (Israel) in an attempt to convince a long-standing enemy (Iran) that Washington keeps its word.  Russia did not suddenly warm-up to a long standing enemy (Cuba) while simultaneously leveling sanctions against another country in the region (Venezuela).  

Russia human rights record is to say the least unimpressive but who is Mr. Obama to lecture Putin after his own administration has left relations between African-Americans and the police in the worst state since the civil rights movement?  Thanks to Obama, Jarrett and Holder the African-American community is now more afraid of its own police than ever before.  Police officers, especially white police officers, are more afraid than ever after the sniper shootings in Ferguson this weekend.  (Now it turns out that the racist practices of the Ferguson PD may have ironically been exposed by a righteous shooting.)

The US has a tendency to embrace a culture of fear.  During the 1930s, a culture of fear lead to US Isolationism, causing the US to pass a number of neutrality acts to prevent involvement in the war in Europe.  Paradoxically, the culture of fear lead to matters deteriorating in Europe and Asia to the point the US had no choice but to enter the war.  A culture of fear lead to the Cold War which although the US and Soviet Union never came into direct conflict, it did lead to the US getting involved in the Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis, and Vietnam War.  

The fall of the Soviet Union introduced a brief period of relief from the culture of fear.  This is perhaps why some believe that the events of 9/11 were a conspiracy to create a new culture of fear (replacing the potential for nuclear war at the hands of the Soviets to WMD attacks by radical Islamic terrorists).  

The culture of fear was termed a "global war on terrorism' by George W. Bush.  He parlayed that into two conflicts that lasted 13 years.  The American public had grown weary of the conflicts and Obama seized on this weariness with his "hope and change" slogan.  He was going to end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring the troops home.  While not overtly, he seemed to imply that his administration would not be a culture of fear.  But that has not been the case either domestically or overseas.

Obama's policies on immigration have legalized millions of illegal immigrants, who may be given the right to vote.  American citizens are now afraid they will lose their jobs to these newly legalized immigrants (although it remains to be seen what if any work they will be allowed to do).

Obama's administration let loose the NSA on the American public and even hacked the New York Times.  A culture of fear was now reborn but this time Americans would be afraid of their own government reminiscent of McCarthyism.  The BATF has been let lose to attempt a ban on ammunition (5.56MM) causing gun owners to fear even more draconian gun-control measures could be coming.  The measure is to "protect" police officers (even though this administration has had no qualms throwing the Ferguson and New York Police Departments under the bus).

The one branch of the government that the public still trusts is the US military.  The best way to make people afraid of the troops is to make sexual assault and PTSD front page stories.  Instead of portraying the military as heroes, now they are portrayed as broken.  Instead of maintaining high levels of discipline they are shown as sexual predators.  Instead of strong women fighting and leading others into combat they are show as victims of rape and sexual assault by their fellow troops.

Even political allies aren't safe.  Hillary Clinton has been, and still is, the presumed Democratic Presidential candidate for 2016.  However, things have not been good between the Obama and Clinton camps.  Time to make us afraid of Hillary so now the media has finally turned on her and her private emails.  Fascinating how this happened during her time as Secretary of State but we are only now hearing about it right before her planned announcement to run for President.  The media ratted Jarrett out initially but she had to quickly remind them we aren't supposed to be afraid of her!  Now according to the White House this was all "a bunch of baloney" and Jarrett had nothing to do with the leak to the media.

The problem with a culture of fear is once people are afraid, fear can become widespread and difficult to control.  Jarrett and Obama seem to have forgotten people were already suspicious of them.  Once the story hit about Hillary's emails, people began to finally remember that Ms. Jarrett was a Chicago lawyer/activist (wannabe politician) who was born in Iran.  Oops, we weren't supposed to remember that annoying little factoid.

It makes the events of the last few months seem especially suspect.  A deal with Iran to limit nuclear arms, something that up until now hasn't been a priority.  But then again, don't want to upset Tehran or they may stop sending arms to the Iraqis (who Obama bailed on as part of his campaign promise) to fight Daesh who only came to power after we tried to support an overthrow of Assad.

In the novel and movie "Dune", the protagonist Paul Muad'dib recites the following litany to himself when facing fear

"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration…"

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