Capitol Hill Blue
Invasion of the fear-mongers
By PAUL CAMPOS
Aug 16, 2006, 07:28
When it comes to terrorism, much of our political leadership appears to have lost both its nerve and its mind. Consider this statement: "I'm worried that too many people, both in politics and out, don't appreciate the seriousness of the threat to American security and the evil of the enemy that faces us -- more evil, or as evil, as Nazism, and probably more dangerous than the Soviet Communists we fought during the long cold war."
These words were not uttered by an involuntary resident of a mental hospital, or Mel Gibson after a night of perusing "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and drinking single malt scotch, but by Joseph Lieberman, a man who has been a senator for the past 18 years, and who came within a handful of dangling chads of becoming vice president of the United States.
That a statement like this is treated as a reasonable observation rather than denounced as indicates
At the height of the cold war, the Soviet Union's explicit goal was to establish a global communist dictatorship. In the pursuit of this goal, the Soviets built an army of six million men, equipped with, among many other things, 10,000 nuclear weapons, which in a matter of minutes could have wiped the United States off the face of the earth, while killing perhaps 150 million Americans.
By contrast, Osama bin Laden is a guy hiding in a cave somewhere, armed with an AK-47 and a tape recorder, who commands the uncertain allegiance of a few thousand equally poorly armed fanatics.
As for our current enemies being "more evil" than Nazis, it's hard to imagine what that could even mean. The Nazis managed to murder perhaps 10 million people, while starting a war that killed at least 40 million others. In the universal evil sweepstakes, they set a mark that will be hard to match, although it's worth noting that our current good friend and international banker, the People's Republic of China, made an impressive effort of its own during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.
Of course, during the cold war the enemy wasn't just the U.S.S.R., or our new best friends the Red Chinese, it was the International Communist Conspiracy. Yet
between the Islamic and Western worlds.
Bin Laden and his ilk are merely taking advantage of . For example, according to
That absurdities of this sort still play well in the polls is a sad comment on the state of the nation.
(Paul Campos is a law professor at the University of Colorado and can be reached at Paul.Campos(at)Colorado.edu.)
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