Thursday, June 01, 2006

Irrational Hysteria

I thought this comment (and its associated post) was interesting and wanted to write a short reaction.

I'm surprised the commenter prefaced her opinion by saying, "Now I don't know if I've gone in one direction of hysteria instead of another," because what she goes on to say sounds completely logical to me. On the morning of September 11, I was in the Ohio Statehouse waiting for Tuesday session to begin. When I heard people chatting nervously in the hallway outside my office about planes crashing in New York, a bunch of us piled in my boss's office because she was one of only a couple people on our floor with a television.

Aside from the obvious horror and shock we were all in, I remember having another, even stronger fear that day, after one of the interns yelled at the TV, "We have to nuke those fuckers!" I should explain first, I have an extremely strong, semi-irrational fear of nuclear warfare that borders on an actual phobia. Honestly, I don't remember my dreams very often, but the only time I've woken up in a cold sweat and with my heart pounding was after a nightmare that involved me and a friend running and hiding from an onslaught of nuclear bombs launched towards our suburban neighborhood. No kidding. You'd think I grew up hiding under my school desk doing bomb drills in the 1950's.

My phobia of The Bomb aside, I, like some of you, didn't need six years to figure out that Bush is an unthinking goon who will do anything to further his political goals, without a care to who he destroys in his wake. So although I was never against taking some kind of action, I feared that the public's need for an emotional act of revenge combined with the Administration's complete disregard for the welfare of its citizenry and its ineptitude at planning anything carefully (and, my phobia says, with innumerable nuclear bombs at its disposal) anything perpetrated in the name of 9/11 would escalate into something uncontrollable.

And truly, it has, hasn't it? Maybe not with nuclear bombs, but certainly in countless other ways, some of which are highlighted in that post. All the lives and money spent in the past few years makes me ill. Don't forget the civil liberties we stomp on everyday in the name of "ending terror." That constant grinding sound you hear is all our forefathers turning over in their graves again and again. One of the most obvious and yet pointed quotes in that post is this:
The number of such incidents in the three years after September 11 was zero, but that was the same number registered in the three years before the attacks at a time when antiterrorist policing exertions were much lower.

The extreme levels of paranoia and fear this Administration has needlessly forced onto the public serves no purpose whatsoever. But! It did get Bush reelected, which was, of course, the point.

I'm not saying anything a thousand other people haven't elucidated much better than I have in my little tangent here, I just wanted to note my surprise that someone considered their totally justified fear of this Administration as some sort of 'hysteria,' when it's pretty clear that everything we feared absolutely came true.


At 6:48 PM, June 05, 2006, Anonymous barbara33 said...

or maybe you haven't properly considered the extent, pervasiveness, and long term threat represented by islamofascism? it's a real and growing threat that preceded george w. bush and will exist when he's gone in 2 years. and it's not covered in the news, and it is not paranoia to try to stand up to it.

At 8:16 AM, June 17, 2006, Anonymous DeadRottingBunny said...

what civil liberties did you have pre-2000 that you no longer have today?

At 11:08 AM, June 19, 2006, Blogger Heather said...

bunny - why don't you ask the people in git-mo?


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