Planting Fear Into the American Mind

“Look around the rain-fed corn farms in Oaxaca state, and in vast areas of Mexico, and one sees few young men, just elderly people and single mothers.”

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued the following admonition to the American people in 1933: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror. What a great, insightful statement that was; and how meaningful it is when considering the degree of fear and apprehension that now exists in this country.

Contrast those words of wisdom with what we’ve been hearing from our presidents in recent times; for example the warnings issued by Bush/Cheney after the 911 tragedy: “Be afraid, be very afraid.” It’s a message exactly the opposite of what Roosevelt said as he warned U.S. citizens about the mounting dangers of that time; one positive message designed to instill hope and courage and the other to instill fear.

President Obama, while not specifically telling the American people that they need to be afraid, doesn’t hesitate to use the threat of terror to justify his administration’s increasingly aggressive military policy and actions across the world. Just recently, he sent a draft resolution to Congress asking it to authorize funds for an expanded global war against terrorism; and he is constantly talking about ISIS and the threat it poses. So he’s obviously reading from the same basic playbook.

How did Bush/Cheney justify attacking and occupying Iraq in 2003? They struck fear into the hearts of Americans by convincing them that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction (nuclear weapons); that he had the delivery systems to strike America and was ready to launch them against our cities. It didn’t matter that Saddam had no such weapons; this clever ruse worked beautifully. The vast majority of the American people and practically the entire Congress bought it, hook, line and sinker; and, believe it or not, many millions of Americans still firmly believe that Saddam had WMDs and was about to strike.

Down through history governments have used fear to manipulate the masses with great success. If you can instill fear into a society you can control its people, that’s a given. Here’s an excerpt from an article in The Independent Institute which supports this contention: “Over the ages, governments refined their appeals to popular fears, fostering an ideology that emphasizes the people’s vulnerability to a variety of internal and external dangers from which the governors—of all people!—are said to be their protectors. Government, it is claimed, protects the populace from external attackers and from internal disorder, both of which are portrayed as ever-present threats.”

That clearly illustrates what is taking place in America today as this government and its mouthpieces, the controlled national media, constantly issue warnings about terrorist threats, day in and day out. We hear news reports about terror, about ISIS or ISIL, Al-Qaeda, or Daesh terrorists and are told of the ongoing recruitment of thousands of new terrorists in many nations. Terror, terror and more terror, it never stops.

Let’s think of terrorism as a form of energy, one that fuels the engines of war; in effect, it provides the justification for this government to spend hundreds of billions and trillions of our taxpayer dollars on war in order to generate a never-ending stream of profits for the massive defense industry corporations that produce the weapons of war. So it follows that the more fear that is sown into this society the more this government is given free license to fuel the engines of war.

Those who know where the journalistic truth exists, certainly not within the American media, understand that there was absolutely no Al-Qaeda presence in Iraq prior to the invasion and occupation of that country; neither were there any ISIS terrorists. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya bombings created yet more terrorists, as did the drone attacks on Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. It’s likely that we will never run out of this form of fuel because this government is very adept at producing it.

The title of this article includes “planting” fear because that term best describes how our government and its indentured servants in the media are planting the seeds of fear and apprehension, watering them, nurturing them, and then harvesting the crop, which is a silent, fearful, and compliant society. The planting of this fear can also be thought of as a form of mind-conditioning, the definition of which is: “A steady, intensive indoctrination, usually political or religious, aimed at altering a person’s basic convictions and attitudes and replacing them with an alternative set of fixed beliefs.”

So, once again, let’s return to this lesson of history: “If you can instill fear into a society you can control its people.” Well, it seems that this government of ours is not only using the threat of overseas terrorism to plant fear into the minds of Americans but it is also causing great fear and apprehension to these same Americans by what it is doing right here in this country.

What kind of fear is that? Well, for those who still haven’t noticed, the NSA, the National Security Agency, has been collecting all forms of communications of Americans, from emails to Facebook to Twitter. It knows what we are saying and with whom we are speaking. That’s ominous enough but now we hear that another government agency is tracking our movements as we travel by auto. This article explains how the DEA, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has cameras in various states that “snap each vehicle that passes, recording its license plate, the direction of travel and the time. Some cameras also snap a picture of the driver and passengers.” Whoa, does that not sound like Big Brother?

What’s the end goal here; to eventually have the American people spying on each other and reporting suspicious movements or actions of our neighbors or even friends to identify any potential terrorists?

Another growing element of fear in America is the fact that, in recent years, this society has witnessed increasing incidences of overly aggressive and brutal actions by police against American citizens. Both large and smaller cities and towns have SWAT teams, many have police snipers. Police departments have been equipped with powerful military-style weaponry, including large armored vehicles (MRAPs) and even machine guns, and are beginning to resemble the military itself. The question is: are the American people considered to be a dangerous enemy?

Some brave individuals use video cameras to record abusive police actions; while it’s legal it can be a rather stressful exercise. The best course of action is, when one sees law enforcement officers cross the line of proper conduct, to write or email the mayor or council members and demand that corrective measures be taken. And if they refuse to do so then attend council meetings with neighbors and friends and, collectively, voice strong opposition to these abuses of power. Most cops do their jobs as expected and are not overly violent, but the bad apples must be thrown out.

Well, it’s one thing to fear the terrorists but it’s far, far worse when people fear their federal and local governments. But, yet, that is exactly what’s happening. Put all these elements of fear together; the constant warnings about terrorist threats, the intrusion of the NSA and DEA into our private lives, the increasingly militarized police force in America, and what do you have? You have a nation and society that is being manipulated and controlled.

Now many who read this will say; “Sure we’re aware of many of the points you make about this issue of fear and, yes it’s very troubling. It’s one thing to present this problem but can you offer any solutions for dissipating this aura of fear that hangs over America? What are we supposed to do; how can we turn this situation around?”

Well, besides those recommendations listed above relative to the problem of militarized police, there are many other solutions to by which the American people can free themselves from this insidious process. Americans need only say that enough is enough and declare that we in America refuse to be controlled. We have to make it clear to this government and this media that we will no longer listen to their never-ending ranting about terrorism.

Here are some suggestions for doing just that which I have been following for some time. Stop watching CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, the Sunday morning political shows, and the network evening news; now if that’s impossible for you to do then here’s a second suggestion: go ahead and watch but when you hear the word terror, or the host, some politician or this president starts talking about ISIS or ISIL or the threat of terrorism, then turn off the sound or set the remote to pause. Do not listen to those appeals to your fearful side.

If this rejection of fear spreads all across America you can bet that this media and its government masters will figure out what is going on and try to fight back. But if this movement of opposition gathers momentum and the mass of the American people get behind it to completely reject this doctrine of fear then there will be no stopping it. Those voices that facilitate fear can be overwhelmed by the power of the people. Great things can be accomplished to turn this country in a new direction if Americans are united; but nothing will be accomplished if they sit on the sidelines watching in silence as this process of injecting fear into this society shifts into high gear.

To get all the real facts and information needed about what is really happening in this country and the world, including this issue of terrorism, it is readily available from the most knowledgeable and respected journalists in the world; those who are experts on world affairs, including terrorism. Here are the names of just a few and you can find more if you diligently search the web: Robert Parry, Stephen F. Cohen, Robert Fisk, F. William Engdahl, Noam Chomsky, Michael Chossudovsky, Eric Margolis, and John Pilger.

When we rely on these alternate, independent sources of information, we can then make up our own minds and determine the real truth. These objective journalists will not try to deceive you, they will not distort or misrepresent; but they can, if you let them, open your mind to what is really going on with this fabricated war on terror.

When more and more Americans come to the realization that, if they continue to do absolutely nothing to address this increasing problem,  the spreading of fear in American is going to get a whole lot worse, then we can begin to turn the corner.

You don’t have to actively participate in street protests or join in demonstrations at the White House. If millions upon millions of Americans use their TV remotes and pause buttons to silence the voices of those many agents of fear in government and the media they will be able to think for themselves; and then this country can be turned around.

That’s the only way to restore this country to a government of, by and for the people. It’s the only way to reverse this insidious process that has taken hold in America. Silence those voices of doom, those facilitators of fear; shut them down, turn them off, drown out their messages, think for yourself and:

Free your mind!


If you liked this article, please donate $5 to keep NationofChange online through November.