by Frank J. Ranelli
A radical faction of the right is attempting to reconstitute McCarthyism in the 21st century by spreading exaggerated falsehoods to college campuses, eschewing accuracy and espousing hysteria about Islam and the honest threat of terrorism. Their aim is simple: Envelope the next generation of young minds under the umbrella of constant panic and indoctrinate them with deceptive and ignorant fear.
The last bastion of Bush proffers has once again trotted out a long ago debunked, inaccurate and xenophobic phrase, "islamo-fascists", once glibly coined by Donald Rumsfeld. Calling their cause, Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, a radical right alarmist group called, the Terrorism Awareness Project, wants to use old fashion fear and propaganda to persuade college students into this histrionic idea: that amorphous, rogue cells of terrorists operating in the Middle East are, “the greatest danger Americans have ever confronted.”
Now consider these alternatives to so-called “islamo-fascists.” Hitler killed all total 12 million Jews, dissenters and infirmed people, amassed a state-sponsored, mechanical-backed army of millions that wreaked havoc on numerous continents for 12 years. Stalin held the world’s collective stage hostage under a repressive regime replete with thousands of nuclear missiles that came within minutes of incendiary obliteration of the Earth, as we know it.
When in view of the heinous atrocities of Hitler and Stalin, the demagoguery and utter mendacity of the Terrorism Awareness Project should immediately be dismissed. Yet, over two million misinformed and deluded people have visited their site just this year alone. Adding to the sensational theatrics this fringe group is trying to propagate across college campuses are wild assertions such as “the academic left has mobilized to create sympathy for the enemy” and “the nation will be rocked by the biggest conservative campus protest ever - Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, a wake-up call for Americans on 200 university and college campuses.”
Claiming to have organized speaking engagements at over 200 campuses, through the David Horowitz Freedom Center, the Terrorism Awareness Project has lined up a premier delicatessen of right-winged demagogue polemicists. The astounding list is as distinguished as is the disingenuous message they tout. Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Melanie Morgan and Rick Santorum are but a few of the invited partisan hacks and hypocrites who plan to extol the virtues of the Terrorism Awareness Project and proclaim terrorism is a greater threat to America than global warming is to the world at large.
Incredulously, this group of firebrand, paranoid propagandists tenaciously tries again to tie Saddam Hussein with the attacks on September 11, 2001. They also falsely claim Iraq was a “second base of terror” long before American forces destabilized that country and provided the catalyst of chaos under which a new and minority faction of unconnected Al Qaeda groups formed.
Flagrant and desperate, the entire website is filled with intimidating and goading terms as well as foreboding phrases. “Islamo-facism”, “apologists for radical Islam” and “anti-Americans who are part of today’s academic environment”, litters the site and sends any rational mind reeling. The inanity and outright obtuse mindset of these shrinking-violets, who found the Cold War ostensibly a minor infraction, can only be realized by visiting the website of the Terrorism Awareness Project. Only then, after a thorough examination, can the full effects of the use of scare tactics and the unnecessary consternation be realized.
Reminding the reader beforehand, that the attacks on 9/11 occurred during the Bush administration - and that same President smugly dismissed a daily presidential briefing entitled, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike” - do we find instead the old saw that “Clinton did it” amongst the many other apocryphal allegations.
To make the point that the endeavor of this organization is reckless and insipid, certainly a platitude, might seem wasted to the other 219 million Americans who have already rejected the Bush doctrine of fear. Furthermore, only 27% of Americans now - Bush’s unshakeable and dutiful base - find the initiative of democracy through a climate of unwarranted fear anything less than odious. However, exposure is the best sanitizer and it ensures that imprudent groups, such as the Terrorism Awareness Project, are brought under the spotlight for scrutiny and proper dismissal as anxiety-ridden, provocative hacks.
To be clear, everyone lucid person should be offended by blatant suggestions that academics are undesirables or that the vast majority of Americans somehow just “don’t understand” the enormity of the specious adversary we face. Reasoned Americans do not endorse or express sympathy to any deed of extremism or group of fanatics, including the Terrorism Awareness Project.
Quite simply, the time has come for all Americans to choose reason, restraint and modesty, over the present zeitgeist of aggression and extreme nationalism, shrouded in obedience through panic and fear, brought upon us by the Bush regime.
Sources: Terrorism Awareness Project, http://www.terrorismawareness.org/; Also see: Defining Fascism, Then and Now
Frank J. Ranelli is a progressive, free-lance political writer and Internet talk show host. His current journalism endeavors to educate people on the dangers of the Bush Administration, the Religious Right, and the unlawful occupation of Iraq. In addition, he is an ardent advocate for the impeachment of President George W. Bush. His writing has been well-received and widely published in a variety of news outlets and across the Internet. His "smartly-written and imagery-invoking" articles have earned him such praise as, "Written with directness, strength, passion...It's great when it smacks, glares, grabs one!" -Ms. Joyce Benedict, Park Guide for FDR Historic Site