Who Do We Fear?

May 27, 2002


To the editor:

We live in frightening times.

The news has once again been filled with warnings of "terrorist" threats against the United States. We hear cautions about famous bridges, about potential subway attacks, increased security at nuclear power plants and more.

While these external threats certainly concern me, particularly in the aftermath of September 11, my greatest fears emanate from Washington and the policies of the Bush administration. I believe that in the long run, we have much more to fear from the directions being set there.

The calls for a "permanent war" against these vaguely defined "terrorists" sets up the potential to justify U.S. military action anywhere in the world. U.S. involvement in counter-insurgency efforts in Colombia and the Philippines has escalated in dangers ways since September 11. Increased high tech weaponry will not solve these complicated social problems, but will only escalate the violence.

Although the media has not highlighted this fact, it is all but certain that the anthrax which was sent in the mail last fall came from the U.S. military’s massive stockpile of bacterial warfare agents. Rather than calling for the destruction of deadly arsenal, the Bush administration calls only for increased monitoring of those who work with these materials and makes absurd charges against Cuba’s bio-medical industry.

The massive increases in military spending

The massive tax cuts for the wealthy which intensify the differences between rich and poor within the U.S.

The restrictions on civil liberties legislated by the USA Patriot Act and the Bush Administration’s obsession with secrecy threaten our ability to organize and to hold government officials accountable for their misdeeds.

The hijacking of our electoral institutions by the stolen presidential election of 2000 and the continued resistance to meaningful electoral reform.

Bush and his cohorts are too smart to openly declare their "jihad" against the best of U.S. ideals. Nonetheless, their policies threaten to create increasing polarization which endangers not only those in the gunsights of the U.S. military, but all people who believe in peace, freedom and equality.



Andy Mager