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Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid. By: Travis Rowley
ProJo.com | Monday, December 10, 2007


Oh, you Muslims everywhere, sever the ties of their nation, tear them apart, ruin their economy, instigate against their corporations, destroy their embassies, attack their interests, sink their ships, and shoot down their airplanes. Kill them in land, at sea, and in the air. Kill them wherever you find them.
— Sheikh Abdel Rahman


WHILE NOBODY enjoys being afraid, fear remains a useful human emotion. Fear fuels human reasoning. And without it, we would not be able to discern the brave from the spineless; the principled from the passive.

Yet, when it comes to the threat of Islamic jihad, many from the American left dismiss fear as a destructive instinct — a sensation that can never lead us to truth, but only to irrationality.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, speaking recently at Brown University, “repeatedly insisted that Americans’ true enemy, as evidenced by current foreign policy, is fear,” the Brown Daily Herald reported. He told the Ivy League audience, “Fear is a device to manipulate, and even to govern.”

But Patrick was merely echoing what has become a mindless Democratic talking point.

For the past several years Democrats have relentlessly asserted that President Bush has shamelessly exploited the threat of global jihad. In 2005, Sen. John Kerry (D.-Mass.) accused the president of “playing the politics of fear and smear.” In 2006, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.) came to the conclusion that the GOP’s political strategy amounted to this sentiment: “All we’ve got is fear, and we’re going to keep playing the fear card.” Continuing the Democratic drumbeat was Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D.-Ohio), who said that the Bush administration has been “drumming up fear in order to protect its war agenda.”

Liberals can’t imagine anyone being seriously concerned with the threat of Islamic jihad. They actually think conservatives fake their anxiety over foreign hostiles only to cause false national trepidation.

In response to Republican “politics,” liberals speak of human fear as an unnatural and futile emotion (and then resist every Bush-proposed counter-terrorism measure). I can just see Democrats in 1775 castigating Paul Revere for fear-mongering. Yeah, okay, Paul. Suuuure the British are coming.

While liberals remain the only group demanding more evidence than two smoldering towers to prove that America is under attack, their naïvetÉ shows why they can’t be trusted with the national reins.

In defending Columbia University’s recent invitation to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Dean John Coatsworth argued that Columbia would have also invited Adolf Hitler in 1939, but not in 1944, when the United States was at war with him. Fair enough. Coatsworth’s position maintained the academy’s principles of open discourse while not abandoning the values of patriotism.

But Coatsworth’s declaration spoke volumes in regards to the left’s worldview. Liberals still don’t accept the premise that we are at war with Iran. They think we’re at war with President Bush. Ironically, that’s why they attempt to make everyone fear him.

Consider a Providence Phoenix article from last year, “Bush’s Fear Factor”:

President Bush does not seek to lead so much as he seeks to rule. He’s a royalist by birth and inclination. Elected by a questionable majority and re-elected by a narrow one, he uses fear and division to prosecute his agenda. He was dangerous when he was triumphant and is positively menacing now that he’s wounded. Complacency in the face of his threat is not merely foolish: It is reckless. . . . Bush has cowed so many into fearing there’s a potential terrorist under every citizen’s bed. What are the prospects for democracy if truth tellers are muzzled?


Or consider Rep. Peter Stark (D.-Calif.), bellowing from the House floor that Republicans are sending children to Iraq “to get their heads blown off for the president’s amusement.”

All liberal ire is ironic and/or phony. Are we to believe that liberals truly have a problem with alarmist political expression while their own primary message is one that alerts us of President Bush’s wicked intentions? As the left warns us of Bush’s “threat” and his plans to “rule,” they astonishingly gather the gall to express disdain for the role fear plays in politics. But aren’t these the people who tell us that the imminent melting of the polar ice caps is sure to drown American coastlines?

The jihadist objectives are hardly covert. Islamic fascists across the world have explicitly outlined their desires to establish global Sharia law, recapture Jerusalem, and devastate the United States. They are capable of great patience, and are willing to employ radical measures to accomplish their goals. Their network is highly complex, and sponsoring them is the internationally defiant Iran — a rogue government in pursuit of nuclear capability.

The al-Qaida Web magazine al-Jihad has instructed its readers: “O people of jihad, Jihad during the fasting month of Ramadan has a great taste — for what better way to break your fast than to kill infidels and relish the sound of the weeping of the despicable tyrants and infidels.” And Osama bin Laden has informed his followers that “more attacks are required. I advise the youth to find more of America’s economic hubs. The enemy can be defeated by attacking its economic centers.”

Annoyingly to Democrats, a careful study of the nation’s foreign threats leads most Americans to the conclusion that they have not been duped by fear-mongering. Rather, Republicans have accurately assessed the serious nature of America’s enemies — and are therefore operating from a healthy level of fear.

Yet, Governor Patrick told his adoring audience at Brown that “men feared witches — and burnt women.” This is the liberal logic intended to compel us not to be concerned with Islamic lunatics in search of atomic weaponry.


Travis Rowley is the author of Out of Ivy: How a Liberal Ivy Created a Committed Conservative.


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