Be very afraid. They are not plain old terrorists any more. Now we have Islamo-fascists, Islamo-Nazis and Islamo- commies. Having made a mess of tackling the real problem of global terrorism and with an election looming, the new right wing talking points require that glorious old wars and ancient enemies be invoked to scare the heck out of American voters. Bush and his supporters fervently hope that the latest scare tactics will succeed and citizens will forget the abject failures of their inept leaders. It is also a transparent and cynical ploy to once again conflate Iraq with 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden. Some suspect that it may even be an attempt to lay the ground work for an attack on Iran.
Donald Rumsfeld recently compared the war on terrorism to fighting fascism and Nazism and compared those who oppose the Iraq war to craven appeasers - that would be 63 - 65% of Americans. Today, George W. Bush repeated the same mantra about fascists and Nazis, adding communists to the mix - further raising the fear index by a notch or two. He grandly recalled US triumphs at Omaha Beach and Guadalcanal so that we may forget his own failures in Baghdad, Basra and Baluchistan. If until now we are not sufficiently terrified of being blown up in air planes, trains and inside tall towers, surely we will start losing sleep over gulags and gas chambers.
"President George W. Bush said Thursday the war against Islamic militants was like last century's fight against Nazis and communists and that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would lead to its conquest by America's worst enemies.
"The security of the civilized world depends on victory in the war on terror, and that depends on victory in Iraq," Mr. Bush said in a speech to rally support for his unpopular war strategy two months before congressional elections...
"Some politicians look at our efforts in Iraq and see a diversion from the war on terror," Mr. Bush said. "That would come as news to Osama bin Laden, who proclaimed that the 'third world war is raging' in Iraq."
The well orchestrated fear mongering by the Bush administration is having one tangible effect. Not in catching real terrorists but in making non-terrorist Asian men targets of undue harrassment, contempt and suspicion. Recently, we witnessed the tasteless Macaca incident involving Sen George Allen of Virginia. An Iraqi American was made to remove a T-shirt with a protest slogan before boarding a plane in New York (via Leiter Reports). Young Asian men face increased scrutiny at airports, be they Hindu, Muslim or Sikh because to the average TSA employee and American traveler, they all look alike. During air travel, Asians now encounter from strangers a mindset similar to what African Americans have experienced for years on the streets. Like DWB (Driving While Black), the newly coined acronym, TWA stands for "Traveling While Asian." But it is not just at airports and subway stations where terrorists may be operating. Senator Conrad Burns (R - Montana) warns us that taxi cabs too could prove lethal for travelers. (Needless to mention here that cab drivers in big cities are overwhelmingly from Asia and Africa).
"Republican Sen. Conrad Burns, whose recent comments have stirred controversy, says the United States is up against a faceless enemy of terrorists who "drive taxi cabs in the daytime and kill at night." During a fundraiser Wednesday with first lady Laura Bush, the three-term Montana senator talked about terrorism, tax cuts and the money he has brought to his state.
He has drawn criticism in recent weeks for calling his house painter a "nice little Guatemalan man" during a June speech. Burns, whose re-election campaign is pressing for tighter immigration controls, also suggested that the man might be an illegal immigrant. The campaign later said the worker is legal.
At the campaign event with Bush, Burns talked about the war on terrorism, saying a "faceless enemy" of terrorists "drive taxi cabs in the daytime and kill at night."
Perhaps Burns won't have to worry about those fearsome cab drivers of Washington D.C. for too long. He is in a tight race this November and hopefully, he will soon be able to retire in the civilized safety of Montana ( population: more than 90% white). I doubt there are too many taxi cabs on the wide open roads of Montana and I bet they are not driven by "terrorists."