Title: Do we really crave fear and poeha ... the consequences of the war on fear.

Poll after poll suggests that the fear has seized hold of the North American public. In the most unlikely corners, people are apparently afraid of the potential of terrorist attacks, as if somehow places like Watertown, NY show up on the list of targets assembled by a few angry madmen with a mission !

This is not to minimize the severity of the attacks, but rather to suggest that we are starting to victimize ourselves when we submit to such irrational fears. Particularly given the likelihood that the current (biochemical) scare tactics are the work of deranged copycats taking advantage of the media scrutiny, and unlikely to result in anything more severe than a spike in profits for media companies and the drug companies that manufacture the antibiotic remedies used to cure the disease.

Current attempts to cast criticism of the war against terrorism as unpatriotic is a cynicism of the Administration and the press; a worrisome sign, especially because the enemy is a faceless one -- terrorism is a method, not an enemy one can declare war on.

There are other signs, too, that the current crisis is proving almost too much for the Bush Administration to handle. To be fair, the nature of the attacks against the USA are without precedent. But that said, the warning last week given by an ashen-faced John Ashcroft of "unspecified but credible threats", seemed of highly questionable value and close to irresponsible.

As if not to be outdone, the governor of California added his voice to the fear by announcing the possibility of threats against West Coast bridges based on unconfirmed reports from unnamed sources that an unspecified type of attack might occur.

Both of these announcements where subsequently accompanied by chorus from other Bush Administration "officials" (such as the newly appointed Tsar of Homeland Security: Tom Ridge) that Americans should at the same time be at a heightened state of alertness and carry on with business as normal.

What makes these missteps particularly unfortunate is the economic backdrop to the current crisis; causing that what ever woe that can befall a company, chances are it is linked to the current "post September 11th" climate.

This smoke-and-mirrors behavior might cause forward predictions to falter and cause permanent damage to "free speech", true patriotism and any Libertarian fundamentals.

Anyway, create a fool-proof system and someone will invent/elect better fools.

Common Law Copyright PKUniversity (c) All rights reserved.