Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A Late Night Political Aside

Reading this article on CNN* I noticed a quote of President Bush saying “This government is going to do whatever it takes to protect this homeland.”

Now, I know it’s a bit of a stretch, but the first time I heard of the then newly-created Department of Homeland Security, the name resonated in my head and brought up images of the Nazi’s use of the term ‘Fatherland.’ Now don’t get me wrong! I am not trying here to compare the Bush Administration with the Nazis, but I am concerned about the imagery that both terms evoke and how they infuence public opinion. The term ‘homeland’ has been creeping more and more into Bush’s rhetoric over the last few years, presumably in the hope that it inspires some deeper identification and attachment with their nation in US citizens (although god knows they’ve got enough of that already!)

Already American civil liberties, in the form of personal privacy protections, are being nibbled away in the name of Homeland Security. The great sense of national identity and unity that ballooned out of the World Trade Centre attacks is being developed by Bush’s use of such emotionally loaded terms into a strong sense of nationalism. Both of these principles are key features of a fascist regime and, whether it be intentional or not, that is the way I fear America is heading.

Go visit the States now because, in a few years, you may not want to risk it!

* I don’t often delve into the dubious depths of CNN, but in this case the BBC site didn’t have a link to the full declassified text of the National Intelligence Estimate so I had to look further afield.

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