Thursday, August 13, 2015

Appeal to Fear: Nuclear Weapons and Terrorism

Appeal to Fear

Propaganda conditioned American consciousness to distinguish terrorism exclusive to Muslims. While the elite network uses scaremongering, false flag operations, and news media disinformation to execute their plans inside nation states. Appeal to fear propaganda gathers a following by multiplying the perception of potential threats to society.
Fear. Such appeals are meant to arouse fear in the listeners. The speaker then offers them a way of dealing with the threat. Like many propaganda techniques, fear appeals are not inherently bad. Many social service campaigns include fear appeals that are designed to encourage people to fear things that they should rightly be afraid of, such as AIDS or the health consequences of smoking. Fear appeals are propagandist when they exaggerate a threat to exploit the fear of the listener or misrepresent the effectiveness of their recommendation for dealing with the threat.1

Nuclear Concerns

The Cold War featured the nuclear rivalry between the United States and the Russian Federation. An impending threat of nuclear war was the appeal to fear which lasted more than four decades. The other main feature was the struggle between opposing political ideologies. After World War II, this rivalry became the ideal set-up for two opposing nuclear arms industries to flourish. When Eisenhower was elected, there were around 1,000 warheads in the U.S. nuclear stockpile; by the time he left office the arsenal totaled some 20,000 warheads.(Malcolmson 1985)
It is clear that the nuclear threat, in response to the perceived Soviet menace, came to dominate profoundly the American search for national security. This threat seemed to give the United States a major initiative in its global struggle against Communism. It seemed to put real bite into the policy of containment, a policy that many Republicans, so long out of power, had come to regard as toothless, timid, and dangerously reactive. It seemed to confront the Kremlin at that point where the Soviets were weak and vulnerable. The national security policy of the Republican administration, it has been said, flowed from the strong belief of the president and his top policy advisers in the utility of nuclear weapons for both deterrent and actual military missions. Nuclear strength, it was firmly believed, could be readily converted into political advantage. On several occasions during these years the United States threatened to use nuclear weapons, when it felt that such threats would persuade a foe of its resolve and seriousness. And it also indicated a willingness, if necessary, to follow through on these threats. As John Gaddis has pointed out, It is clear, in retrospect, that the Eisenhower administration was prepared to go nuclear in any of several contingencies—a Soviet conventional force attack in Europe, a violation of the Korean armistice, a decision to intervene directly in Indochina, or a Chinese Communist assault on Quemoy and Matsu. These were threats that had to be taken seriously in foreign capitals; for at this time the United States was the only nation in a position to so brandish its nuclear weapons. One would imagine that its willingness to act in this manner must have stiffened the resolve in the Kremlin to neutralize the U.S. nuclear arsenal, or, perhaps, even to turn the table on its capitalist adversary.

The concern during the 1950s to highlight the role of nuclear weapons was accompanied by a determination to play down the differences between these new weapons and conventional armaments. The distinctions between them was blurred. It was often suggested and sometimes openly stated that there was no real difference between the use of nuclear and non-nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons, it was said, should be seen as military tools much like other tools in the arsenal. As John Foster Dulles, the secretary of state, explained to a closed NATO ministerial meeting in April 1954, the United States believed that nuclear weapons must now be treated as in fact having become conventional. It should be our agreed policy, he said, in case of war, to use atomic weapons as conventional weapons against military assets of the enemy whenever and wherever it would be of advantage to do so.

During these years, when the United States had an overwhelming nuclear superiority, it was promoting a kind of normalizing of the status of these weapons. It was according them a sense of the commonplace; it was suggesting that to use them would not be all that remarkable. Given the conscious adoption of a policy of marked nuclear dependence, such talk, perhaps, was unavoidable, a necessary was of justifying what has been decided on for other reasons. But such talk was not cost-free. As Bernard Brodie pointed out a few years later, at the end of the 1950s: although a considerable residue of anathema and horror for the use of nuclear weapons remains in the world today, it has been considerably eroded by repeated insistence, emanating mostly from the United States, that the use of nuclear weapons must be regarded as absolutely normal, natural, and right. Whether it was really in the American interest to attack the emotional resistances to using nuclear weapons was never soberly examined.2
The attractiveness of political policy dominated by nuclear weapons...
...derived very much from its relative cheapness and its immediate popular appeal. Any alternative policy would have had to put much more stress on conventional forces, and these forces would have cost more (more troops, larger quantities of weapons) and probably would have necessitated some sort of broadly based, if not universal, military training. Fiscal conservatism, then, and public dislike of anything that resembled conscription, were allies of the proponents of air-atomic power. As Michael Howard has observed, Governments, and the majorities on which they relied, found in nuclear weapons so convenient a solution to their budgetary problems that they were adopted almost without question. Nuclear bombs saved money and manpower. They allowed the United States to play from strength, the strength and dynamism of its sophisticated technology, as against the labor-intensive Red Army. The confidence placed in nuclear bombs was reflected in the rapid and substantial military demobilization that occurred at the end of the war, from some 12 million to 1.7 million troops in the United States (the USSR demobilized too, though not to the same extent: there were around 3 million men in the Soviet armed forces in early 1948, down from almost 12 million in 1945). The triumph of air-atomic power, then, was partly a consequence of the wholesale reduction of non-nuclear military force.3

Code Name: Manhattan Project

Secret research and development for the first nuclear chain reaction bomb totaled nearly $2 billion dollars; code named Manhattan Project. Its work force increased to 130,000+ people. 90% of expenses were devoted to factory construction, and production of materials capable of sustained nuclear fission, or fissile material.
Meanwhile, the nuclear arsenals kept growing. When Eisenhower was elected, there were around 1,000 warheads in the U.S. nuclear stockpile; by the time he left office the arsenal totaled some 20,000 warheads. New delivery systems were also developed. In fact, the technology of mass destruction advanced to rapidly that strategy, rather than leading, was almost always being led. Few wondered very long or very loudly about the point of it all.4

New Manhattan Project

On American television screens, the September 11th demolitions became a new Manhattan project, to establish a warfare theater in Afghanistan, where intelligence soon determined a lack of targets. So the War on Terror expanded into Iraq under false pretenses.

By virtue of domestic controlled demolitions—disguised as foreign terrorism—tyranny legislation flew through Congress. 98 out of 100 Senators voted yes to the Patriot Act; several signed without reading it. Bolstered by the bandwagon propaganda of George Bush Jr.: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. Dissenters officially became the enemy; American war protesters became domestic terrorists.
...neither the American administration nor those who opposed the policy of regime change seem willing to acknowledge that terrorism has a state component. Terrorism is not exclusively the practice of rouge groups and individuals, not exclusively the weapon of the weak against the strong, but is practiced by governments around the world in the control of their own populations.5

  1. O'Rourke, James; Collins, Sandra. Module 5: Interpersonal Communication Listening and Responding. 2008. Independence, KY: Cengage Learning. Print. p.53 (emph. added)
  2. Malcolmson, Robert W. Nuclear Fallacies: How We Have Been Misguided Since Hiroshima. 1985. Canada: McGill-Queen's Univ. Print. pp.43,44
  3. Malcolmson, Robert W. Nuclear Fallacies: How We Have Been Misguided Since Hiroshima. 1985. Canada: McGill-Queen's Univ. Print. pp.44,45
  4. Malcolmson, Robert W. Nuclear Fallacies: How We Have Been Misguided Since Hiroshima. 1985. Canada: McGill-Queen's Univ. Print. pp.46
  5. Keller, James R. V for Vendetta as Cultural Pastiche: A Critical Study of the Graphic Novel and Film. 2008. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. Print. p.36

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