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The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poemsThe St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poemsThe St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The St. Lawrence Book Award for a first collection of short stories or poems
The End of America:
Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
By Naomi Wolf
 
Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007
 
Reviewed by Angela Leroux-Lindsey
 


On page six of her courageous book, Naomi Wolf writes: 


‘The White House deployed the term Islamofascism to convey the idea that this global, ever-growing, ever-shifting enemy wished to enslave us utterly. Bush said that we were now committed to a global “war on terror.” This war is eternal in time and space, with no endpoint with which you can say “We have won” or “We have lost.” The “evildoers” want a “global caliphate,” and the battlefield is the whole world. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson wrote an essay in Newsweek that invoked the specter that terrorists representing “Islamic fascism” are seeking technologies to make “radical Islam a global power, allowing new killing on an unimagined scale.”’ 
Typical of the Bush Administration is their ability to proliferate ideas that lack nothing in substance except the intent to distract and create dissent. We, as citizens, are subject to the massive distraction machine every waking moment: at work, interpersonally, via the media. Quality of life is vital to survival; but as Naomi Wolf will tell you, so is freedom. Under our very noses, Bush has been working hard to doctor the laws and legalize acts that dissolve individual rights. He has declared war based on false pretenses (the so-called nuclear “technologies”), and as a result, that “new killing on an unimagined scale” in Iraq and Afghanistan—tens of thousands of citizens dying at the grisly hand of explosives—is punishing the “evildoers.” He has retained a military presence in the Middle East despite the fact that doing so continues to instigate civil war. Is it a coincidence that, geographically, the locations surrounded by or under US control make up around 60% of the world’s recoverable oil supply? What, exactly, constitutes “radical” action, and who is threatening a “global caliphate?” And, when conversation is stuck on whether we have won or lost the “war on terror”, who is paying attention? 

“Islamofascism” is a cover-up. The “fight them there so we don’t have to here” fear-based mentality is a powerfully invasive psychological strategy. Wolf goes on to say that “Free citizens will not give up freedom for very many reasons, but it is human nature to be willing to trade freedom for security.” The prolonging of the conflict, especially within the politically potent aftermath of 9/11, is synonymous with prolonging the threat.  

According to The End of America, the establishing of a threat is the first step toward establishing a fascist regime.  

Step number two is to establish secret prisons, and we all know how that one played out. 

With galvanizing logic, Wolf examines the fundamental steps that precede a fascist shift, and the fact that every single one is happening in the United States, right now. She also presents numerous historical “echoes” that highlight the similarities between the current dark political climate and those of fallen democracies in past eras. Mussolini and Pinochet established threats and tortured suspects in secret prisons, the first two steps; step ten is to install a dictatorship. In the United States, this is an event that could perhaps be incited by another attack; it could take place just before the 2008 elections; it could involve paramilitary force, which is step three toward establishing a dictatorship. (Blackwater, a private security contract unit that already has a presence within the Bush government umbrella, is a paramilitary force.) Bush has already taken the preemptive measure of removing the states’ control over the National Guard. 

Wolf’s argument is so effective because it is a concise, articulate beacon of level-headed discourse amid an avalanche of media fervor, and a plea for immediate, revolutionary action: speak now to protect the Constitution, to protect the people’s republic our forefathers worked so carefully to construct. When history repeats itself, we will not want to admit that we were warned. 
 

Wolf’s book is being released in conjunction with the American Freedom Campaign                                    (www.americanfreedomcampaign.org) and was published by Chelsea Green Publishing.