The Politics of Fear – Part 1/5

The modern politics of fear has a history and in the U.S. that history may be traced to President Harry Truman in the 1940s.

In fact, there are many elements to the politics of fear that involve the CIA, Operation Mockingbird (and its clones, which continue today—see first embedded video), Nazis/neoconservatives, the Fairness Doctrine (1949 – 1987), U.S. President Ronald Reagan and conservative talk radio, etc.

For example, ABC World News started their recent piece about China’s first aircraft carrier with, “the U.S. government directed a pointed question at the Chinese military: Why would you need a warship like that?” It’s not what they say but what they “don’t say” that reveals an element of the politics of fear, which means leaving out important facts.

“The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” — William Colby, former CIA Director (Sept. 1973 to Jan. 1976), quoted by Dave Mcgowan, Derailing Democracy.

Another subtle element of the politics of fear came from the U.S. State Department when a spokesperson said, “The State Department is concerned that the Chinese military is not ‘transparent’ enough about its build-up, which, in addition to the aircraft carrier, also includes the development of a fifth-generation stealth jet fighter believed to be capable of rivaling America’s best (however, there is no mention that it will be years of development before combat ready aircraft are deployed on Chinese airfields).

Again, what isn’t said reveals elements of the politics of fear.

I wrote on this topic March 16, 2011, in China Reaching for Stealth and Aircraft Carriers.

The Chinese aircraft carrier that is generating so much concern from the U.S. government and the Western media is more than twenty years old and is not nuclear powered. It was originally launched in Russia (1988), but was never completed due to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russia has also been negotiating the sale of another aircraft carrier to India, which is supposed to be completed and delivered in 2011, but we hear nothing about that and India also has nuclear weapons and has waged war several times with another nuclear power, Pakistan.

If the U.S. is so concerned about China having an outdated aircraft carrier, what about all the other countries that have aircraft carriers?

Global lists twenty for America (nine small/medium sized in addition to eleven of the largest in the world), and then Brazil has one in addition to France, India, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and two for the UK (Britain is planning two more large carriers and France wants another one too).

Global Security says that all of America’s aircraft carriers add up to nearly 70 acres of deck space while the rest of the world’s carriers combined have less than 15 acres—one fifth that of America.

With such a massive superiority over the entire world, what is the “real” reason for so much concern in the U.S. of one out-of-date aircraft carrier in China?

One clue may be discovered at Global, which lists World Wide Military Expenditures and of the more than $2 trillion the nations of the world will spend in 2011, the US will spend more than $741 billion (37% of the global total).

Former US Secretary of State James Baker talks about US-Sino relations starting at 4:13

The top five countries in the world for military expenditures are the United States ($741 billion), China ($380 billion), India ($92 billion), Russia ($92 billion) and Saudi Arabia (about $60 billion).

If America were to cut its defense spending to equal China, that would go a long way to solve the National Debt crises.

However, the truth of why the West and especially America is making such a big deal over China’s one aircraft carrier has more to do with generating fear to achieve political agendas, and those behind the smear campaign don’t fear China.

To discover more, this series will continue September 15, 2011 in The Politics of Fear – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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10 Responses to The Politics of Fear – Part 1/5

  1. Terry K Chen says:

    Mr Lofthouse, this is another great video. While its not completely about the fear of politics, it talks about how the media war had a great deal to do with the eventual fall of tripoli. The video is pretty long, but the analysis is excellent.

  2. Alessandro says:

    I am not american, but I have the strong feeling that presidents in US (and prime ministers in other countries as well), are now little more that “faces” given to public opinion to give them the impressions that things change and they can still decide, while the real power remains intact behind the scene.
    Obama is a new face to show discontinuity and change after Bush (what more change than a black president….), while the policies remains almost intact…

    • Allessandro,

      I agree. It seems that no matter which party is in power (occupies the White House and holds the majority in both houses of congress in addition to a majority political ideology in the Supreme Court be it conservative or liberal, which is now conservative), the US continues to move down the same reckless path of war and economic stupidity with little change.

      The only way that might change would be if the public wrote in someone like Ross Perot or Ralph Nadar so one or the other would win the election for President, but if the Democratic or Republican political ideology be it conservative or liberal (in the American definitions since I have learned those words mean something different in Europe), a lone-wolf president would be cut off by the Supreme Court and both Houses of Congress and would not be able to achieve much to bring about needed change.

      To explain why this is happening, I return to Henry Kissinger’s quote in “On China”, his last book.

      “American exceptionalism is missionary. It holds that the United States has an obligation to spread its values to every part of the world.”

      American liberals and conservatives may have a few “caustic” differences dividing these parties about how the US should be governed and conduct itself globally, but Democrats and Republicans are still Americans that believe American values must be spread to every part of the world, which explains why the US State Department added a new office and mandate to spread freedom of religion, which is an American value, to every corner of the globe while Clinton, a Democrat and liberal, was President.

      I believe that the path both major American political parties are traveling will be America’s undoing. If the United States is fortunate, when the smoke clears after its global economic and/or military power is diminished and/or gone, it will survive as a nation as Britain did after its global empire collapsed after World War II.

      The worst that could happen is a Civil War as America splinters into more than one nation between blue and red states while separatist groups in Alaska, California, Texas and Hawaii also attempt to rest their states away from the unions to form countries.

      It is conceivable that by the turn of the century, the United States we know of today could be two to six countries and California could be torn between north and south since there have been several attempts to split California into two states.

  3. Xiaohu Liu says:

    This is serious topic and if you are doing a series on how fear is used as a mechanism of control in politics. I recommend a piece by the BBC to examine the parallels between Al Qaeda and the Neo-cons in their use of fear

    • I know about Leo Strauss and the Neo-cons. Dangerous bunch. Did you know that President Obama taught at the Law Department of the University of Chicago and several of his close friends and advisors are linked to Neo-conservatism? This may explain why Obama continued so many of President G. W. Bush’s policies.

  4. Alessandro says:

    Exactly mr. Lofthouse, in my mind the image of Eisenhower, during (I think it was) his last goodbye speech as president, who states “beware of the military-industrial complex” is very very clear….Probably the effort to build and maintain a big military machine during WWII has somewhat “unleashed” the “dogs of war”, giving those complex unprecedented power and influence…and as an ex general Eisenhower knew it all too well..

  5. Alessandro says:

    Terry, I am much TOOOOO aware of what the western governments want, I’ve been living under their propaganda for a good part of my life (till I started to open my eyes)..West need people to live in constant fear of an enemy, being it China, the USSR, fictious Al Qaeda or the “new” Hitler of the time….it needs this to keep people in order while the big financial powers pump out as much money as they can, to justify big expenditures in the military (which is one of the way of pumping away money), to justify new forms of imperialism and economic colonialism, and alson need it to make the citizens think they live in the best possible world: sure, there are problems, injustice, but…look there and there, there are evil governments, torture, fear, hunger, at least here we are “democratic” and “free” etc etc. (over the years, I’ve become more and more convinced that this last one is one of the main reasons…it’s a main help in keeping control of the populace)…

    • Alessandro,

      US President Eisenhower warned Americans about this on January 17, 1961, and he was ignored. Now, the tail of defense spending wags the dog that is America and all but controls the media.

      “A fiscal conservative, Eisenhower had been concerned about the growing size and cost of the American defense establishment since he became president in 1953. In his last presidential address to the American people, he expressed those concerns in terms that frankly shocked some of his listeners.” Source:

      In addition, this Website [ ] shows that America’s military spending between 1946 – 2009 was more than $22 trillion.

      In comparison, President Lyndon Johnson’s war against poverty is estimated to have cost about $6.5 trillion, and Social Securtiy, if it hadn’t been mismanaged to come up with money to pay for defense and wars, would have been self-funding and no burden to future American tax payers.

  6. Alessandro says:

    The thing is even more ridiculous, if you think that in fact Italy (large 1/30th of China and with far less territorial waters to guard and interests to check) has 2 aircraft carriers: the smaller and more than 20 years old Giuseppe Garibaldi, and the newer and quite larger Cavour (entered service in 2009)…All this fuss about China’s “new” carrier, when a small country and a medium power like Italy has 2…….

    • Terry K Chen says:

      Alessandro, what do you expect? The western governments have to make sure that their people live in constant fear of China and its government.

      If China was as expansionist the USSR, there would be another cold war.

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