|Knifed right in the Heartland|
It's not that this is such a blatant, obvious manipulation, though of course it is. It's not even that it's a massive exaggeration - it's not. It is entirely, 100% untrue, a clear, easily recognized falsehood, that nonetheless is used constantly, often yielding successful results. Let's be very clear - there is ONE external military threat to America: Strategic Nuclear Missiles. Beyond that, any real threat to America as curentlly constituted is internal, either from the oligarchs that have so badly corrupted the system as to destroy democracy in America, their racist, tribal, nativist, theocratic minions who are increasingly losing touch with their senses while holding the largest arms cache in the world, or even - perhaps - the regular people of America who have to keep watching it all go terribly pear shaped and must come to terms with the ugly, desperate and violent world they are leaving their children.
What hardly ever gets mentioned, at least in some kind of realistic contest, is that there have been a grand total of TWO external attacks on America in the last 200 years. The first, the attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on American Naval and Air assets in Hawaii in 1941 was actually not intended to in any way destroy America or topple her leadership. The Japanese plan was to secure unfettered naval operational access to the south and western Pacific, establish their occupation of resource-rich territories and sue for peace. In the end, it didn't work out so well for them. The second attack, the one that is continually cited by the coalition of bed-wetters and authoritarians that run the massive, bloated National Security organizations in the US, is of course the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001. That's it. A couple of buildings, 3000 lives, a few days without airlines, and most people never felt a thing. Much of the residual damage from those attacks - economic, political, diplomatic - was done because America massively over-reacted to the attacks, deploying armored brigades, air power, artillery, invasion forces, invading and occupying two countries, when a calm, law enforcement driven approach would have had better results and a much lower cost. And for all that, the thought that America as an entity was ever at risk is laughable. It's hard to imagine an attack larger than 9/11 - indeed, the odds of anything even close to that scale seems vanishingly unlikely at this point - so we need to let ourselves get comfortable with the fact that there IS no threat to America, and structure our national security organizations around that simple premise.
We can't keep letting the fear mongers manipulate our foreign and national security policies with such blatant lies. North Korea is NOT a threat to America - to China perhaps, to Japan, maybe, but not to the US. The same with Iran. China and Russia are strategic threats - but quite effectively managed with our own strategic deterrent. When the old white guys go on teevee talking about threats to America, we have to make them clarify exactly HOW a small nation without nuclear weapons or a navy on the other side of the world is a threat to a nation that represents HALF the annual military spending by all nations combined.
And sure enough, as I write this, we get the ever-trustworthy war monger Lindsay Graham warning us "This is another 9/11 in the making. The FBI director has warned us in Congress that Syria and Iraq present a direct threat to our homeland."
Oh do they, Mr. Senator? By what methodology do they threaten us? I don't think the fall of Mosul or Tikrit represents the imminent surrender of US forces and the occupation of Washington DC by ISIS.