911 Moral Panics: Power Abuse by Bush Ministration

Stanley Cohen introduced the concept of moral panic based on his research in 1970’s. A moral panic is the attitude or reaction of people in the society towards certain social groups or sub-cultures, based on the beliefs that these groups are very dangerous to the society(1). Therefore, they are perceived as the major threat to the culture, social orders, health and safety of the citizens. In fact, moral panic is not extremely dangerous, but the mass media, the government and the other authorized people make it stereotypical that certain groups and sub-cultures are harmful to the society.
We are now in a society hijacked by the media. Ordinary citizens are more difficult to keep their own views than ever before, because we have been brainwashed by the media. There is even a song called “Maybe You 've Been Brainwashed Too”
What are the favorite of the media? The answer is bombing news. Bomb causes moral panics which have become a major tool used by the government to implement its policies which otherwise are difficult to get through.
911 and its moral panics have become the savior of US government and the Bush administration.
Before 911, Bush was determined to overthrow Saddam Husain. Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction. Bush just hated Saddam. He called Saddam 'the guy who tried to kill my dad '(3).
It is because of the 911 attack that American was united to support the US government with strong patriotism. After 911, even American flags were sold out. The media used to like to criticize the government, but due to 911, their attitude was the same as the government.
In fact, the biggest threat for USA is not its enemy, but itself. Ordinary citizens oppose the wars. This was especially true for the Vietnamese War. Because of the 911 attack, Americans were in strong favor of the invasion of Iraq on 2003 (4).
This was the typical result of 911 moral panics, because just 4 years



References: (1) Stanley Cohen, Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers, London: Routledge, 2002 (2) Warren, Bruce. "New Radicals - Maybe You 've Been Brainwashed Too". XPN.org. http://www.xpn.org/feature1998_1122.php. Retrieved August 6, 2005. (3) John King ,“Bush calls Saddam 'the guy who tried to kill my dad '”, CNN,Friday, 27 September, 2002 (4) Richard Benedetto, “Poll: Most back war, but want U.N. support”, USA TODAY, 16 March, 2003 (5) Dalia Sussman, “Poll Shows View of Iraq War Is Most Negative Since Start”, New York Times, 25 May, 2007 (6)Editorial, “Rendition, Torture and Accountability”, New York Times, 19 November, 2007 (7)Myron Weiner, ed., International Migration and Security, Boulder: Westview, 1993. (8) Jeffrey S Victor, “Why the terrorism scare is a moral panic”, The Humanist , 1 July, 2006 9)Wolverton, Joe, II, “Are you on the terrorist watch list? Sen. Ted Kennedy and 350 other Americans have been delayed or prevented from boarding flights after their names mistakenly appeared on the terrorist "no-fly" list.”, The New American, 20 September, 2004.

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