On "terror"

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On "terror"

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Many Americans have once again been plunged into terror since a gunman massacred 32 people at Virginia Tech in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern US history, and a string of endless media reports, the gunman's cruel, merciless confessions and blood shed by 32 victims have further increased the fear of Americans.

First of all, it is the fear of guns. As some American resolutely defend or safeguard their rights to own or possess guns conferred by the US constitution, other Americans cannot but have to live in a gloomy shadow at gun points. At present, 35 percent of the American families own their guns, with the existence of some 260 million guns (of which perhaps 60 million are handguns) in the United States. For scores of years, political rifts, rivals and even struggles centered on gun control have never ceased with the repeated occurrence of homicides or murder cases. As the National Rifle Association, or NRA, and other related organizations are so powerful that it was hardly possible for US Congress to pass a bill for the rigid control of guns.

Secondly, it is the fear of people and, to be specific, the fear of alien immigrants. Right after the massacre at Virginia Tech, someone immediately came out to direct accusations against a student from the Chinese mainland in press and there was also a reference to a Pakistani. And all sorts of such conjectures and suspicions of Asian immigrants inundated all of sudden overnight in US media and society.

Police identified the shooter in the campus killings as Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a senior from South Korea who was in the English Department at Virginia Tech and lived on the campus. Then, the ambassador of the Republic of Korea (ROK) to the United States and ROK immigrant groups or societies openly and promptly made their apologies to the American people, and the ROK itself was, too, landed itself in a state of immense restlessness. Apparently, the South Korean immigrants in the U.S. and ROK residents have also felt terrified for the fear of being retaliated against or subjected to retributive punishment.

The merging or integration of races in American society has all along a problem. There were repeated voices of "Go home, South Koreans" despite the fact that American media and general public have, in an overall way, retained a "politically correct" composure and quite a few people voiced sympathy for Cho Seung-Hui for the mental illness he had tormented with.

In fact, ever since the 9/11 attacks of 2001 in the U.S., the Americans have always been living in terror imposed upon by terrorists. US strategist Zbigniew Brzenzinki censured or criticized the Bush administration for the erroneous policy it had implemented to generate fear in a recent article by capitalizing on a sense of terror among people wrought by 9/11 attacks in the U.S. The war on terror has created a culture of fear in America, he noted, adding that the Bush Administration's elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact in American democracy, on America's psyche and on US standing in the world. "Using this phrase has actually undermined our ability to effectively confront the real challenges we face from fanatics who may use terrorism against the U.S.," warned Brzenzinski.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke to Americans in a ringing phrase that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself," which inspired American to cope with terror they endured correctly and thus brought a new style to the US presidency. To date, Americans seem to have been thrown into still greater terrors, though their country has been turned into the sole global superpower.

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Original Source:People's Daily Online, China

<a href="http://english.people.com.cn/200705/08/eng20070508_372880.html"> http://english.people.com.cn/200705/08/eng20070508_372880.html</a>

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People&#39;s Daily Online, China

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Date

2007-07-18

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Na Mi

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eng

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People&#39;s Daily Online, China, "On "terror"," in The April 16 Archive, Item #772, http://april16archive.org/items/show/772 (accessed July 31, 2014).