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The summer/fall of 2014 has seen wall to wall pants-shitting over two emergent and omnipresent storylines – ISIS & Ebola. While neither should be ignored, the mass hysteria surrounding each far outweigh either’s respective/relative level of threat.
Ebola has so far killed nearly 5000 people so far this year, the vast majority of which have occurred in Western Africa. A single person has died in the United States. One.
Yet, the American corporate news-media establishment (90% of American media is owned by six corporations) have been going mad fear-mongering Ebola to the American public. To the point that nearly 40% of Americans believe that they or someone they know will catch Ebola in the next year.
Odd, considering the fact that more people die from AIDS worldwide every single day than have died from Ebola this year. Or the fact that roughly one hundred Americans die from the plain old flu every single day.
Five hundred American kids in forty-three states caught Enterovirus D68 this past summer. Four kids died of various causes, and tested positive for the mysterious disease; another who tested positive caught pink-eye and didn’t wake up the next morning. We don’t have a clue how all of these kids are catching it, nor what exactly the symptoms are – some get cold-like symptoms, others get polio-like symptoms. And yet, the corporate media tells me to be afraid (be VERY afraid!) of Ebola.
There are certainly valid concerns surrounding Ebola. Of primary concern are the people of West Africa. The threat of Ebola to Americans will remain so long as it keeps spreading in Africa, no matter what measures we attempt to put into place here in the US (including counterproductive travel-bans). The biggest immediate threat of Ebola to Americans is the fact that we only have capacity to effectively disinfect the by-products (fluid loss of up to 20 liters per day) of roughly ten Ebola patients. With additional investment in man-hours, we could likely double that. Twenty beds for 300+ million people is certainly not ideal. But rest assured, Nigeria and Senegal have effectively rid themselves of Ebola, it just takes the wherewithal and commitment to studious attention to the individuals at risk until the incubation period (21+ days) has passed. Again – Nigeria and Senegal.
ISIS/Daash? Those people are abhorrent, they are despicable. If the term ’terrorist’ means anything anymore, they are certainly deserving. But Boko Haram are easily as demented. Daash behead people, but our A#1 ally Saudi Arabia beheaded 31 people in August alone. Daash occupy and invade Iraq, we occupied and invaded Iraq. Daash kill civilians & enemies with guns & bombs, we kill civilians & enemies with drones & air-strikes. Daash execute with knives, we execute with needles. They have hostages, we have Guantanamo.
Why are we so afraid? Fear sells, and the corporate news-media has an endless supply on demand. They are the megaphone for their fellow profiteers of fear.
Defense contractors always want more war, war is their raison d’etre. Generals (et al) know they have cushy jobs with defense contractors waiting for them, and they want to please their future bosses. The Pentagon is the hammer who sees everything as a nail, and need to justify the ever-increasing defense budget. Our politicians are already being paid by the defense contractors by way of legal bribery, and have defense-lobbying jobs waiting for them, so they are basically towing the company line. And the election is fast approaching, so anything they can possibly use to point a finger at Obama, goes.
War makes money for an elite few. It is the people who suffer.
But why are we so easily moved?
For starters, fear is a rational and necessary feeling. Secondarily, the profit-motives of the elites listed above. And perhaps as disturbing – an ugly amalgamation of nativism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia.
Ebola is killing Africans, and that’s where black people come from, so it’s easier to fear-monger Ebola in largely-white America. And ISIS/Daash are Muslim, so it’s easier to fear-monger them in largely-Christian America.