Fearing Fear Itself
Colin Powell is sounding a lot like John Mueller or James Fallows these days. From a soon-to-be-released interview with GQ:
"What is the greatest threat facing us now? People will say it's terrorism. But are there any terrorists in the world who can change the American way of life or our political system? No. Can they knock down a building? Yes. Can they kill somebody? Yes. But can they change us? No. Only we can change ourselves. So what is the great threat we are facing?"
We need more of this. It's a far sight removed from the Bush administration's M.O., which seems to be to hype the fear of another attack at every conceivable opportunity. Which of course is changing ourselves.
Also, some sensible words from Powell on immigration:
"America could not survive without immigration. Even the undocumented immigrants are contributing to our economy. That's the country my parents came to. That's the image we have to portray to the rest of the world: kind, generous, a nation of nations, touched by every nation, and we touch every nation in return. That's what people still want to believe about us. They still want to come here. We've lost a bit of the image, but we haven't lost the reality yet. And we can fix the image by reflecting a welcoming attitude—and by not taking counsel of our fears and scaring ourselves to death that everybody coming in is going to blow up something. It ain't the case."