Fear by Andrew Graham-Yooll Who Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

79), probably as succinct an explanation for the fear, loathing, and bloodletting as there is in his book. Civil conflict also grew out of "personal emotions," the author explains. Nearly everyone it seems got into the act, including those who "set out to avenge a militant blasted to bits by a grenade" -- and the casualties grew as various groups "ordered an increase in terror" as a strategy to maintain power over those "of the wayward in their faction" (p. 79).

Though he was a newspaper reporter, and very interested in the guerrilla movement and the government corruption as a political dynamic, Graham-Yooll (p. 43) -- and a witness to the release of a kidnapped high-visibility individual (Jorge Born) -- Graham-Yooll remarked, "The frustrating thing about journalism is that often you know less about a story for being at the center of it."

One story Graham-Yooll did know about was the military government's angry response to newspapers "…which persisted in reporting the appearance of bodies in ditches, parks or cars" (p. 73). To put a stop to the free press the military government ordered that "no deaths, abductions or arrests" could be reported in the press "without official permission" (p. 73). Basically that is fascism, or a "police state" if you will. Totalitarian governments are typically challenged by violent means by those not enjoying the profits and perks of power.

How did the violence manifest itself and why? If a "wayward militant" or "fringe sympathizer" had rejected a demand to join an "underground cell" a gun was subsequently "planted in his home" and the police received a tip that a gun was to be located in a certain house (p. 76). Following the raid of the house, the man then became a "wanted man" and along came the guerrillas to offer him protection. It was an evil game designed to keep power in the hands of the guerrillas; any little bit of brute power not in the hands of the military government was a good thing. "…Survival was the only victory to be achieved" (p. 77), and a hollow victory that was in any event.

Regarding the societal effects of the violence described in this paper, Graham-Yooll writes that the country he was born and raised in had "fallen to great depths of financial distress and of moral corruption" (p. xi). Argentina had, in those years during and after Graham-Yooll's exile, "risen to unknown heights of monetary madness" as well. In fact, between 1976 and 1981, every month in Argentina two hundred companies "went bankrupt" and interest rates skyrocketed up to 250 and 300% (p. xi). Moreover, "thousands of names will lack faces" because those pitiful victims simply disappeared into oblivion. In Argentina, "Power makes it possible to excise the crimes committed by governments from public memory to secure the permanence of an authority" (p. xi). That very much sums up the disaster; and as for the details, they are "lost in a murk that helps to deaden the sharpness of…

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Works Cited

Graham-Yooll, Andrew. A Matter of Fear: Portrait of an Argentinean Exile. Westport, CT:

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