My irregular musings on city life, politics, baseball, roller derby, and whatever happens to be getting my goat today.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Thompson Mystified by Lack of Terror

Tommy Thompson resigned! The guy's been the bane of my working existence for the past two years. His push for the universal standardized testing of Head Start four year olds is one of the most misguided attempts at program improvement you could possibly dream up. One hopes for a little more sanity at the top - one can be a conservative and care about public health and education, after all - but if a sweet tongued lackey is appointed rather than someone knowledgable, things could get worse, not better.

His comments today reflect his general befuddlement, or perhaps his inability or unwillingness to distinguish between the Bush Administration's political poses, and what they really want to do. Today he warned of a potential global outbreak of the flu and health-related terror attacks. "For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do," he said.

At the risk of looking like an idiot if there's a terrorist attack tomorrow - let me say this. Al Quaeda attacked the World Trade Center in 1993, after which they didn't mount another serious attempt at an attack on U.S. soil until the New Year's Eve 1999 "Millennium Bombing" plot to topple the Seattle Space Needle. Seven years. If they hate us so much, why did they wait so long to attack us again? Was it because anti-terrorism was so strong under Clinton that all of their plots were foiled? Ask Richard Clarke about that.

I have another theory, a simpler theory. I think the threat posed by terrorism to the American Way of Life has been eggagerated, intentionally, for political gain. Look, nobody's going to poison our food supply and kill us all. They're not even going to but LSD in the water supply, more's the pity. The jihadists have understandable political goals: they want to overthrow the existing governments in the Islamic world and establish a central religious authority to rule them all: a new Caliphate. They want to do away with "corrupting" Western influences such as women's rights, alcohol, and going ouside without a hat on. None of these goals requires the destruction of America to succeed. What they are doing with these big attacks is to draw attention to themselves and recruit new suicidal kids willing to blow themselves up. Most of their activities will be concentrated in the countries they actually want to take over. The U.S. of A. is not one of these countries. So while they may be tempted to attack us again to provoke another crisis and keep people's attention if things start to settle down, there is very little risk of an attack while we are actively recruiting for them in Iraq. They want to drive us out of there part of the world for good. That's why they attacked America. They don't "hate our freedom." They don't care about us at all. They just want to purge their own country of alcohol, pornography, abortion, homosexuality, uppity women, atheism and independent thinking and re-establish "traditional values." The party in power here in America doesn't want you to know the Islamists agenda, because they don't want to admit how closely it resembles their own.

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