Saturday, September 09, 2006

HOW SAFE

THERE ARE 19 AGAIN. ALL MEN. ALL MIDDLE EASTERN.
THEIR PLANNING IS FINISHED.
THEY BREAK INTO 8 GROUPS OF TWO AND 1 GROUP OF 3.
9 TEAMS.
19 BOMBERS IN ALL; A NUMBER FITS THEIR PLAN AND SENDS A MESSAGE. THE SAME NUMBER AS 9/11.
THEY JOKE ABOUT THE SYMMETRY.
AFTER SAYING GOODBYE, GOOD LUCK, AND PRAISE BE TO ALLAH,
THEY GO ON THEIR SEPARATE WAYS, TO 9 CITIES.
EACH HAS A MAJOR AIRPORT.

ONE TEAM GOES TO CHICAGO’S O’HARE.
ONE TEAM GOES TO DALLAS-FORT WORTH INTERNATIONAL.
ANOTHER GOES TO RONALD REAGAN WASHINGTON NATIONAL.
THERE’S DENVER INTERNATIONAL….LOGAN IN BOSTON…MIAMI INTERNATIONAL…LA GUARDIA…JFK …

TRAFFIC IS THICK. HORNS ARE HONKING, LIMOS JOCKEY FOR POSITION, CAB TIRES SQUEAL, A BARELY AUDIBLE P.A. ANNOUNCEMENT WARNS DRIVERS TO NOT LEAVE THEIR CAR UNATTENDED OR IT WILL BE TOWED AT THE OWNER’S EXPENSE.

EACH TEAM TAKES THEIR LUGGAGE OUT OF THE TAXI AND PLACES IT ON THE CURB. THEY PAY THE FARE AND INCLUDE A TIP.
THEY PICK UP THEIR LUGGAGE AND WALK THROUGH THE AUTOMATIC DOORS.
ONE TEAM EVEN ASKS A SKYCAP FOR ASSISTANCE.


THEY WAIT PATIENTLY ON THE CROWDED LINES IN THE TERMINAL BUILDING. THE LINES ARE LONG AND SLOW, AS USUAL DURING A NATIONAL HOLIDAY. SOME PEOPLE LOOK AT THEIR WATCHES AS THEY FRET OVER THE LENGTH OF THE LINE. SOME ARE CLEARLY FAMILIES WITH IMPATIENT KIDS IN TOW. WELL-DRESSED BUSINESSMEN MAKE PHONE CALLS. COLLEGE KIDS WITH TORN JEANS SLUMP OVER THEIR BAGS AS THEY KEEP CHECKING FOR INCOMING CALLS. A COUPLE OFF ON THE HONEYMOON GIGGLE.
ONE BY ONE, PEOPLE ADVANCE TO THE STRESSED AGENTS AT THE COUNTER. THE AGENTS LOOK DOWNWARD AT THE COMPUTER SCREEN AND SEEM TO READ VOLUMES. THEY ASK, “DID YOU PACK YOUR OWN BAGS…?”
TICKETS ARE EXAMINED AND BAGS ARE LABELED WITH INDESTRUCTIBLE NEON PAPER STRAPS INDICATING FINAL DESTINATIONS.
PEOPLE INCH ALONG. SOME DRINK COFFEE. SOME SIT ON THEIR SUITCASE. PEOPLE PUSH BAGS ALONG WITH THEIR FEET.

THE BOMBERS LOOK AT THEIR WATCHES. IN TWO MINUTES THEY’LL TAKE OUT THEIR CELL PHONES. IT WAS THE TIME THAT THEY ALL AGREED TO. THE BAGS WILL NEVER MAKE IT TO THE COUNTER. THE BAGS WILL NEVER BE SCREENED OR WEIGHED. THE BAGS WILL NEVER BE EXAMINED OR X-RAYED. NOR WILL THEY BE PUT INTO THE BELLY OF A SAFE PLANE. IT IS THE AGREED TIME.
AS THEY PRESS THE CELL PHONE, THEIR LUGGAGE RIPS APART.

HOW MANY WOULD DIE?
WHAT WOULD THAT DO TO OUR COUNTRY AND OUR ECONOMY?
COULD IT HAVE BEEN PREVENTED?
ARE WE SAFE?

26 comments:

Ben's friend said...

Very scary scenario. No we are not safe from random terror. There is only safety in statistics (as per your earlier piece.) God, I sure hope that no real terrorists read your blog!

drmojo said...

Can very easily see that. I would not worry ben about giving any ideas, sure they have thought of things we cant even imagine.
You keep poking a hornets nest you will get stung. I would feel so much better if we were not so involved with that region and that culture - a culture which we cannot change, only they can change if they have the will and want. This war on terror is a joke, because it will never end. I say get out and let them hit bottom.
What happens when the Pakistan military regime falls, and it will, what happens to those nukes? Very disturbing.
Oh, wait, we are promoting democracy in the muddle east! sure all those Pakistanis will vote in western loving government, ...or not.
In my view its either get out and let them fuck it up or fight on and take it when its gets really ugly , gloves off and all. Bad karma that is though.
btw - Iran will develop the bomb, matter of time. Then what?

Anonymous said...

Good thing you weren't around making decisions when the Nazis were raping Europe.

quicksand said...

MY DEAR NO NAME,

I WOULD BE DISTRESSED TO HAVE HAD YOU IN CHARGE DURING THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR. THE PELOPONNESIANS WOULD ALL BE DEAD…OR WORSE!
HOWEVER, LET ME DEAL WITH THE PRESENT.
ARE WE SAFE?
CAN WE BE MADE SAFER?
IF NOT, WHY NOT?

quicksand said...

HATE TO STRESS THIS AGAIN............BUT............
WERE THE IRAQIS RAPING EUROPE?

Sweetime said...

anon said..."Good thing you weren't around making decisions when the Nazis were raping Europe."

Apples and oranges...
A different time, with different players, and different weaponry. Right now the nuclear genie is being kept in a cracked bottle. How would YOU address the reality of the Pakistani and North Korean nukes escaping the current tenuous containment. Or consider the Iranian desire to nuke somebody (Israel) within the next few years. What should YOUR leaders do? It's time for some substance. Invading Iraq was purely stupid and a diversion from the real issues of global brinksmanship. It had nothing to with terrorism and everything to do with trying to establish a mideast beachhead for a future theatre of war. If they had said that in the beginning how much support would they have had? The Pentagon Generals have said from the begining it was a mistake. Now our crusading decider-in-chief and puppet of PNAC
has started to lose the confidence of common sense Americans. Let's call a quagmire a quagmire and leave now. Rumsfeld screwed the pooch on this one. He's just too arrogant to admit a mistake. The Shia majority will take over eventually anyway with either overt or covert Iranian help. Alternatives? Perhaps put 500,000 Americans in Iraq to establish our concept of an imposed democracy? Sure, that will keep us safe from harm. Do you expect us to march across all of rapist Islam like we did Nazi-Europe in WW2.

Please become an identity so that we don't get confused by your anonymous posts.

Sweetime said...

I hope my sarcasm was evident.
"imposed Democracy" "safe from harm" "rapist-Islam"

The Hermit said...

Bruce,
Please explain what is the point of this writting. What additive information or insight are you engaging us in?

Violet said...

How many similar scenarios can we come up with? Probably plenty, although not nearly as many as those who would perpetrate these acts. And why is that?

Anonymous:
In what way does Germany invading European countries equate to our invading Iraq? Could you stop being so obscure and give us that parallel?

This is what I know to be true:
Reagan did not see Iraq as a threat which is why he took them off of the State Department's terrorist list.
Bush senior did not see Iraq as a threat, which is why he continued Reagan's tradition of selling them dual use biological and chemical agents.
Bush senior was not worried about Iraq's humanitarian record, which is why he loaned them over a billion dollars AFTER the gassing of the Kurds.
Bush senior did not consider Iraq a threat to America, which is whey he pulled back out troops and left Hussein in power, even after he, Bush, told the Kurds and Shi-ites to pick up arms against Hussein with the promise that we'd have their backs.
Bush senior did not care about the mass graves that were created while our soldiers watched because the orders had come down for them not to act.
Bush senior administration players, like Wolfowitz, were obsessed by Hussein and Iraq, and included a plan to take him out that was immediately implemented after 9/11.
Colin Powell had to COVINCE Bush not to do what his other advisors, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz, PNAC founding members, told him to do: INVADE IRAQ FIRST. Powell insisted they go into Afghanistan which the others didn't want to do.
Bush senior was warned and warned, that as long as Iraq and Iran were enemies side by side, there would be a check and balance.
That check and balance was removed.
Iran became the threat Bush senior knew it would become.
Iraq is in the throes of Civil War, prime pickins for the Iranians.
We say we wanted to save the Iraqis...to free them...and yet, we also say we want the fighting to take place there, on their shores, not ours. I guess when America says they want to help people, it's best to run and take cover. Why weren't those borders sealed after we invaded?? Hmmmm...

In any event...we threw away the power we had after 9/11 by acting foolishly. America's power is as much in its wisdom as its arms. We acted unwisely, and we are paying the price of an instability that will not be stabilized by aggression alone.

We played right into the hand of those who said we were hell bent on destroying Muslims.

You know, people say this is another Vietnam...no it isn't. We were ASKED to go into Vietnam. This is worse than Vietnam.

And here is the sick macabre joke in all of this: For all of our might, we can't even use it. We are over the literal and figurative barrel.

Safe? Nah. Just puppets in danger when it serves the puppet master's plan and safe when it's election time.

quicksand said...

DEAR HERM,
I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M TRYING TO DO.

AS I STATED BEFORE, HOWEVER...OUR COUNTRY CAN'T GET AN ORDER OF PROTECTION AGAINST FOLKS WHO ARE WILLING TO DIE.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF PEOPLE WERE ANGRY....VERY ANGRY AT YOU?

Hermit said...

Bruce,
"WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF PEOPLE WERE ANGRY....VERY ANGRY AT YOU? "

I think in this situation I would exchange Bush for bin Laden and if that doesn't do it, throw in Pelosi. This should satisfy both sides and then we can start killing each other over another controversy. At least it would be something different.

quicksand said...

DEAR HERM,
THANKS FOR THE RESPONSE. WITHOUT COMMENTS FROM PEOPLE LIKE YOU, MY LITTLE PLACE HERE WOULD BE JUST LIKE A HERMIT.
THIS IS JUST ANOTHER DAY...YET...IT IS A DAY WHEN WE'RE REMINDED OF 5 YEARS AGO.
REMINDED OF WHAT HAPPENED AND EVEN MORE, HOW FAST FIVE YEARS PASSES US BY.
ALL OF OUR LIVES ARE FLOWING BY...NO EXCEPTIONS.

I KNOW THE FOLLOWING NOTION DOESN'T QUITE FIT INTO AMERICA'S THINKING....BUT...

IF WE DEEPLY CARE ABOUT REDUCING TERRORISM AGAINST US, AND, IF IT'S NOT TOO LATE, I WOULD HAVE US KEEP OUR GUARD UP WHILE WE DO SOME SELF-EXAMINATION AND NATIONAL REFLECTION.
WHY DO THEY HATE US?
MY SIMPLE MIND CAN'T ACCEPT THAT THE ROOTS OF THE HATRED ARE NOURISHED BY FREEDOM, MODERNITY, RELIGIOUS CONVERSION, OR DEMOCRACY.

The Hermit said...

Quicksand,
I must of missed your point. I did not realize, from your writing, that you were being remorseful about 9/11. It is hard to understand hate.

The Hermit said...

Quicksand,
Here's a thought! Why don't the Terrorists "DO SOME SELF-EXAMINATION AND ....... REFLECTION."

coco laboy said...

Isn't it just possible that terrorists are just a bunch of murderous thugs and that no amount of self-reflection and change in policy will appease? Let's try to imagine what might make them go away. Finding a solution to the Palestinian question? Maybe, but bin Laden and all the other jihadi theorists rarely mention the Palestinians and have their eyes set on changing regimes in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia...Maybe if the US and the West gave up all those Enlightenment principles that seem to get up the noses of the jihadis? Hmm, might make airports more secure but I kind of like societies based on reason rather than religion; and I really don't like stoning as a way of dealing with women who have the nerve to speak in public. Maybe the US could use the U.N. more? That probably wouldn't do the trick. The jihadis have declared war on the UN peacekeeping force that just went into Lebanon; and they didn't waste to much time in blowing up the UN headquarters in Iraq in 2003.
The US is the superpower and is seen as representing values that a group of fanatical thugs want to destroy. It is a tiny fraction of a part of the world's population. Self-reflection is a good thing but I don't think it will make anyone any safer.

The Hermit said...

Coco laboy,
I agree with you. I was just commenting on the idea that it is the USA that should do the reflecting. The fact that we are responsible for the actions of the terrorists is like saying that the blacks were the cause of the actions of the KKK. Perhaps the Black community should of self reflected to understand the KKK.

quicksand said...

Isn't it just possible that terrorists are just a bunch of murderous thugs and that no amount of self-reflection and change in policy will appease?

YES, YOU MAY BE CORRECT

Let's try to imagine what might make them go away. Finding a solution to the Palestinian question? Maybe,

I THINK THAT MIGHT BE A GOOD START.
YEARS AGO WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER,

but bin Laden and all the other jihadi theorists rarely mention the Palestinians and have their eyes set on changing regimes in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia...

HOW MANY OF HIS SPEECHES HAVE YOU LISTENED TO OR READ?

Maybe if the US and the West gave up all those Enlightenment principles that seem to get up the noses of the jihadis?

NO. OUR ENLIGHTENED PRINCIPLES ARE OUR GREATEST FEATURE. IT WOULD BE SAD TO LOSE THEM OR TO NOT LIVE UP TO THEM. NO?

Hmm, might make airports more secure but I kind of like societies based on reason rather than religion;

BUSH HAS SPOKEN TO GOD. I'LL TAE REASON OVER ANY RELIGION.

and I really don't like stoning as a way of dealing with women who have the nerve to speak in public.

HOW MANY MUSLIM WOMEN ARE IN THE WORLD?
HOW MANY HAVE BEEN STONED FOR SPEAKING IN PUBLIC?
HOW MANY U.S. MILITARY ARE IN IRAQ?
HOW MANY HAVE RAPED, KILLED, AND SET FIRE TO A TEENAGE GIRL? JUST A VERY FEW.

Maybe the US could use the U.N. more? That probably wouldn't do the trick. The jihadis have declared war on the UN

BUSH'S CHOICE FOR U.N. AMBASSADOR, BOULTON, HAS DECLARED 'WAR' ON THE U.N.

peacekeeping force that just went into Lebanon; and they didn't waste to much time in blowing up the UN headquarters in Iraq in 2003.

I AGREE.


The US is the superpower and is seen as representing values that a group of fanatical thugs want to destroy.

YOU MAY BE CORRECT. PLEASE EXPLAIN HOW YOU KNOW THIS, AND WHICH VALUES ARE YOU REFERRING TO.
PLEASE BE SPECIFIC...WITHOUT SAYING, 'EVERYBODY KNOWS.'

It is a tiny fraction of a part of the world's population. Self-reflection is a good thing but I don't think it will make anyone any safer.

I DISAGREE. IT MIGHT MAKE US SAFER.




10:58 AM


The Hermit said...
Coco laboy,
I agree with you. I was just commenting on the idea that it is the USA that should do the reflecting. The fact that we are responsible for the actions of the terrorists is like saying that the blacks were the cause of the actions of the KKK. Perhaps the Black community should of self reflected to understand the KKK.

NO. BLACKS WERE TREATED IN A SUBHUMAN WAY. THEY WERE DENIED RIGHTS, AND, IN SOME CASES, LYNCHED.
THEY HAD NOTHING O REFLECT UPON EXCEPT TO FIGHT BACK.
THE BLACK PANTHERS FELT THAT WHAT WAS NOT DONE LEGALLY MIGHT BE ACHIEVED THROUGH VIOLENCE. MARTIN LUTHER KING DISAGREED WITH THEM.

quicksand said...

I TAKE IT THAT YOU THINK WE ARE IMMUNE FROM THE NEED TO BE SELF-REFLECTIVE.
I BELIEVE IT IS THAT VERY ARROGANCE THAT GETS US DEEPER INTO SOME PROBLEMS.

SOMETHING FOR YOU TO THINK ABOUT:

BIN LADEN LISTED 3 GRIEVANCES.

U.S. TROOPS WERE IN SAUDI ARABIA. HE WANTED THEM OUT.

HE WANTED THE PALESTINIAN ISSUE TO BE RESOLVED.

HE WANTED THE U.S. TO STOP SUPPORTING 'DESPOTIC' REGIMES IN THE MIDDLE-EAST.

AFTER 9/11:
BUSH REMOVED THE U.S. TROOPS FROM SAUDI ARABIA.
BUSH PRESENTED HIS 'ROAD MAP FOR PEACE'.

BUSH CLAIMED THAT THE GOVERNMENTS IN THE MIDDLE-EAST NEEDED DEMOCRATIC REFORM.

REFLECTIVE?

Hermit said...

"NO BLACKS WERE TREATED IN A SUBHUMAN WAY. THEY WERE DENIED RIGHTS, AND, IN SOME CASES, LYNCHED.
THEY HAD NOTHING O REFLECT UPON EXCEPT TO FIGHT BACK."

I am not sure what history books you are reading. Blacks were treated as sub-human, indiscriminate lynchings, lack of equal justice, separate bathrooms, no vote, back of bus, minimal pay for the worst jobs, etc. etc.
Most of us are capable of reflection and understanding our mistakes, that does not mean we have compassion for murderers and people who impose their will through violence. Now please do not tell us all how Americans are like the terrorists.

quicksand said...

CHECK MY LAST RESPONSE......

YOU MISSED THE PERIOD AFTER THE WORD 'NO'

I WAS RESPONDING TO YOUR RHETORICAL QUESTION WHICH ASKED IF BLACKS HAD TO BE REFLECTIVE ABOUT THE KKK.
I ANSWERED:
NO. BLACKS WERE....
A VERY IMPORTANT PERIOD THAT YOU EXCLUDED.

DO SOME RESEARCH FOR US. FIND OUT HOW MANY IRAQI CIVILIANS HAVE BEEN KILLED BY OUR COUNTRY.
THEN, TELL ME WHY THEY'RE DEAD.
HECK.WE EVEN CALLED IT 'SHOCK AND AWE'

coco laboy said...

I have read a good deal of OSL's speeches as well as followed the history of radical Islam back to the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928. There is a war of ideas and ideals going on, and to dismiss it just because Bush says that this is the case, means we(those who want to offer an alternative to Bush's view of the world) risk becoming irrelevant as events unforld. See the recent New Yorker on the jihadi theorists, who dismiss bin Laden as a publicity-seeking hound on a Clintonian scale, for a sense of what the militant wing of radical Islam is all about. Again, reflection is good but I don't see why the west should blame itself for the actions of a bunch of murderous thugs.

In historical terms, the US is a rather benign empire. Rightly or wrongly, it still engages with the international community and adheres to international law. The jihadis don't and until they accept that decisions are to be taken after debate and through rules, then I don't see the point in trying to make them seem like freedom fighters and martyrs. Bolton may not be a friend of the UN but it is the US that has tried to get the UN to do something of Darfur, ensured a ceasefire in Lebanon and pays the bills at the UN.

The US is in the Middle East because the industrialised world has an unsatiable appetite for oil and because it is committed to ensuring Istael's survival. If key states such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan were to become Islamic republics ruled by jihadis, then western economies would crumble (most of us probably would have little time to be on blogs) and Israel would be under threat even if they had seen the wisdom of sorting out the Palestinian question. That's why I would not give much stock to OSL's so-called objectives.


I never said that Islam treats women inhumanely but radical Islam does. For the record the Taliban regularly stoned women and denied them access to schools.

No one can dispute that the US is the sole superpower in the world and this means that it is often called upon to be the global cop. The rest of us in the world live nice comfortable lives largely because the US secures oil and gas and makes sure there is overall stability so we can feed our insatiable consumer appetites. Whether we want to call it Jihad vs. McWorld or the Olive and the Lexus, the US is seen as representing the spread of global capitalism and western values. No one says it is Nokia vs. Jihad, even though the Finns own the world's largest cellphone maker. Or no one takes it out on Australia even though Rupert Murdoch is Australian. America reaps the benefits of empire and knows that there will be free-riding from the rest of the world.

Again, I don't think self-reflection is wrong but I am not sure what mericans should reproach themselves for. The war in Iraq? Probably but the jihadis were at war long before 2003. A rapacious, vapid consumer culture? Absolutely, but that's nit just an American problem. It's current foreign policy? Probably, but that is a result of political choices and democracy.

quicksand said...

THANKS COCO,
YOU PRESENT MANY INTERESTING POINTS.

SO, YOU SEE NO NEED FOR SELF-EXAMINATION OR REFLECTION.I DISAGREE.

BY DOING SO, WE DON'T ASSUME ALL THE BLAME FOR ALL THE WORLD'S PROBLEMS. IT JUST MIGHT.....MIGHT.......MAKE US A LITTLE SAFER.

NO FRIEND OF THE TALIBAN HERE!
AMERICA DID THE PROPER THING GOING AFTER THEM.

NOTE: AUSTRALIA AND FINLAND DID NOT INVADE IRAQ.

TELL ME A STORY BEFORE I GO TO BED.
TELL ME THE ONE ABOUT THE SHAH...PLEASE!

Hermit said...

To Coco laboy

EXTREMELY WELL SAID. I AGREE 100%

TEXAS BITCH said...

THIS WAS SENT TO ME
BY 'TEXAS BITCH'

All I know is that I am more afraid of Bush than any terrorists!

coco laboy said...

The jihadis had declared war long before the invasion of Iraq. The war in Iraq may or may not be a mistake; I don't think the war on terrorism is a mistake. The Administration has not done a good job of conducting it but I don't think it is wrong to say that there are groups of people, not very many, who would like to unleash as much damage to America and Americans as possible. The Clinton approach of ignoring the problem until he was out of office didn't work.
I'm not sure what story there is to tell about the Shah. I'm much more worried about the fact that a Iran is run by a fanatic who thinks it's his right to produce nuclear weapons. I'm even more worried that he believes in the apocalypse. Bush might believe all of this but even though it may not always work well, America is a democracy. So, yeah, I'm a lot more scared of jihadis and Iran than I am of Bush.

quicksand said...

DEAR COCO
I AGREE WITH THE FIRSTHALF OF YOUR COMMENT.

A FEW THOUGHTS:
THE U.N. INSPECTORS DECLARED THIS WEEK THAT IRAN'S NUCLEAR WEAPON DEVELOPMENT IS GROSSLY EXAGGERATED BY THE U.S.

WHAT ABOUT THE RAPTURE?