For a country at war, America seems to be going about
its business pretty much as usual. Despite the best efforts of the government and
the MSM to ratchet up a low-grade atmosphere of fear and insecurity,
the better to capture eyeballs and cowering hearts, the public seems
to be back to its normal diet of Desperate Housewives and desperate politicians.
For the most part, besides arriving
earlier at the airport, our lives haven’t changed too much. Yet.
Our borders are still porous. Our vital infrastructure, our food
chain, our shipping and energy industries are still venerable and largely
unprotected. We are still able, and encouraged, to travel, fly, drive,
move, invent, explore. In terms of movement and the capacity to
develop and support the most bizarre and extreme examples of human individuality
ever seen in one place, we still live in the freest
society in the history of the planet.
While war rages in Iraq, genocide stalks Africa, and a nuclear shadow
falls across Asia, we here in the homeland stand tall, inviolate, the
legendary American capacity for regeneration and recovery almost having
recovered from 9/11 without having suffered any subsequent violations
or penetrations. Even terrorist threats are at their lowest level since before that attack.
There are many tempting explanations for the relative calm and absence
of the much-predicted follow-up terrorist attacks on American soil. The
terrorists are on the run, too preoccupied with avoiding death or capture
to foment mischief. The Bush doctrine of hunting them down and engaging
them in their home bases is indeed protecting the heartland from violence.
We have killed and captured so many of the key figures in Al Queda that
they are unable to mount complicated attacks. The success of the Department
of Homeland Security in monitoring targeted individuals and groups and
coordinating security agencies within the United States is keeping us safe.
Let us propose an alternative explanation. What if the terrorist Brain
Trust (bin Laden and his inner circle) realize that right now striking
within the United States would NOT be in their best interests. Right
now, they can still operate more or less freely within the protected
environment of North America. Given the central role of the US and its
technological infrastructure, they need our own country as a base to
organize their attacks on it.
They certainly COULD attack us at home if they wanted to. Recent
bloody attacks in Spain, Egypt and Sri Lanka show that they can basically
strike anywhere, any time. But think what would happen if they made some
verify able strikes in the US. Homeland Security Act part II would make
the first part look like local anti-littering regulations. Terrorists would
lose the ability to move and operate freely in the US. Unfortunately,
so would the rest of us.
Meanwhile, by venting their wrath on the minions of the Bush junta
in Iraq, where they are indeed killing dozens every day, throwing suicide
bombers at us in a seemingly inexhaustible supply of short-order martyrs,
they are fueling the fire and slowly eating away at American resolve
as we once again see our nation’s youth gutted and left to die on harsh,
ungrateful foreign shores.
In addition, we are sure our enemies have noticed that we are doing a fine
job of beating ourselves up and self-immolating as our economy heads
for the crapper, the out-of-control energy industry spirals into terminal
power-lust and the political class have fallen to rabid scrabbling over
the spoils of the security power grab. If your enemy is falling apart,
don’t give him an excuse to pull himself together.
Make no mistake, the terrorists are planning something big. They
won’t be content with an isolated attack, or bringing down a few planes. They
are saving up for something big, something as paradigm shifting as 9/11. These
people have shown their ability to paint on a large canvas. And
they know that after their next move, the game will change forever once
again, and many of the freedoms we as Americans take for granted, and
extend to visitors, will be things of the past.
After the next one, the proposed national I.D. cards will be a fact,
a requirement, and we will all be carrying around a smart chip with our
who knows what else. Be prepared to present this card at airposts, roadblocks,
post offices, demonstrations, train stations, sporting events and when
After the next one, our border will close tighter than the welfare office
on Easter Sunday. We will have armed Minutemen and maniacal militias
patrolling every inch of the Mexican and Canadian borders.
After the next one, we would not like to be even a legal alien in most
parts of the US, especially if we wore a turban or spoke with an accent.
After the next one we will have to give a DNA sample to get anywhere
near an airport, where the cheapest tickets will cost over $1,000, after
After the next one, the Bushies will rush their slate of hanging
judges through the Congress as fast as they can get the votes on the
record, and wiretaps will become easier to get than parking tickets.
After the next one, the 4th amendment will be amended to include "except
in cases of national security" and we will all cheer.
After the next one, every web site you visit, every google search you
perform, every document you check out of the library, every charge on
your Visa card and every phone number you call will go into a central
data backup. But don’t worry, only your government will have access
to it, and only with the permission of one of the above mentioned hanging
After the next one the American landscape will be so altered that the
last four years will be seen as a golden interregnum, like the blessed puddle
of denial between the diagnosis of fatal illness and the appearance of
It seems like nothing is happening right now, because the important
movements are still happening behind the scenes, out of sight of a mesmerized
public. But the mechanisms are being put into place, the draft
legislation is being written, the pieces are being arranged on the chessboard.
When the change comes it will be swift and irresistible. It is
probably best not to dwell too much on the unfortunate transformation
about to be thrust on our poor, unsuspecting asses, as it is probably
too late to do anything about it now. Better to enjoy our last few months
or years of unencumbered, carefree innocence before the reality of our
new servitude becomes painfully clear.