[R-G] Officials see new 9/11 on way, but see bright side
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Tue May 18 07:02:57 MDT 2004
US News and World Report May 24, 2004
>From the White House, a nightmare scenario
White House officials say they've got a "working premise" about
terrorism and the presidential election: It's going to happen. "We
assume," says a top administration official, "an attack will happen
leading up to the election." And, he added, "it will happen here." There
are two worst-case scenarios, the official says. The first posits an
attack on Washington, possibly the Capitol, which was believed to be the
target of the 9/11 jet that crashed in Pennsylvania. Theory 2: smaller
but more frequent attacks in Washington and other major cities leading
up to the election. To prepare, the administration has been holding
secret antiterrorism drills to make sure top officials know what to do.
"There was a sense," says one official involved in the drills, "of mass
confusion on 9/11. Now we have a sense of order." Unclear is the
political impact, though most Bushies think the nation would rally
around the president. "I can tell you one thing," adds the official
sternly, "we won't be like Spain," which tossed its government days
after the Madrid train bombings.
I completely reject the conspiracy theories that claim Washington
organized 9/ll or is "planning" or "planning to allow" another one, but
I think it is legitimate to ask whether a ruling party and an
administration that is in the state of mind described here is likely to
be mobilized to capacity to prevent one, especially an administration
that is primarily poised to defend itself in the face of electoral,
political, economic, and military setbacks.
The main reason why new attacks are likely are (1) the difficulties of
preventing such attacks in general, superadded to the incompetence and
organizational incoherence of this administration, and its predecessors
and likely successors; and (2) the fact that the administration is not
only far from winning the war in Iraq, but is losing the so-called war
against Al Qaeda.
The small currents who favor actions of the 9/11 type, along with all
other forms of opposition to the US course, are being strengthened today
as the administration reels from defeats, exposure, and growing
resistance and opposition. Their appeal, though far from massive, was
heightened as the "war against terrorism" was revealed clearly as a war
against the masses of the Middle East and South Asia.
The item above comes from USNews and World Report, the mass-circulation
weekly newsmagazine that is probably most supportive of the Bush
administration. Although I suspect that this item was not published to
help them, unless it was to warn them about what this attitude looks
like in cold print.
Basically, the official expresses virtual certainty that new attacks
will come before the election, creating massive destruction. The
official assumes that nothing can be done to prevent the attacks from
But every cloud has a silver lining! "Most Bushies think the nation
would rally around the president. 'I can tell you one thing,' adds the
official sternly, 'we won't be like Spain,' which tossed its government
days after the Madrid train bombings."
This has the ring of a classic Bush-era grossly overconfident
miscalculation. The assumption that they will win the election if there
is another -- tragic, of course -- 9/11 is based on two fundamental
(1) The people of Spain, like the denizens of decadent "old Europe" in
general, are gutless cowards. Yes, they have no cojones, they have no
And (2), the most important, the one that bureaucrats and politicians
recite into the mirror every morning before starting work:
The people of the United States are complete imbeciles.
It would be sad if thousands more died in part because of yet another
complacent misreading of the political situation at home and abroad by
the Bush administration.
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