The odd thing was he didn't kill very many people, maybe 20 or so, but he scared a lot. Then a thought occurred to me.
We here in the United States keep being told that we need a big, bad Department of Homeland Security to keep us safe from terrorist attacks. We need wiretapping, and suspension of habeus corpus. That we need to suspend civil liberties so we can be secure and safe. That we need to close borders (accept the one with Canada) because these terrible dangerous terrorists are getting into our country and planning, planning big, horrendous attacks that will kill us all.
Here is the truth: the terrorists perpetrated ONE great big LUCKY attack on us on September 11, 2001. And there's been nothing since!
If terrorists were planning attacks to scare us or kill us, all they would have to do is blow up a bus or two a couple of times a week in a few different cities across the country and we would be out of our minds with fright. So why don't they do it? They've done it in Israel. They did it once in Madrid, Spain, where they blew up trains. But they haven't done it here.
Who is it then that's frightening us? Who makes us think that when a steam pipe blows up in a New York City street that al-Qaeda has come to town?
Yup, it's Bush and Company. Remember when Michael Chertoff said he had a "gut feeling" that a terrorist attack was iminent? Bush and his buddies have jumped on an idea, a concept and run with it. We the government can do anything (make legislation, change laws, ignore the rule of law) in the name of fighting terrorism at home and abroad.
And no one can deny that. The Democrats can't deny it, college professors, journalists can't deny it. When I publish this post everyone will tell me "You're nuts." Bush has got us by the proverbial "short hairs" and you know why? Because all he has to say is "What if it happens again?" and we all shrivel into shaking, sweating little babies.
I don't know Ladies and Gentlemen, but Slate Magazine might have an answer. It has a good article called "Scare Them Back." It quotes Bush in a totally outlandish statement:
"And there's some good people in our country who believe we should cut and run. They're not bad people when they say that, they're decent people. I just happen to believe they're wrong." They're not bad sniveling cowards, I just happen to believe they're wrong sniveling cowards. The president went on to suggest that a show of weakness in Iraq will lead to more deaths in the United States. "If we leave before the mission is complete, if we withdraw, the enemy will follow us home."And that might just be the way to get terrorists to listen.
The message is clear: Vote for Democrats and more Americans will die. For the president and Republicans to pretend this isn't their political message is silly. And in the end it's counterproductive, because it imperils their reputation as the party that assesses threats clearly and speaks about them plainly.
The question the Democrats should be asking is whether Bush's policies are inspiring the people who want to kill us. Since Republicans argue that if you elect Democrats, more Americans will die, it's logical for Democrats to ask whether continuing the current policies will cause more American deaths.