Five years without another attack. That's a lot. Vice President Cheney reminded us yesterday on Meet the Press that it's no coincidence.
"We haven't been attacked in [blank] years" is a popular refrain in the Republican strategy of tormenting us all with their mighty Fear Stick whenever we fall out of lockstep. They use this refrain to justify Iraq, torture, wiretaps and their pathetic security record. It's a sad talking point from an administration that disgraces and exploits the victims of 9/11 every chance it gets. It's like that abusive husband who, while beating his wife, excuses his actions by blaming his abusive parents.
But what about 1998? Between the February 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and, five years later in February 1998, we weren't attacked either. Five years without an attack. That's a lot. And we managed for five years without torturing, without a unilateral invasion, without illegal wiretaps and without deliberately inducing a nationwide panic attack with orange alerts.
How can that be? Five years without Vice President Cheney. Five years without President Bush, Al Gonzales and Abu Ghraib. Five years without our mighty neocon protectors!
Sure, the African embassy bombings occurred later in 1998 and the USS Cole bombing happened a full eight years after the first WTC bombing. They weren't attacks on American soil, but they were attacks nevertheless.
Yet in this current five year span, nearly 30,000 Americans have been killed or wounded in more attacks than we can count. In this current five year span, many Americans have willingly handed over their personal liberties because, in the land of the free and the brave, we're scared -- terrified, if you will. The damage to America due to the agenda of this administration is almost too multifold to detail without any degree of effectiveness. Our ports aren't secured. Our president has given up on finding Bin Laden and endorsed amnesty for Iraqi insurgents and Taliban fugitives. At the airport, our security officials are unable to determine the difference between a Capri Sun and liquid explosives. And our first responders continue to operate without the proper funding and hardware.
There will probably be more terrorist attacks here and abroad. That's the nature of a world in which human beings, in an evolutionary sense, possess the capacity to commit murder. At the same time, people will continue to kidnap white girls at island resorts. People will continue to abuse their children and pets. People will rob, cheat, steal, kill, burn, loot, deceive and neglect. There's nothing that President Bush can do about it, and even less you can do about it other than to lead your life as an American -- a member of a free society in which your chance of dying, naturally or otherwise, is 100 percent. The alternative, as we've witnessed in the last five years, is to live in constant terror. And, by definition, that's an alternative in which the terrorists truly "win".
Vice President Cheney says it's no coincidence.
It absolutely is.