Anyone who listens to right wing radio, Fox News, Tony Snow, or Bush-Cheney, in other words anyone who is on a strict diet of lies, has heard the latest rationale for the Iraq war, one which is now repeated endlessly. Forget your WMD or bringing democracy to the oppressed, now the official White House party line is "if we don't fight 'em there in Iraq, we will be fighting 'em here in the streets of America." As one who lives in New York City, and whose wife, son, and toddler grand-daughter also live here, I have a great concern for my family's safety, living as we do in the bulls-eye of the terrorist's target. But what strikes me and any sane American is that we are much more likely to fight 'em here because we have fought them there, in that great Bush-bungle called Iraq. Among the unintended consequences of this war has been to create and to inflame terrorists throughout the world for another shot at America. These terrorists are not preoccupied in Iraq. Sure, there must be Al-Qaeda there now, after the door was opened for them by our President, but they have the local insurgencies to do their work, freeing them up for recruitment and target practice for another assault on the USA, and if not New York, then L.A.. Chicago, Boston, Washington, anywhere there is a great concentration of people, and terrorists can get more bang for the buck. In the 18th and 19th centuries the rural areas were the symbols of America, but in the 20th and 21st it is our great cities that represent our civilization and draw the wrath of those who hate us.
I would be less fearful of another terrorist attack if Katrina had not proven the genetic incompetence of this White House to deal with any national emergency. The real question is, "Would you let George Bush baby-sit while you went out to a movie?" Not me. And this is our Commander-in-Chief? The best military thinking tells us that his escalation in troops will further deplete and ultimately demoralize our armed-forces, giving little comfort to those of us who fear another attack at home. No, I do not live my life trembling over the prospect of some catastrophic attack tomorrow, city dwellers learn to be fatalists, and you get your master's degree in denial or you leave, but I take no comfort in the fight 'em there makes me safer here rhetoric. After all these Bush years the most credulous among us cannot be taken in by these White House grifters; we know at once when we are being conned by the Rovian sloganeers.
One can only hope that it will difficult to replicate 9/11, now that our State Department and National Security people are officially awake, now that Sleeping Beauty Rice is up after her long pre 9/11snooze, and that perhaps the government has been doing its job of protecting its citizens by collecting intelligence that will prevent another attack. Because intelligence by its very nature must be secret we can never really know what is being done to protect us. We do know that the job of protecting America would be made easier if we saw that a true effort was made to work in concert with allies in Europe and the Middle East and Asia, because a fight against terrorism must be a world-wide effort. The truth is that this surge to purge in Iraq will only further endanger our families at home. Like so many citizens, I'd like to see our troops come home, not only for their sakes, but mainly for ours. We need them here to guard our borders, our seas and our skies against another attack. We need them to protect my grand-daughter and other innocents deserving of a long life, and not to justify the lost legacy of Bush's Iraqi Horror Show.