As Carl points out in his post "The Cocksucker Proxy" (at Simply Left Behind), the just-thwarted airline terror plot is a reminder not so much that "The American people need to know we live in a dangerous world” (as Bush stated from Green Bay Wisconsin) but that it’s been a more dangerous world for everyone associated with Bush’s foreign policies ever since he invented an “urgent” threat to US and world security in order to pay back the investments made by American oil companies, military subcontractors, free-market economists and ideologues in Bush and the Republican Party so that they might secure a more fabulous future for themselves, courtesy of taxpayer money and resources. Since then there’s been no credible terrorist activity of the type Cheney et al. have constantly promoted (i.e. like 9-11 but with brass knobs on) in the US, but plenty of related events elsewhere—Madrid, London, Turkey, Bali, and Saudi Arabia to name a few.
As policy (!) the US has incarcerated, tortured and killed an awful lot of Arabs and Muslims and has brought to them not democracy, freedom and peace but lies, death, destruction and war. By their inane reasoning and insane ambitions, the architects of the “War on Terror” have in fact designed a War of Terror, where the US (and it’s allies) are increasingly and more violently targeted than ever before.
When asked privately why he was transferring troops out of Afghanistan when neither the military nor the political objectives had been reached, Donald Rumsfeld responded “because Iraq has more targets”.
That was true a few years back, but no longer. What the Americans haven’t destroyed or failed to rebuild, Iraqi militias are shredding with shrapnel under the noses of an impotent US army and an impotent “government”. But for those with sympathy and outrage in their hearts and minds outside of Iraq, the United States and the UK and their dwindling list of allies in this murderous misadventure present to them “target rich environments” (as our own military is fond of saying) for vengeful action.
Bush’s two-watt response to the thwarted suicide air attack was the typical combination of Andy Griffith assurance and bed-wetting warning, claiming the US is safer than ever, but it’s still not perfectly safe.
Had the English counterterrorism efforts not been so diligent and organized, it is quite possible that airliners would have been crashing down from the skies over New York, Washington and Los Angeles. Because there was no intention to hijack the planes there would have been no indication of a problem until the moment of detonation. If the moments had been chosen on the airport approaches over the target cities the physical and psychological effects would have been devastating and spectacular. As an act of terror I think that would have trumped 9-11.
Although Spain and the UK have suffered their own attacks—directly due to their involvement in Iraq—the target in this case was once again the US. It is notable that the alleged plotters are apparently British-born Pakistanis operating out of England.
Why didn’t they choose a British target? Is it because security measures in the UK present a significant impediment to terrorist actions there?
Is it because destroying planes in mid-flight produces the most spectacular effect from relatively little effort? Is it because the alleged plotters see the US as the most appropriate target for their rage or cause? Perhaps we shall find out over the next few weeks,
Notable too is that the US apparently had no active involvement in the intelligence operation. Perhaps they can be excused “player” status because of geography. But I’m not sure that excuse would fly because, well, flying isn’t that hard to do—the US certainly has no problem when it comes to “rendering” –flying agents and suspects all over the world. And given that the US is supposedly engaged in a “Global War on Terror” I’d expect the US intelligence services to be globally positioned and involved, wouldn’t you—especially with their BFF, the UK?
Of course, there was that time when DHS blabbed about their sterling work of protecting the US by publicly identifying a Pakistani mole who was feeding Al-Qaida e-mails to Pakistani and British intelligence services a while back, forcing his “retrieval” and completely destroying a year’s worth of effort in a day—but I don’t suppose anyone remembers that—it’s a team effort after all, right guys?
Misdirection and redirection has been the touchstone of the current US administration, but although they’ve managed to fool a lot of Americans for quite a few years (with a wave of my wand and the magic word alakazam, tax-cuts will create jobs, the family farm will be saved, health care will be cheaper, gas prices will be lower, war will be easier and freedom will be freer!), those who already harbored ill-will against the US for perceived historical injustices weren’t fooled and they have now been joined by new recruits fired by current and very real injustices.
This time an ally has apparently saved America’s ass. But America’s allies are few and far between. America isn’t still just a target, it is a bigger target than ever. Bush has made it so, and the US is weaker than ever. If we don’t change our own regime, then others will surely attempt to do so—and not for our benefit but for their own (as the Iraq invasion was supposed to). Until that happens, “over there” will all too easily become “over here”. And don’t count on the UK or Pakistan being there to help the US for much longer—they’re already busy dealing with their over here, over there, whilst we can only sit and wait for the moment as over there creeps its way over here.
I had this post written late last night, but blogger wasn't letting me upload, so it was the first thing I did this morning before cruising the news sites. And what do you know? From ABC's The Blotter comes this tidbit:
"British authorities have shared parts of the investigation with the FBI, and out of concern for leaks, only the barest details were shared with regional authorities as late as last night."
You may have noticed how Chertoff had damn all to say yesterday. I suspect the British decided to keep the information flow strictly amongst professionals.
UPDATE II :
Think Progress notes that on CNN ( I don't have cable) former 9/11 commissioner Tim Roemer said, “It’s very important that we don’t put all our intelligence and military resources in Iraq and take our eye off the ball in other places in the world.”
I think that dovetails with what I said: "I’d expect the US intelligence services to be globally positioned and involved, wouldn’t you—especially with their BFF, the UK?"
So there you have it people; one hint and one opinion from two seperate sources seem to agree with two minor points in my post. I am SO on top of this stuff!