The coming terror, as near as History can say
Let’s first get clear on this: President Bannon is using the approach President Cheney used so effectively – do a really lousy job of protecting us so that when the entirely predictable terror attack succeeds, you can use it to frighten the people into supporting you.
The 911 attack was successful despite what the Commission discovered were at least 125 different appeals to the FBI for investigation of the plotters and their activities; these reports, and probably several times as many other ‘hits’ we never heard about, were turned away as soon as they got far enough up the chain of command that they reached a political appointee. Thus the most inept, clue-scattering plot ever conceived was, against all odds, carried to fruition.
This is a different gang. These people now taking control of the nation are stunningly disorganized. That’s going to result in the same thing; another clumsy terror attack is about to be successful. We’ve made a lot of enemies, so there is, and has been continuously since WWII, a constant background of attempts to do harm. Pretty much always, there are groups of people we’ve pissed off, or paid agents of one rogue regime (Russia) or another (Russia), with greater or lesser skill, having, from feverish commitment to drunken braggadocio, various degrees of intent. The normal, not-spyish-at-all, ears to the ground, non-waterboarding, traditional intelligence procedures, when done by professionals, are quite good at stopping these, though one must expect that some will get through. When they do, law enforcement is usually adept at finding the plotters and bringing them to justice.
Point is, just doing your job as President stops most terrorist attempts, and letting law enforcement do its job can deal with those few that work; and further, normal, constitutional, rights-respectful procedures in both efforts are entirely competent to deal with such threats. That’s not to say such attacks are meaningless – just that they have much, much less importance in any real sense than our fear-loving, sadly cowardly public has come to believe. They can barely stand to be distracted from Cleveland CSI, or whatever burg they’re in now; the average American sees so many cinematicly-perfect murders as it is, that when some actual mayhem finally forces its way into their fake-blood-soaked reality, they – you? – absolutely freak.
So you should get your heads straight on this right off:
THERE’S GOING TO BE A TERROR ATTACK!
Something is going to get through. Last time, it was purposefully allowed to happen – with all those warnings, you’ve got to believe the Bush people – excuse me, I shouldn’t blame them, they were out of the loop – the Cheney people knew it was coming and did nothing to stop it. This time it will be much more dangerous, because this group of clunks isn’t even smart enough, or concerned enough, to know what’s going on. They’ve got bigger plans for America, and don’t care what happens to us little, non-Trump-Golf-Club-eligible peasants.
So we can expect something big. Out of the constant background foam of anger, some clumsy attack is going to work out; a scruffy teen with a backpack saying ‘Bomb On Board’ is going to get past a Steve Bannon appointee or a major metropolitan area FBI station chief who was previously only a violent anti-abortion protester.
We knew – we knew! – that Al Qaeda was targeting the World Trade Center. Just a month before those attacks, a major news magazine published a long article about the FBI’s top agent on Al Qaeda having quit in frustration because the Bush administration was ignoring the threat that the Clinton admin had told them was its number one security concern, and then took a job at the World Trade Center because he knew that’s where an attack would come. True story; he died that day. John Patrick O’Neill, who ought to be a hero.
But even knowing all that, when the expectable, predictable result – letting an absolute clown show of a plot go through even while hundreds were seeing it being enacted and giving out warnings – when the predictable result happened, we all got behind the bigger clown show that let it happen.
So get this clear right off. It’s going to happen just that way again, with, again, the predictable result – stupid America, acting out of fear and ignorance, will rally around the President whose rank incompetence allowed an entirely foreseeable, preventable terror attack to succeed. My fellow Americans, your fragile backbones are about to collapse again.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be that way. Show courage, refuse to accept the New York Times- endorsed meme that golly, we’ve got to support that goof waving the flag because golly he’s waving the flag, and so we’ve got to support him and drink the cool-aid because gosh, flag, waving, country, flag, look at all those flags the President is wrapped in! –
Just refuse to swallow. Take to the streets, and be prepared to stay there. No violence – you must not allow violence – put your bodies on the line, knowing the danger that doing so will put you in. Return no blow. Just put your bodies in the way, in the way of ICE or James Comey’s Trump-supporting FBI or your state’s National Guard, even knowing they don’t care at all about your life. Be the Tiananmen Square Tank Man.
But I know you won’t. You’ll puke your fear and cover everything in it, over-reacting to a catastrophic but pointless event that doesn’t really mean anything past the immediate cruelty of the moment other than the official incompetence that allowed it to happen. You didn’t see Agent O’Neill’s sacrifice, you didn’t notice the more than a hundred agents who testified to the Commission that they had gotten many alerts all across the nation to the clumsy plotters. You just saw Little Georgie and all those flags. You’ll do it again; you’ll start seeing exactly the boogie-men Trumpists want you to see.
My parent’s generation is referred to as The Greatest. Raised in the Depression, choked by the Dust Bowl storms, they stood up to their fascist threat – though that threat did much more damage because it took them so long to do so – and then made a world strong enough to survive and thrive the uncertainties of The Bomb and the Cold War.
But that was then. We are now The Land of the people whose ancestors were Free, and The Home of those whose grandparents and great-grandparents were Brave. You might want to start preparing your spider-hole.