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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Terror, Terror, Terror...

The warnings keep coming in. The enemy is at the gate,- or even way past the gate. Al Quaeda is seeking ways to terrorize Americans, the want to disrupt the US Presidential Election and drive Bush from office. While the former is likely true, the latter is questionable. As I have said before, George W Bush's chances of being re-elected are more likely to improve than to decrease in case of a major pre-Election terror strike since he has successfully build an image of himself as a war President, and that is the only part of his PR portfolio that appears solid.

In his Village Voice article James Ridgeway also presents another interesting possibility of what Al Quaeda may be up to at the moment:
Robert Killebrew, a retired army infantry colonel who often writes and speaks about defense and national security matters, predicted Sunday in The Washington Post that Al Qaeda will plan more attacks on the Madrid model, in which a terrorist act is hooked to a political event in order to accomplish maximum effect. And that while Al Qaeda is bashing Middle East and Western governments it doesn't like, it will also try to gain support of the street Muslims by entering politics and sooner or later putting its own people into high positions within different governments. "If, as I expect," writes Killebrew, "Al Qaeda makes the transition in the coming decade from a deadly, popular but rootless terrorist grouping to the sitting government of a number of countries, this heroic theme will inspire their governing institutions, including regular military and paramilitary forces and will become part of the pan-Arab, anti-crusader tradition."
If true, this may actually be good news of sorts. Any movement that transitions from a stateless outlaw group to being part of a government generally tends to become more restrained and responsible. And those who deal with it,- whether friends or enemies,- finally get an address to go to.

Overall, I think the Amercians should for the most part disregard these latest terror warnings and not let them affect their plans for the Election day, or any other day before or after. Those professionally involved in law enforcement and intelligence should of course try to do their job as best they can and try and thwart the terror threat if it is real. All the rest of us should treat that threat as a background noise, like the rumbling of a thunderstorm which may at any time result in a deadly tornado or a bolt of lightning,- but which we do not generally allow to stop our lives in their tracks.

And, yes, I believe they should vote as this is likely the most crucial election in a long time,- and in a long time to come. And those who think that Bush has a strong anti-terror record may want to check out alternative media websites such as this one and think once again whether that is indeed the case.

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