A "war on terror" thought
6/22/2005 07:49:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
Quick background: I lived in Manhattan during Sept 11th and the aftermath. My wife's best friend and I sat in front of the TV in our apartment, watching everything happen and praying my wife and her husband would return safely. (She worked locally, and I didn't start that day until 11:30).

They both arrived home 5 hours later, thank God, safe and sound.

Worry and unease grew in me in the days that followed. I kept waiting for "the other shoe to drop," and another attack to happen.

We made plans on how we'd meet up, how we'd get out of the city. (I think one of them involved bribing a boat owner in the marina near us with $1000)

I worried the next attack would hit midtown, where my wife worked, while I would be stuck working across the river in North Bergen. I'd chain smoke cigarettes and stare at the skyline, following with my eyes the planes as they flew into Laguardia.

A year passed, my anxiety didn't. Another year passed. I worried slightly less. Another year passed. We moved out of the city. I worried alot less, but still a little.

Let me get to the point. I spent the better part of 3 1/2 years worrying about what was going to happen next. I am still a damn 'breaking news' addict, and my heart still skips a beat when I see the red heading on the bottom of the news cast. I certainly don't want to jinx anything (yes I am superstitious).

But, why, do you suppose that nothing has happened since 9/11? It just seems like it would be so easy to hurt us economically or with death and destruction, that I just can't seem to wrap my brain around why we haven't been attacked again. I just can't credit the FBI/CIA and the federal government for our safety, I still have a level of distrust since the WMD fiasco. But can we really be stopping the Radical Islamic groups that want to harm us from doing anything? Time after time I hear on the nightly news about how this is vulnerable, how this benign thing is going to be the next to be attacked. I've always thought that one suicide bombing in the US would put us into a whole another chapter of life in the US. Thank God it has not happened to date. I hear that the "terrorists" only want to plan something "big" that will "rival 9/11." But disrupting our oil imports, making malls feel unsafe with a small event, large effects would ripple out from it...

Thoughts anyone? I know that it is a grim topic, but sometimes I can't shake the thought.
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On 11:16 PM , RomeHater said...

Ironically, I was thinking about this last night. One reason that I think there has not been a domestic terrirst attack in the US is because no one wants to lose their entire country to harbor a splinter group. Afghanistan is generally considered a success. The Taliban ruled the country harshly and sheltered al-Quaeda in exchange for their financial support. Ultimately, they lost control of the country because the US would not stop until the old government was torn down like the 2000 year old Buddhist statues the Taliban destroyed.

I think Osama bin Laden is a diletante. He was a rich prince and a religious nut who probably fired a gun for the sole purpose of that video we see on CNN. He knows that the next domestic terror attack will lead to the US invading Pakistan and probably pulling out of Iraq. When that happens, no one is going to give him sanctuary.

It's a debatable opinion, but Iraq send the message to terrorist that the US will not cut and run when it gets tough. Somalia taught the Arab world the opposite lesson. One reason for 9/11 was that the US was considered too fearful of offending the world to effectively fight back.

While I'm glad there are security measures in place, the best defense against a future attack is the prospect of the total destuction of whoever is stupid enough to think they could get away with it.

On 1:02 AM , Rome Lover said...

First off, my name is just picking on RomeHater (obviously)

I just found this site tonight, and I actually spent time in Rome.

7th - 9th at Strough
10th - 11.5 at RFA

Then I got moved to New Mexico, THAT wasn't a change.

Second, why no big attacks? I don't believe for a second it is due to better security. I live north of Denver these days, and DIA our tent city airport, is a fortress. Unless you aren't a passenger. People wandering around, doors propped open, no fences around the airstrip in places.

If somebody wanted to hit us, they could, right now.

If they want to create a reaction where the public makes a major decision based on the attack, they have to wait for 2008.

With the people that the FBI keep catching by accident, that are American, yet are hoarding half a million shells, cyanide bombs, fake credentials, it's only a matter of time before a domestic nut does something big.

(And no, I didn't like Rome either.)


On 1:23 AM , Anonymous said...


Looks like you're not the only one thinking about these things.

On 11:01 AM , odograph said...

I agree that Afganistan was important, and that it changed the game on "sponsoring terror."

I think we are also somewhat lucky that islamic terrorists are easier to spot than (say) right wing extremists like mcveigh. If we had to worry about ex-members of our own military on a large scale ...

FWIW, I give the Afganistan invasion a clean moral/strategic call. We probably could have headed off some of the trouble by being more involved in the area's post soviet-era but that is water further under the bridge. I don't give the Iraq invasion a clean moral/strategic call. It might concentrate our opponents for the short term, but the blowback will last a long time.

On 2:50 PM , NYCO said...

""I think Osama bin Laden is a diletante.""

I agree with this; I think OBL was/is a guy who was just throwing stuff to the wall and seeing if it stuck, and got lucky beyond his wildest dreams with 9/11 and the WTC actually crashing down.

I do not think Al Qaeda was prepared (strategically or intellectually) for everything that came after what OBL did. They were clearly not at all prepared to do "bigger and better" things.

Unfortunately, Bush's response just created far, far more problems than it solved.

On 8:48 AM , Big Gav said...

Whenever this topic comes up I my first response is always - watch "The Power of Nightmares" and have a think about it.

(its not a 9-11 conspiracy theory documentary - it examines the origins of neoconservatism and of Al Qaeda)

I liked your tour of Syracuse on public transport BTW - looks very nice. But $3 per day for parking is amazing - if I were to drive to work (and I haven't for over a decade) it would cost me at least $20 a day - if I arrived early...