Wednesday, July 14, 2004

A loud 'no' to delaying the election - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - July 13, 2004

A loud 'no' to delaying the election - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - July 13, 2004

"In the aftermath of September 11, we need to prepare for contingency plans for various situations," said Rep. Bob Ney, Ohio Republican and chairman of the Committee on House Administration, "but I have very serious concerns about giving one federal official or even a particular federal body the power to postpone or cancel a national election.

This is a perfect example. "In the aftermath of September 11,..." What the hell does that mean? Sure, it rolls smoothly off the tongue- but what is he talking about? He's not referring to the rebuilding of the WTC, or "Freedom Towers" is he? And I'm sure he is not referring to the victims, or the relatives and friends who are still grieving. They will vote or not, as they choose. Is he saying that since 9-11, there has been no change in security, and hijackers can waltz right on to, and take over airplanes again, while NORAD sits with the proverbial thumb-in-rectum? Even Pres Bush might be more decisive in the event of,- of what, exactly? Does he mean that the war on Afghanistan had no effect on terrorists ability to train and organise?
Well, better not go there, since as far as I have read, 9-11 was plotted in Hamburg, and training took place (for the pilots at least) in Arizona and Florida.

Yes, all an official has to do is refer to "September 11th" and any vestige of critical thinking, heck, of common sense leaves the vicinity, and we are supposed to be reduced to a quivering mass of Chicken Littles, looking anxiously at the sky for runaway airliners. So all the reductions in freedom, all the inconveinience, all the bearucratic fol-de-rol imposed on us, all the suspicion, the roundups of Muslims, the totalatarianising of the borders is all for naught?

Look, I grew up during the 50's, 60's, and 70's (it took a long time) when an attack by the Soviet Union (remember them?) was used to the same effect. Only that was real. Really real. The USSR could, if it got up on the wrong side of the Volga, incinerate the US any old day, with an overkill factor of, I believe, ten. And the answering assured destruction from the US would more'n likely, have finished off life on earth, except, we were always told, for the roaches and earwigs. The 9-11 attacks coming off at all, let alone so (from the attackers point of view) so sucessfully was the result of an fantastic concombination of circumstances, if not some combination much more sinister. Remember the first WTC bombing, which was supposed to bring down the building? Killed 6 people, if memory serves.

The 9-11 hijackers did not discover some new principle of nature, or never-before-utilised technique, which leaves us frantically looking for a suitable defensive measure, and I'm tired of officials invoking it as an excuse for, well, anything. If they want to invoke 9-11 why don't they invoke it as an example of how ignoring the procedures already in place can lead, along with some bad breaks, to a terrible tragedy. But that would mean somebody would have to take responsibility for the lapses, and that ain't gonna happen.


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