the talking dog

August 1, 2004, When Life Imitates... Godzilla Movie

Time to ponder... this announcement of a somewhat less vague threat than usual: an A.Q. plot, purportedly revealed by "chatter", of some kind of a planned attack on financial or international institutions located in... New York City. Well, we in New York, of course (especially those of us who work less than a minute's sprint from Ground Zero now and did oh, around three years ago) are perpetually cognizant of more than a vague threat. But at least Swing State voters can take a little solace knowing that only we of solid Blue New York are at the current risk.
BTW-- the method of delivering the terrorists is to have them sneak across the Mexican border (as reported by me last week... note the ironic archive post number, and be even more mucho afraid).

Jeez. If its not those A.Q. bastards (for whose continued existence we can largely thank the Bush Administration for (1) not having taking out back in '01 when it sent insufficient American manpower, fecklessly relying on less than motivated Afghan contractors to do our job, (2) squandered the international good will and cooperation needed to crush the A.Q. bastards and their nihilistic and perverse ideology, and (3) wasted time, money, effort and lives on pursuing a personal grudge against Saddam Hussein that should have been deployed against A.Q.), it's an escaped 450 pound circus Bengal tiger terrorizing motorists on the Jackie Robinson Parkway in Queens and causing multi-car pileups.

And as if pondering these things weren't bad enough, we have the miserable failure himself scheduled to show up here at the end of the month for his re-coronation, with the latest in heavy-handed security measures being planned for the occasion.

God I love this town.

Update: For the first time, Secretary Ridge has seen fit to provide what the specific threats are, as revealed by the intelligence "chatter": World Bank and IMF buildings in D.C., Prudential Building in NJ (I believe Newark), and the Citigroup and New York Stock Exchange buildings in NYC. That last one is one city block from my office.

Seeing as the WTC was one city block from where I happened to be working on the morning of 11 September 2001, I'm beginning to take all of this just a wee bit personally.

I'll say this: since the Spanish elections turned out the sitting government, I have become convinced (as I was not convinced before that time) that our government is now doing everything in its power to thwart whatever the threat is. For whatever that's worth.

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"W Looks To Friends In High Places To Refute Moore Movie"

Saudi Prince Turkey today, upon an apparent White House request, disputed the factual basis of film maker Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" by denying that Saudi Royal family members got flown out of the country after the events of 9/11. Of course, he's right. It was the bin Laden family members that got the special privileges, as well as the Saudis who financially backed 9/11. When contacted about the Saudi grant of a visa to Moore to come to Saudi Arabia to investigate for himself, Moore stated that he declined because the Saudis provided him with a one-way ticket.

"GOP Is Up With Fear, At Least For Another Couple Months"

In other news, the first weekend after the Democratic convention, Tommy Boy Ridge declared an Orange Alert, citing specific threats to New York, Newark and DC. Nah, this wasn't done to steal the Democrat's thunder.
Well, we here in the NYC danger zone look forward to further more alarming reports as the Republican Convention nears. Of course, rumors of Osama, not Obama, bin Laden's capture grow with the alert levels. Look for it all to come to a head the day before W accepts the nomination.

Posted by Fatt Nudge at August 1, 2004 09:15 PM

TD...I really have to hope that even Swing State voters take NO solace in threats against NYC, DC, NJ or elsewhere...otherwise, souls have been sold.

Posted by alicia at August 1, 2004 10:47 PM

This could most certainly be a bid to "soften up" New Yorkers for the police state measures to protect the Presidentissimo when he arrives in our fair city on the (actual) 65th anniversary of the commenceent of World War II. Or it could be a real threat, that the Bushmen are so worried about, they are actually telling us what it is.

Its a nice thought. But we both know better. Most people will breathe a little easier thinking the threat is elsewhere. While no American (well, almost no American) would want to see New York (or New Jersey or D.C.) attacked, if the choice was that or their own town... let's get real. It's only human. I'd kind of feel the same way, to be bluntly honest. Oklahoma City was every bit as horrible as 9-11 for those involved (and its victims got no multi-billion dollar compensation package); but it was far away-- less impact on me, then New York itself... its just the way it is.

I think, as I contemplate thoughts of existential vulnerability that first creeped in around three years ago, and hung around for quite a while, I try to remain calm-- maybe even adopt a form of Israeli-style gallows humor (Israeli t.v. features depictions of life at "super-alert"; I recall one seen of a couple on a dinner-date, as every sound (dropped dishes, popped champagne cork, etc.) drives them to dive under the table (each also has their own security guard...)

Not funny. Just not funny. 9-11 lethargy and permanent vacation aside, I am quite certain that the sitting government at least (finally) has the will to protect a blue state (and yes, I DO believe they are that crass to even THINK of making a call like that-- and before 3-11, I seriously think they WOULD have at least THOUGHT about it, before doing everything they could).

But that's over. We are all New Yorkers. We are all Madrilenos. We are all Iraqis. We are all Turks, Indonesians, Moroccans, Saudi non-royals, Filipinos, Israelis, Palestinians, INdian... as Gandhi said-- I am a Moslem, I am a Hindu, I am a Christian, I am a Jew...

Yup. We are all in it, baby. There is ONE U-nited States of America. There is ONE human race. We are in it together. We ain't special here in the U.S.-- God Himself has not singled us out for some special protection or divine providence (sorry for those who believed that).

That was the lesson we were supposed to be taught by 9-11: American "exceptionalism" is bullshit, We are members of the community of humanity along with everybody else. We'be been forgetting it for too God damned long. Our response: to step even deeper into that bullshit, and when group action was required for our protection, to stubbornly whine and whinge like a petulant child and go it alone (and sorry-- the Iraq war was pretty God damned popular here, or it wouldn't have happened).

Well, we're getting a nice little reminder again (that hopefully more innocent people won't DIE FROM). We're still part of the human race: its dark-side can come get us. Really. Oceans, and the majority of the world's military spending won't protect us.

We simply have to engage the world. NO CHOICE. It will come engage us, otherwise-- not necessarioy on terms we like. We have supported the world's most repressive regimes (think "Saddam's Iraq") when it suits us-- and condemned them when it suits us (think "Saddam's Iraq"). We crap wherever we feel like-- "WE'RE AMERICANS" we say, as we build up resentments everywhere. Well, there was always a danger that chickens would come home to roost.

We alone refuse to participate in multi-national forces under anyone else's command, we alone refuse to participate in numerous international cooperation arrangements.,. we're special, God has told us.

Bullshit. We're not.

We were blessed with founding fathers with vision who gave us a great system, and the world's most ambitious people came here because of that system. But its a system that can be fucked up-- quite easily. Hell, we're watching it be fucked up in front of us. With the consent of both political parties.

In the end-- I fear the REACTION to such a potential attack (instant dictatorship-- seriously) more than the attack itself-- and you know where I'm likely to physically be in relation to such an attack ( if we believe Tom Ridge, anyway)...

My point: we seem to have learned little or nothing from 9-11. Well, we learned SOME people could show true heroism-- many of them are now dead. We learned that others, who cowered in third grade classrooms, or who set up a system where firemen and police couldn't talk to each other, would seize tragedy to claim heroic status. We did learn that. But I fear we will learn nothing if we are attacked again.

This all makes me seirously wonder if we are still worthy of what the founding fathers have left us.

Did I say all that out loud?

Posted by the talking dog at August 1, 2004 11:52 PM

You did and you are heard. Your honesty is the reason your words resonate. And yes, I should know better. There is no way I can know from where I sit how devastating it is to live moments from 9-11 and what is reported to come. Should something occur, and I pray Ridge and boys are wrong, I hope all of us can face it and deal with it out of the realm of politics. Seems impossible at this point and that is maddening. Even Ridge himself had to inject the view that this info he delivered was only available due to the excellent work the President had done with Homeland Security. My cynical side looks for a rise in BushCo's numbers following this new alert...I hate my cynical side. Well, every time I hear of new threats, I really do pray for my family in DC and NY, and I think of those who read and write here...who I don't know really...but somehow share the bond of anger at what is and the hope that it will get better.

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