This Iraq Keeps Tigers Away!

Every time I hear about a “foiled terror attack”, I think of the episode of The Simpsons that starts out with the bear on Evergreen Terrace. Y’know, the part where Lisa says, “by your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away”. And by Bush’s logic, we could claim that the war on terror is working, as well. I don’t see any tigers around, do you?

Today’s headline news is another Tale of Thwarted Terrorists, this one hitting – or missing – a little closer to home. It took me a minute to figure out which building was being targeted, but apparently, it’s the one with the “usbank” logo on it downtown. Bush called it, at first, the “Liberty Tower” (what?) and then the “Library Tower” (the library has a tower?) and then finally, the Times explained it:

    [T]op Al Qaeda operative Khalid Sheik Mohammad, the 9/11 mastermind, already had “set in motion a plan to have terrorist operatives hijack an airplane using shoe bombs to breach the cockpit door and fly the plane into the tallest building on the West Coast.”

Actually, I’m still kind of confused, because I always thought the tallest building on the West Coast was the Columbia Center (aka the Bank of America tower) in my old stomping grounds of Seattle. But upon some research, I found out that, despite City of Seattle rhetoric, the Columbia Center is indeed shorter than the US Bank tower by 14 feet. Although, according to the 9/11 commission, the Seattle building was also scheduled for a terrorist attack on 9/11. Who knew that the terrorists knew where Seattle was? I mean, I’ve known Americans who didn’t know where Seattle was (Those Americans were in Texas. This shouldn’t surprise anyone.)

I tend to read almost everything that Bush says through a filter of 1984. But even assuming that there WAS a foiled plot on Los Angeles, shouldn’t we have been told about it at the time?

When I was painting signs for a CODEPINK rally last summer on the Fourth of July weekend, an older gentleman in a patriotic baseball cap came up to me, and we started chatting. He told me that there were things happening that I didn’t even know about. Like how the terrorists had been caught with a dirty bomb in downtown L.A. About how the government was protecting me from things I didn’t want to know about.

But what if I do want to know? I’m aware that living in a city like L.A., or NYC, or Chicago, or Houston, or any of the nation’s ten biggest megalopolises, puts me at risk. I assume that terrorism is so firmly implanted in the nation’s consciousness that we’re all aware of that – and we continue to live here rather than fleeing to strategically unimportant hamlets, far from densely populated potential targets. So why is it taking four years for the government to tell us about this supposed plot?

Either way, to me, it’s fishy. If the plot ever really existed, and isn’t another Orwellian creation designed to frighten Americans out of their suspicion of the Bush regime, then why wait until such a politically strategic moment to bring it to light? And if the plot never went beyond the planning stages in 2001 (as the Times article suggests), then why bring it up at all at this moment?

I, personally, believe that this is a case of Bush coming up with specious reasoning. And even though he’s stopped mentioning Iraq in the same sentence as the terrorists, I think it’s still a case of, “this Iraq keeps tigers away.” It seems to me like it’s Bush saying, “don’t worry, Los Angeles – even though you voted for the other guy, I still kept you safe. Don’t you feel bad for doubting me now? Don’t you want to support me?”

Maybe I’m just grumpy because I had one jack-and-Coke too many last night down at Brennan’s after my kickball game. Or maybe it’s just because I am so goddamn sick of the fearmongering that Bush has brought into America. I really think that today’s story is just going to bring more useless fear to residents of Los Angeles. That is, to those who still believe that the headline today was anything more than just another press release from Minitrue.

Note: I fully expect to catch hell from the pro-Bush supporters, if any exist, for this. But this is what I believe, and why I ride my bike rather than trade blood for oil, and why I protest with CodePINK. Go ahead, tell me why I’m wrong – I’ll listen. I promise.

5 Replies to “This Iraq Keeps Tigers Away!”

  1. I received a comment from a gentleman named Coop666 stating the following:

    “I, personally, believe that this is a case of Bush coming up with spacious reasoning.”

    Jillian, the word is “specious”. If you want to make fun of the President’s stupidity, it’s probably best to avoid looking dumb yourself.

    To which I replied that I had made a mistake (by cut/pasting from SNPP.com) and that it was just as well it had been caught, and I corrected the spelling error in the original post.

    Then I thought, “wait, why am I taking this kind of commentary lying down?” and snapped back that I hadn’t previously been aware that one letter made an entire argument invalid, and it was a good thing that had been pointed out.

    Then I thought, again, wait, why am I wasting everyone’s time perpetuating an irrelevant argument about my inability to double-check a vowel?

    So I made the error in judgement in deleting both comments.

    To which my critic replied:

    Nice move, correcting your spelling in the article, then changing your original (not snippy) comments. That’s the kinda truthiness that everyone can be proud of!

    That comment, despite my amusement at the use of a Colbert Report word, I deleted in sheer annoyance.

    In retrospect, this looked more like Stalinesque revisionist history, which would be hypocritical given my post material. And blatantly against blogging.la comment policy to boot, because it’s not fair to the readers to have their comments subject to threat of deletion. Therefore, I have reproduced the comments in good faith, including my own stupidity. Ironically, if the post had just been a pro-war or pro-Bush statement calling me a granola-eating peacenik (I get that all the time) or an anti-American (I get that too), or something related to the post content, I would have just replied with an argument and left it alone.

    I suppose this is a case of a couple of good lessons:

    1. Think before posting comments
    2. Do not delete comments just because they make me look like an idiot.

    Despite blogging for ten years over on LJ (and prior to that in HTML on my own sites), I’m not particularly used to this much of a public forum. And it requires a thicker skin than I had this morning. So I would like to publicly apologize to Mr. Coop666. I don’t have to like what you say – but I shouldn’t have taken away your ability to say it.

  2. Thanks, Jillian.

    The funny part is, I wasn’t particularly disagreeing with you- which is why I was so shocked at the response.

  3. I should have known anyone who quotes Stephen Colbert couldn’t be a bad person. ;-) I jumped to a conclusion that you were comparing my English abilities to those of our President & took it as more of an insult than it was. I like to think that I can pronounce “nuclear” correctly, too.

  4. No, actually, you didn’t, because you had a different take on it, and a link to an article that focused on the Liberty Tower bit, whereas I was going for a much more generalized snarkiness about the whole thing. I, personally, would consider your post complementary, if anything, but definitely not redundant.

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