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 Boom goes London
  (July 7, 2005)

I’m going back to bed.
          I don’t like waking up to see that vermin have blown people up. I don’t like to see lyrical red London double-decker buses burned to rubble. I don’t like to see footage of broken men lying limp on stretchers while paramedics slam their chests, trying to restart their hearts. I don’t like to hear about subway trains full of peaceable, workaday folk being bombed.
          And I especially don’t like to see “President” Bush on his hind legs, baying anew about how the terrorists “hate freedom,” and how the world will stand together.
          What does Bush know about standing together with the rest of the world? His brutish, arrogant policies have alienated this country from most of the world. His bellicose, murderous ways in Iraq have recruited more terrorists---for generations to come---than Bin-Laden ever dreamed possible. His refusal to join the rest of the world in signing the Kyoto Treaty---because he said it would hurt the U.S. economy, which also happens to be the largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world---is a disgusting embarrassment.
          And what does Bush know about loving freedom, in a country where press freedom is under attack? Where the government may confiscate and raze your home if it decides you have terrorist leanings---or if it merely decides it is in your town’s best interests to build a mini-mall instead? Where loyal, dedicated U.S. workers are sold out for cheap China labor? Where there is now an official domestic spy agency?
          Bush is delighted to have a new terrorist attack to exploit, I guarantee. It comes just in the nick of time, when his support had seriously waned. Joining the massive sigh of relief are Cheney, Queen Condy, Uncle Donald, and especially---especially---one Karl Christian Rove.
          Rove’s certain prosecution for having exposed CIA agent Valeria Plame---in a vicious fit of hatred for her husband, former Gabon Amassador Joseph Wilson, and his efforts to discredit the administration’s trumped up claims about “yellowcake” plutonium being shipped from Africa to Iraq---is now old news. Inside pages fare. Never mind that this is a textbook case of high treason, and should carry the requisite textbook punishment.
          There can be little doubt but that Rove’s “outing” of Plame was deliberate, and involved the entire White House, including Bush. It makes Watergate pipsqueak, and the Lewinsky and Whitewater witchhunts the greatest of national shames. The exposure of Plame, a weapons of mass destruction specialist(!), diminished the country’s defenses. Rove and company, in other words, played politics with your safety.
          Never mind.
          Boom goes London, as Randy Newman sang.
          Will the American sheeple, as a friend of mine puts it, wake up to the game? Or will they retreat again into fear and blind nationalism? We must continue to fight the war on terror, crows Bush. Better to say that we should start fighting the war on terror.
          For no matter one’s opinion about Iraq---whether it was the cover story of “liberating a people,” or to assert U.S. military might and threat in the general world, out of a combination of greed and crusade mentality---does anyone doubt that the Iraq invasion has not increased the threat of terrorism?
          As the bombs burst in subway air, Bush still trots out the line about meeting the terrorists abroad so we don’t have to fight them at home. One wonders how this language plays in Madrid, Chechnya, New York City, and now. . .London.
          Those places are home to lots of people.
          “The terrorists won’t win,” said Tony Blair after London Town was hobbled.
          Yet every time Blair and Bush and the world react to terrorism with bluster and military action, the terrorists win. Every time the “terror alert” is raised to “orange” in the U.S., and commuters in trains, buses, and airplanes sweat under the collar, the terrorists win. These are their desired goals. They are provocateurs.
          To repeat: does anyone imagine that continuing the war in Iraq will stop this?
Going to war with Iraq over 9/11 was like being punched by your neighbor, then taking an automatic weapon to the entire neighborhood. What was the stated objective in Iraq? Remember? It was to remove Saddam Hussein, and replace his government with a “democratic” one. This has happened. Bush can hoist the “Mission Accomplished” banner. Will the country devolve into anarchy and civil war? That’s up to “the Iraqi people.”
          Coming Soon! Tony Blair and George W. Bush in. . . “THEY HATE FREEDOM.” Yes, here comes the big relentless post-terror-attack PR campaign all over again. Call it “Little 9/11.” And if there are more terrorist hits this summer, well, that will be windfall profit for Bush-Blair bellicosity.
          With these guys, it's either that sort of saber-rattling or, when things are quiet, claims of progress in the “war on terror.” Progress? Looks to me like terrorists can hit pretty much anywhere, any time.
          But this is not war, this is crime.
          Crime is fought with investigation. There is almost no more preventing a suicide bomber determined to attack unsuspecting people than there is preventing the sun from rising. But the only way to have a chance at doing so is through investigation.       
          If the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the absurd, dishonest war in Iraq had been spent on identifying and neutralizing bad guys---or finding and killing the strangely elusive Osama Bin-Laden and his aides---maybe the London subways would be running this morning.
          If we directed energies against the root causes of terror---poverty, lack of education, brainwashing and indoctrination of poor young people in third world countries---that double-decker bus might have made its next stop.
          As long as our “leaders” continue to exploit fear and terror for domestic political purposes, nothing will be done about these root causes, and they will not even be discussed.
          But I’ve said this all before, as have droves of sensible columnists far better informed and far more articulate than me.
          I’m going back to bed.

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