April 21, 2004

we would have dozed through the news reports...

CTV News: The Sun newspaper reported Tuesday that the suspects planned to set off bombs during a match between Manchester United and Liverpool this weekend -- one of the biggest games in the English soccer calendar. 

The paper quoted an unnamed police source as saying the suspects had bought tickets for seats in the 67,000-capacity Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium.

The arrests reportedly made after months of surveillance and eavesdropping on cell phone calls, the paper said....

...Britons have been especially wary of a terror attack since last month, when police arrested  nine men and seized more than half a ton of potentially explosive fertilizer in raids throughout London...

That a number of plots have been foiled recently is good news, and also evidence that the WOT is not being neglected. (And I'm sure a lot goes on that isn't publicized. I've heard rumors of us fingering Al Qaeda leaders in obscure places and then sending Jordanians in to kill them. I hope it's true, but imagine how the old grandmas would shriek if we publicized it!)

But what I'm thinking about is the thin ice that guys like Kerry are skating on [Cliché! --I.C. So suggest something better --JW] . Implicit in their endless carping, though they haven't the nerve to say it outright, is the idea that we are not really quite quite at war. Maybe a limited war against Al Quada, And that if Bush hadn't stirred the hornet's nest, things would be almost "normal."

But suppose the recent plot in Jordan had succeeded? 20,000 dead in Amman was the estimate. With poison gas from Syria—presumably originally from Iraq. It would be hard to ignore. Who's going to look wise? Bush, who's offered us a long and difficult struggle, and promised to see it through? Or Kerry, who's offering...well, I'm not sure what he's offering, but it doesn't seem to be blood, sweat, toil and tears....(thanks to Alan for the links.)

And the lack of popular excitement about the attacks that didn't happen was on my mind when I read this:

... But if that had happened, guess what? Even if the government announced, "Major Terrorist Threat Blocked by Quick Action," we would have dozed through the news reports, wouldn't we?

And the civil libertarians would have kept the courts tied up for years, because of course the government had no right to spy on the airline ticketing system and so they "shouldn't" have found any information about ticket purchases by anyone...

Posted by John Weidner at April 21, 2004 9:07 PM
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