Twelve terror cells: Security and spin

Published 15 years ago -  - 15y ago 34

The latest CNN poll shows 55% to 60% of Americans favor President Bush’s handling of foreign affairs, less than that find his performance with the economy satisfactory.  Yet the president has far more control over foreign affairs than the spending activities of the people.

Apparently what has happened is that the Bush administration has succeeded in persuading the American public, most of whom get their news from major media in sound bites, that the war on terror (if such can be called a war) is real, it needs to be won (like the war on evil) and that it is possible. Further, the president has succeeded in convincing a large segment of the American people that while Osama bin Laden was the world’s nemesis in 2001, it is now Saddam Hussein.  Yet bin Laden is still credited (at this point of DC spin) with engineering the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, while hard evidence against Hussein as to any activities against America’s national security interests is somehow lacking.

In today’s world, perception is everything.  Americans always need a “face” attached to their perceptions of danger.  Osama’s face grew old and his whereabouts unknown (at least as far as the media and news services are saying) so there was a rather seamless switch in the continuing war against evil from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein, without a single further incident.

When trying to put this together, as an analyst of times, trends and events, it appeared to this writer that Americans are not thinking about the vulnerability of our infrastructure.  Somehow, I arrived at twelve terrorist cells that could take America apart.  Whether they are here, planning such moves, I have no way of knowing. My sources of information are the internet, the radio, occasionally the television, and the news files in my head. If only I did have some secret sources of information, but no such luck.  So here’s the take on the twelve hopefully imaginary terrorist cells (not many considering the number of mosques in the US and the number of illegal immigrants with or without current visas).

On a given, predetermined day and at a pre-set time, a day unlike any other occurs as twelve cells, averaging four persons each, goes to work.  This is what they do.

Cells one, two and three attack three major power grids in the United States, creating a domino effect, and effectively disrupt all communications and electric service.

Cells four, five, and six attack and render useless three major interstate highways:  the Interstate 40, the Interstate 10, and one North-South interstate of their choice (whichever one suits their purposes best).

Cells seven and eight  take out two major bridges (just so we’re all on the same map, let’s do the Golden Gate and the Brooklyn Bridge, we’ve all heard of them).

Cells nine and ten take out two major buildings, let’s say the Sears Tower in Chicago and the tallest structure in Houston or Dallas.

Cells eleven and twelve take out Hoover Dam and Grand Coulee.

American commerce is shut down, and rather than sitting around in the living room or the office watching one terrifying spectacle (over and over and over) like the Twin Towers attack, Americans can’t see much of anything. There’s no power.  Even battery radios will not help unless the stations are broadcasting on emergency bands from auxiliary power sources.  Since the regular staff of reporters probably cannot get to their stations, the military has to do the broadcasting.  That is, if there’s any military left in the US that isn’t currently in the Middle East to fight terrorism or evil.

Generators are in use at the hospitals and other emergency facilities but there aren’t enough medics and firefighters to get the paramedics to all the homes where folks are having cardiac arrest or mental breakdown. There will be no stores or pharmacies open. Schools are closed, churches inaccessible in many instances.

This … this is a paralyzed America.  Farmers cannot farm, animals go berserk and humans are in total shock and madness from a one-hour or two-hour  “bing, bang, boom” attack against a dozen key elements of the whole United States infrastructure.  No one can be certain what happened or how extensive it is because the news channels they have relied on for so long are not broadcasting or if they are, there’s no power at the receiving end.

So this is science fiction?  It might well be an overactive imagination if I thought this was about to happen, or that it could happen in such a coordinated way without the military and other defense facilities knowing a thing about it.  But the events of September 11, 2001 were “sci-fi” stuff until they occurred.  We don’t know what might happen.  We’re trusting in a war-driven administration to “save” us … but can they?

Do I have any inside information that such events are in the making?  Absolutely none.  This essay is simply to provoke the American people, who are impressed with the armadas leaving Norfolk,  to think about whether a “regime change” in Iraq, at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars, American and Iraqi lives could ever begin to stop a scenario such as the Twelve Terrorist Cells who coordinated their above-described activities in … oh, say … Casablanca!  Good a place as any (and one of my all-time favorite movies).

So little effort could destroy so much built up over decades.  It is time to wonder how much safer we will be if we effect a regime change in Iraq by an open war.  How much safer would we be if we did not?  On what is the president’s “approval rating” based? Is it just media-driven perception that military power will save the United States?  It was worthless on September 11, 2001.  Just why America’s defense gurus weren’t ready still isn’t quite clear.  The cold facts are, the attacks happened.  The attacks described above might not happen.  I’m not a terrorist, I don’t know any terrorists.  For all I know, while I’m typing this, some other nation may be priming us for a field of nice little mushroom clouds.

But effectively, were any such attacks to take place, America would be no more.  China or a combination of Russia and China might have to come and salvage what was left of the once-proud United States.

Approval ratings are based on perception more than fact, especially in times of war.  Our problem is, we still haven’t found the war, unless we make one.
Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”

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