Monday, January 30


I watched an HBO film tonight, Dirty War. The story is about a fictional Islamist bombing in London and the spread of the deadly radiation it released. The film begins with the British Minister of Homeland Security conducting an exercise testing the city's preparedness. When she reports glowing results, first responders are stunned and combative, insisting that the exercise was bunk, they weren't consulted, they haven't received half the equipment they are reported to, etc.

When the real crisis happens, the Minister is revealed to be completely out of her depth. The planning has been poor, and the whole thing just reeks of the aftermath of Katrina.

At the end, we are told that the area of London most affected will have to be abandoned for at least 30 years because of the radiation. Though they caught the bad guys, it is clear that more will arise to take their place. But the Minister declares that we won't stop until all the bad guys are wiped out.

All I could think was, it'll never happen. Not the way we're going about it. If the U.S. and the rest of the West don't wake up and realize that we have to address the causes of terrorist activity with the same zeal that we attack the terrorists, we'll end up with more 9/11's and many more, and more sophisticated, terrorists. And Bush has done his dead-level best to do precisely nothing about the proliferation of deadly weapons, in fact his rhetoric has exacerbated the spread of nuclear armament. We left caches of weapons unprotected in Iraq so that they are now missing. Who knows whose hands they are in now?

Yes, our feckless leader sure is making us safer. He's stretched the military to a thin green line, he's installed total incompetents in charge of some of the agencies most essential to our protection, and his demonstrated antipathy for planning has been evidenced throughout his reign, from the Iraq war through Katrina and now with the Medicare drug benefit debacle. I have absolutely no reason to be confident that our government has any comprehensive plan to deal with a serious terrorist attack whatever.

My final thought was, I wouldn't live in a major city for anything.

Then I remembered, I live in Dallas.

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