You Can Tell Me To Put On My Tinfoil Hat
I read this news story at msnbc.com with a wide range of emotions.
Fears Grow of Terrorist With 'American' Face.
Essentially the story discusses the fear that Al Quaeda has been training Westerners in part of Pakistan called Waziristan, where the Al Quaeda training camps are located, and that these Westerners, because they appear to be "American" will be more easily able to attack us.
My first thought - HOLY CRAP THIS IS TERRIFYING.
But, then, I had several questions, and a few moments of deep thought.
Question 1 - If we KNOW where the terrorist camps are located, why are they still THERE???? We are talking about the US government - a government that can find, oh, I don't know, tiny specs of ice on Mars (Spacemom correct me if I'm wrong), but, cannot find a terrorist training camp when we practically know its ADDRESS??? (Okay, please, nobody write me a novel about how we aren't invading Pakistan because of strategic foreign relations decisions because I'm not buying it. I realize Bush has said that Pakistan is "cooperating" in the "war on terror" - I think it's a bunch of hooey. If they were cooperating they wouldn't be hosting sleepaway-camp for a bunch of people who want to blow up a bunch of other people. Dollars to donuts, Bin Laden is hanging out in a cave in Pakistan RIGHT THIS SECOND and if we weren't so busy waging a war in Iraq and so busy NOT getting in Pakistan's face about WHERE BIN LADEN IS, and WHY THEY HAVE TERRORIST TRAINING CAMPS THERE, we might have caught him by how.)
Question 2 - What, exactly, is an "American" face? We're a pretty diverse nation as far as faces go. In my family alone (by which I mean my family plus aunts/uncles and cousins) we have such a mixture of races and ethnicities that we are practically our own little UN, but, we're all Americans. I'd be hard pressed to describe an "American face" - American dress, American accent, American mannerisms, typical American facial hair, sure. But, American face??? I mean, if they want to talk about "white" faces, why don't they just come out and say, "Fears Grow of a Caucasian Terrorist" - I mean, that's what they're really getting at, isn't it? (Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Al-Quada has a bunch of angry Sioux teenagers in Pakistan that it's been training, or a group of 20-something-Latinas from Phoenix that they've recruited, but, I don't think that's what this article is saying. I think this article is saying they have some pissed-off and disenfranchised white and black guys who appear to be American or European.)
Question 3 -
DOES THIS AUTHOR NOT FRIGGING REMEMBER APRIL 19, 1995 IN THE SAME TERRIFYING WAY THAT I DO?? Because, as I recall, that was pretty much the biggest terrorist act perpetrated on the United States until September 11, 2001, and WHO WAS THE TERRORIST?
A white American guy named Timothy McVeigh. (Allegedly acting only with another white American guy named Terry Nichols.)
My point is, we've already seen that an American/Westerner can perpetrate an act of terrorism here. We saw, and it scared the crap out of us, it changed our lives irrevocably (didn't it?), so, why are we surprised to hear that it might happen again?
Here is where y'all might tell me to pull out my tin-foil hat.
Despite our government's position that McVeigh and Nichols acted alone, I think Al Queda (or a prequel to Al Quada) was behind the Oklahoma City bombing too.
I have never believed McVeigh and Nichols acted alone. Never. Not from day one. Remember John Doe #2? Target of one of the largest manhunts in our nation's history, and then a few days later, HE DIDN'T EXIST?
I think the FBI decided he didn't exist because his existence meant a wider conspiracy was afoot.
I think all of Terry Nichols curious trips to the Philippines were for the purpose of meeting with terrorist operatives there. (McVeigh's defense attorney has a pretty strong argument for that in his book, "Others Unknown". ) (Make no mistake that I think that McVeigh and Nichols were/are guilty as sin - I just don't think they pulled it off on their own.)
I think that Al Queda has been recruiting Western operatives for more than a decade, and the OKC bombing was their first success.
Here is an article from the Arizona Daily Star and Wall Street Journal that pretty much sums up why I think this. (A caveat - I think it's highly unlikely that Jose Padilla was John Doe #2.)
Where am I going with this? I'm not entirely sure. I guess most importantly that it should NOT come as a surprise to us that a terrorist could look like any one of us, because IT ALREADY HAPPENED. And it shouldn't come as a surprise that terrorist operations in the middle east are interested in recruiting disgruntled Americans/Westerners to their cause, because that's already happened, too.
I'll just go make myself a pirate hat out of some Reynold's Wrap now.
Ta-ta for now,