Tuesday, August 03, 2004

US terror alert becomes political football: "If anyone is wondering why terrorism, and especially attacks at home, should have been so fully hyped on such thin evidence, it's useful to consider the news cycle.

"Last week, John Kerry did a surprisingly good job of introducing himself to the nation as a plausible replacement for Bush. Last week, a devastating car bomb claimed the lives of 68 Iraqis, just as US Secretary of State Colin Powell was in country to deliver several absurdly optimistic speeches. Christian churches in Iraq have for the first time become the targets of terrorist attacks, in which eleven lives have so far been claimed. And the infamous Abu Ghraib Military Police unit has just returned Stateside to answer charges of torture.

"Not to put too fine a point on it, last week sucked for the Bush Administration. It's no wonder, then, that a multi-city security rain dance should be choreographed - no wonder that police in paramilitary jumpsuits and helmets and boots should appear on the streets and in the subways with fully automatic weapons. It's no wonder that streets should be closed to traffic and cars stopped at random. The rest of the news is just too depressing."

Or, as Jon Stewart put it on The Daily Show, "On the subject of the convention, most observers agreed last week that it brought a newly energized Democratic party, one focused on a common goal. With the Democratic party now in the spotlight, many people are wondering, ..., yes, ..., oh, this just in, TERROR WARNING! I guess we'll have to stop talking about the Democrats."

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