I thought this was good reading and Charley gave me permission to Post it.
I was in line for airport security a couple of weeks ago. I looked down at my feet and
realized that, like half of those with me, I had on sandals and no socks. The sandals
would soon be coming off, and my bare feet would be walking across the same floor as
thousands of other bare feet that day. I started wondering how many of my predecessors
had athlete's foot or other communicable problems.
Suddenly, I had an epiphany: what if it was all part of an Osama bin Laden plot! What if we
were simply being distracted by yesterday's danger of hijacked airlines, while submitting
to today's danger of millions of new cases of athlete's foot? Imagine the consequences.
An American nation weakened, hobbling around on itchy, burning feet while mad
fundamentalists took over the world. Like a magician's unsuspecting rubes, we had been
looking in the wrong place while the evil mastermind had concocted a new danger to
strike us unawares.
As the days have passed, I have come to understand what a diabolical plan Al Qaeda has
set into motion. I mean, here we are, fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, spending a couple
of trillion dollars to fight a war we cannot win, sending hundreds of thousands of soldiers
and Marines to guard impossibly vulnerable pipelines and close permanently porous
borders. The scale of economic and human waste is staggering, of course, but I have
come to understand that the war itself is not even the point. What we are dealing with
here is a subtle plan to destroy our civilization while we don't even notice. It is much like
the magician's slight of hand, directing our attention elsewhere while he produces the
rabbit from the hat or the coin from behind our ear.
While we have been distracted by the war, Osama and his cohorts have been up to no
good. Consider the following:
When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda shipped all of America's manufacturing jobs to other
countries, leaving our nation like helpless pigs waiting for other nations to fill the trough.
When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda took all the resources out of our schools, leaving an
entire generation of children unprepared to make intelligent decisions, prey to
superstition and fundamentalism.
When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda gradually deprived our citizens of healthcare, leaving
us sick and weakened, ripe for an attack.
When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda made us buy enormous quantities of fashionable
trinkets (manufactured in other countries), putting us into impossible debt (often to
countries like China, which are loaning us the money).
When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda took the money from our infrastructure, so that soon
our bridges will collapse under our heavy S.U.V.s and our roads will fill with potholes. Al
Qaeda has been particularly successful in depriving us of the investments needed to
develop clean and sustainable energy self-reliance, so that we daily become more
dependent on the petroleum of other countries.
When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda tricked us into giving up our liberties and into relying
on methods like torture, which have in turn taught the countries of the world to fear and
When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda made our government corrupt and our citizens
mistrustful of that government.
When we weren't looking, Al Qaeda made us rely on mercenary armies, which have no
loyalty to our once-great nation.
In short, while we have been paying attention to the war, Al Qaeda has undermined every
single structure that once made our nation strong. We are now the biggest debtor country
of the world, living for the moment with no thought to the future, undereducated and
under-informed, susceptible to disease and panic, mistrusting ourselves and our elected
officials…a fruit ripe for the picking.
It is a sad state of affairs indeed, to finally understand that our civilization has been
dismantled behind our backs, even as we thought we were fighting terrorism. I think I
hear some cruel laughter from a cave in western Pakistan.
(This essay is cross-posted at http://www.mnblue.com/node/576