15 September 2003

Two years later, are we any safer?

Most important, terrorism will persist until the Palestinian conflict is settled, but the administration's belated and lackadaisical 'Road Map for Peace' has failed.

Finally, the Iraq war, which is supposed to be part of the war on terrorism, has created more terrorists. The 'neo-conservative' intellectuals around the vice president and the secretary of defense argued that al-Qaida had infiltrated Iraq. The Bush administration has persuaded 70 percent of the American people that Saddam was personally involved in the World Trade Center bombing, though there is not a shred of evidence to support this allegation. However, there are now hundreds, perhaps thousands of new terrorists, whether al-Qaida or not, emerging in Iraq because of the war. How long will it be before some of them come to America? When the president claims that the war in Iraq is essential to the war on terrorism, he deceives. The war, which may well be endless, has not made Americans safer, but rather put them in greater danger.

The government has therefore done very little to deal with the threat of international terrorism other than to insist on those metal doors on airplane cockpits. The rest has been spin. The country is not safer now than it was two years ago, despite all the money that has been spent. National security ought to be a major issue in the next election. The claim of the Bush administration that it has dealt effectively with the threat ought to be exposed to the full light of day where the spin doctors can no longer hide the truth.

Far be it from me to suggest that the Bush administration is addicted to spin and not much else.

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