It's been 28 months since 9-11 and there still hasn't been another al-Qaeda attack in this country -- yet. For this I'm grateful but astonished. Perhaps the Bush administration has protected us after all. We'll never know.
America's borders are long and unprotected, porous as tissue; our airspace is wild and blue and tempting with targets, our airports are spangled with security, but it all means nothing since a credit card torn in half can slit a throat as efficiently as a knife.
Big deal, in a way. I have every confidence that any random planeload of people is today loaded with heroes who would willingly and immediately stand and fight. It happened over Pennsylvania on 9/11 and it's happened on every problem flight since. Sometimes this is helpful, othertimes not, such as that unruly drunk who was squashed to death by a well-meaning group of fellow passengers. Whoopsie.
It has occurred to me several times that probably the best time to attack a country is when its military is on the other side of the world.
I've often wondered whether the president's obsession with Iraq was coming at the expense of national security, of homeland security, social security and job security besides his own. Because these issues really need attention.
I don't feel safe. I never really did. Those are my issues, and I own them. The rest of you I can't speak for. Now, after leafing through a pile of Richard Clarke's Polaroids, I don't trust these people anymore, not that I ever did, especially since their bar-the-door Nixonian response. Separation of powers they scream.
Jesus! People died in this horrible event. It was our nightmare, our shared terror, that thing in the closet that took away our certainty of the way things would be; al Qaeda was the enemy and even worse still is, but the terror is in the fact that our country has been hijacked by a malign cabal of Reaganite extremists who have purchased their power by sharing what's not theirs to give with people who can install anything. The American people have become these people's installers.
Trust this nest of bullies, this gang of thieves? These are way weird people. Rumsfeld? Rice? Ashcroft? Way weird. No confidence.
The only people I trust in this country to save us from direct attack would be, first off, our military, if they were home, and if they weren't, well, maybe that's why the framers called for that second amendment. You put all those guns together, you got one hell of a civilian militia. There'd be no beating the home team, just like we learned in the American Revolution, and again in Vietnam, and if we're not careful, pretty soon in Iraq.
Guns are not my specialty. I'm not a big advocate. I enjoy exploding into mist a 12-pack of Dr. Pepper with a .357 Magnum as much as any other American. It's just that, for me, having one around the house would be like having a new camera. I'd want to shoot everything. I would.
I'm hoping, in the event that a civilian militia is ever required, that my shrugging shoulders and empty hands will convey to my passing neighbors that I'm unarmed and therefore unable to participate this time, but should anyone care to spare me, I'll have plenty of chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven along with several hot pots of coffee which, when thrown, explode into second- and third-degree burns over 60% of a typical victim's body.
I don't know if the second amendment covers my coffee, but I do know this: I feel safer. And perkier.
And curious. Where's John Ashcroft? He's been completely out of the news since March 5 when he went into the hospital for gallstone pancreatitis.