Thursday, July 19, 2007
As I listened to the news reports about the steam pipe explosion in Manhattan yesterday, I couldn't help but see how the nation has changed since September 2001, mostly for the worse.
The reports mentioned panic amongst the crowd at Grand Central, and one person dying of a heart attack. Two dozen others were injured as they ran from the area. There were reports of people screaming and running for their lives after the blast. And I just thought to myself, what has this nation become? The terrorists- with help from the White House- have turned half of us into zombies and the other half into nervous wrecks. Fear has gripped the country. And politicians, especially the thugs in the Bush Administration, have even used fear to manipulate the American people, particularly voters. I will never forget Richard the Dick Cheney's comments to voters in 2004 during a Republi-con campaign rally where he essentially told the American people (in a speech that was reported nationally) that if they voted for the Democratic candidate (John Kerry), terrorists would strike. What we saw yesterday in Manhattan were remnants of that kind of fear mongering.
What happened to Americas "Can Do" spirit? Yeah.... I know that this kind of thing often has to come from good leadership at the top that we don't have in the White House right now....but Americans should still have this spirit. This country has been through some serious trials.... The Revolutionary War, Slavery, The Civil War, The Great Depression, A Flu Pandemic, Pearl Harbor, WWII, Korea, The Mighty Soviet Union, The Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam and the Turbulent 60's, The 70's Oil Crisis, and now we are cowering because of Al Qaeda and a dumb ass of a President....a figurehead President at that, who couldn't think his way out of a paper bag? Oh please! The solutions & remedies for dealing with Al Qaeda are available....but are purposely not being utilized.
Now I admit that I am one of those people who has been extremely concerned about terrorism and I am also one of those people who said that those who always mention that 9/11 has put us in a constant state of fear were exaggerating. But now I see that they just may have a point afterall. What happened yesterday took the cake. And this all comes on the heels of Michael Chertoff (The Good Judge....who has no security experience) mentioning in an ominous report that Al Qaeda may strike sometime during the Summer.....obviously putting folks on edge.
Yes.... let's be concerned about terrorism....(and if the White House was really concerned...they would do something meaningful to establish some semblance of Security here at home)... but let's maintain our sanity. We have allowed the Bush Administration & terrorists to use fear to control us.
We need leadership in the White House that will encourage the nation to be strong...and stand up & tackle the threats we face....and tell us how to be prepared, instead of playing on our fears. The Brits have been stoic in the face of the terror threat. Why can't we do the same? Leaders like George Washington, FDR, Lincoln, Reagan, Kennedy, Britains Churchill, and many others, all seemed to be able to do this pretty well. What is annoying is the fact that none of the current Presidential candidates seems to be of that mold...with the kind of strong steady hand and ability to be a father figure to a nation like the leaders above. The current crop of candidates is not even close to that... pretty pathetic IMO. The man who could fill that role (John Kerry) is not running.
Now will we be attacked again. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be hit again, and again...especially with the kinds of holes that exist in U.S. security at all levels. But should we panic at the sound of every pop, or boom....panic with every power outage, panic with every Emergency Alert that comes on the radio or TV (guilty of this myself)... of course not. What we need more of is planning in the event that an attack does occur, so that we can be ready. But the White House has not only dropped the ball on preventative measures...but it has also dropped the ball on planning and preparation for any new attacks or natural disasters that we know will occur. This kind of rampant incompetence scares me more than the terrorist threat itself.
By the way, Steam pipe explosions in New York are not uncommon. New York has an extensive Steam system. Major explosions have occurred over the years, including relatively recent events in 1989, 1992, and 2001....some with casualties.
This event says 2 things.... we are overburdened with fear....that's one, and the other is that our nations infrastructure has been and continues to be neglected. Again.... a problem with leadership at the top. We are wasting $8-10 Billion a month (a total of almost half a trillion dollars) on a senseless war in Iraq (ironically in a fruitless attempt to rebuild their infrastructure), but we can't repair our own cities? We have major levees that need to be built or repaired, bridges that are falling apart, water plants that need to be repaired and protected, new rail lines, new roads and schools, better hospitals (and more of them), a new electrical grid, more refinery capacity, and more.... Now we are hearing that the FDA is closing facilities while only 1% of imported food is actually inspected. What's going on America????
It's enough to give me a headache.
Posted by Brian at 5:27 AM