Don’t worry, be very afraid |

Don’t worry, be very afraid

Daily Staff Writer

Bush regime tries to have it both ways with terror in campaign for re-electionMatt ZalaznickDaily City EditorAmericans are safer because of the war in Iraq, but a major terrorist attack on American soil is imminent. The message coming from the Bush administration is sly and sinister. And the political strategy is underhanded – and may even be working despite all the reports about manipulated and manicured intelligence. Here’s how it works: the victorious war president on the campaign trail reassures us we’re safe. We’ll vote for him. The creepy, and ultimately expendable, bureaucrats from Homeland Security and the Department of Justice freak the country out declaring terrorists are preparing to strike – so we can blame Tom Ridge, John Ashcroft and Robert Mueller if Broadway is bombed. Instead of rejecting this mixed, self-aggrandizing message in which the administration can brag about making us safe and scare us into submission at the same time, the electorate remains too confused to make a change in the White House in such beguiling times. And there’s a backup plan if this doesn’t work. If the polls indicate the voters are seeing through the dishonesty, the administration could probably use just the threat of terror to cancel the election, as has already been suggested by the newly seated “Elections Assistance Board.”The agency’s director, appointed by the president, has written a letter to Homeland Security and the Justice Department seeking the power to suspend the national election should there be a terrorist attack shortly before or on Election Day. Sounds reasonable, but the specter of a second Sept. 11 has been used powerfully, politically and deceitfully by the Bush regime to persuade some Americans that our way of life will be blown to bits without W., Dickey, Rummy, Condi, Wolfie and Scooter manipulating the color-coded alert system for us. Terror, and the trauma it creates, has become the administration’s mantra. Sept. 11 is their defense to all challenges. When arguing to send American soldiers to die Iraq, the administration spent much of its air time reminding us how sad we were on Sept. 11. The social zealots in the administration and Congress have even said covering up Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl exposure and blocking gay marriage are grave matters of national security. Americans bought it, even though we set up military bases in the “friendly” country that sent us the majority of the Sept. 11 hijackers. Some Americans are still buying it, even though – after sallying into Afghanistan to take on al-Qaida and the Taliban – Bush was apparently more worried about the guy who tried to kill his dad and protecting the less-than-freedom-loving way of life of the Saudi princes who help enrich his dad than the jihadists bent on massacring hundreds of thousands of more-secure Americans. Americans will pay for this fraudulence with their prestige and international support because the Bush regime has made America the morose, isolated middle-school bully of the world.What’s more, the disordered behavior of Bush and his cabal, should it entrench itself for another four years, will leave many more than the French perhaps believing America got what it deserved the next time al-Qaida or any of its offshoots attack.City Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or

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