Here’s another mortal threat |

Here’s another mortal threat

Matt Zalaznick

We’ve stopped looking for the weapons of mass destruction that weren’t in Iraq. We couldn’t find them because we were looking in the wrong country. The bigger, scarier bombs – the ones already in the hands of or at most risk of getting into the hands of death-crazed fanatical freedom-hating evildoers – are in Pakistan (our ally), Iran, North Korea and who knows in what other countries about which we don’t quite have “actionable intelligence.”But how sending Americans troops to die and kill Iraqis under false pretenses isn’t a scandal 100 times worse than Watergate or Monica Lewinsky proves the Republicans really are in charge. How the man who started this round of death and destruction got re-elected – rather than impeached, sent home to Texas or tried as a war criminal – shows Americans aren’t quite finished with their post-Sept. 11 ass-whuppin’ binge. Uncle Sam wants to keep the macho bloodthirst pumping until the next attack, so we don’t feel as vulnerable and sucker-punched as we did last time. We’ve not only got to keep our dukes up, but keep them pummeling somebody, anybody, even if they were, like Saddam and the heads of the CIA and the FBI, otherwise occupied on Sept. 11. But while the families of American troops are grieving lost children, down-armored soldiers can’t eat lunch safely and Iraqi police are getting blown to bits in droves, W. and Dicky achieved exactly what they wanted – not democracy in the Arab world, but a stranglehold on democracy in the Free World. They manufactured a crisis that scared Americans out of their wits and did something about it without actually doing anything about. They invented a mortal enemy, dropped bombs and Marines, and the mortal enemy is still around, except now this enemy’s actually murdering Americans. In some countries, this would cause a coup. But in 21st century America, it’s an enormous and successful campaign ad. One question is can W. keep the war going until 2008 so Rudi and Dr. Frist can use it in their runs for the White House. Another question is what mortal crisis is next? Social Security reform won’t cause as many casualties, but it could cause a similar level of economic mayhem. There are many economists out there who don’t think Social Security is doomed. There are many economists who think tinkering, rather than a massive overhaul, is what’s needed to keep Social Security going. The are economists who think maybe Congress (Democrats included) should stop looting Social Security as if it were some museum of Iraqi antiquities. And there are economists who think a rabid wing of the Republican Party is purposely trying to bankrupt the government so, while pouring trillions into things like missile defense, it can no longer afford all those wimpy social programs – such as sending aid to regions devastated by tsunamis. City Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or mzalaznick@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado

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