Scary stuff in the wee hours | VailDaily.com
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Scary stuff in the wee hours

During my periodic bouts with insomnia, I like to read magazines into the wee hours instead of doing something productive like finishing my version of the GAN (Great American Novel) or polishing the silverware.Last night’s light reading included two articles in two magazines that clearly show my leftist literary leanings Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair and I have to admit they scared the bejeesus out of me, snuffing all hope of ever sleeping again (at least for that night).The story in Rolling Stone was about the FBI manhunt for Tre Arrow, a formerly clean-cut college kid, son of a Realtor and an air-conditioning supply salesman in suburban Florida, who becomes fully radicalized and ended up burning things down for the Earth Liberation Front a name all too familiar to those of us in Vail. The plaintive quotes from Arrow’s dismayed parents made me wonder what my son will be doing 20 years from now and what power I’ll have to steer him down the “right” path.The story in Vanity Fair by Sebastian Junger explored the terrors of the Three Borders region of South America, an incestuous pool of al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, IRA and Aryan Nations terrorists basically operating as one big, hate-filled family in the steaming jungles where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet.Scary enough stuff on its own, but then Junger ended the article with a throw-away line about this melting pot of terrorists reaching out to recruit disillusioned middle-class Americans kids battling corporate greed in the name of eco-terrorism. My mind swung back to Arrow and what made him cross that forbidden line.After a few fitful hours of sleep, I staggered out into the cold, gray morning light in my bathrobe and grabbed my Denver Post. On the front page was a story about a poll by the Pew Research Center showing that America’s image around the globe has plummeted dramatically in the past two years, and not just in the Muslim world.Then I got to work and read a story by Bob Berwyn (see page 8) in my e-mail box about the Bush administration’s rollback of environmental laws and gutting of Forest Service planning regulations.Perhaps I need to start watching FOX News or listening to Rush on the radio, but all of these pieces of information converged when I sat down to write this column, forcing me to the frightful conclusion that not only are U.S. policies radicalizing the rest of the world against us, but they just may be galvanizing our own citizens to take up arms.


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