When did death become "spectacular’? | VailDaily.com

When did death become "spectacular’?

“Thanketh thee, oh’ Great One On High,” replied the mustached man, secretly holding both hands behind his back with as many fingers crossed as physically possible.

And so began round 18 in a never-ending match of worldwide political wills.

Did anyone on this side of the Milky Way actually believe Saddam was going to say “no” to the U.N. resolution, thus setting into motion assured self-destruction?

He may be a dictatorial dolt, but he ain’t stupid.

Anyway, in less than three years, my oldest son, 15, will be legally bound to register for the draft. (His name is not, of course, “Fifteen.” But in the past his face has turned the color of Alabama’s Tide whenever his dad puts his name in the paper. So I will not mention the word – Chris – this time.)

I do not wish for him to go to war in 30 months or so, dodging rusty Allah-blessed bullets and lethal doses from Saddam’s armpits alongside thousands of other young American men.

But it is a possibility.

There also appears to be a strong possibility that “al Qaeda may be planning a spectacular terrorist attack against an American target with high symbolic value with the intention of damaging the U.S. economy, inflicting large-scale casualties and imposing maximum psychological trauma upon U.S. citizens.”

Whose idea was it to use the word “spectacular” here?

What CIA-FBI twit is so wrapped up in his cubicle-encased fact-finding mission that he chooses superlatives to describe the possible mass murder of thousands of U.S. citizens?

Packaged insensitivity like this would even make Charlton Heston blush.

I have some breaking news direct for those extremist nutcases involved and others who for whatever perverted reason wish they were. As opposed to your illiterate babblings captured from the Internet and elsewhere, the “chatter” that I have heard over the last 14 months leads me to the following conclusions concerning your latest round of threats:

1) Any terrorist attack on U.S. soil, whether it be the Washington Monument or Bill Clinton’s secret weekend mobile home for those special occasions, will be considered symbolic by all Americans. Don’t waste your time thinking you can shock us with creativity. Not anymore.

2) The U.S. economy was sliding downhill way before 9/11, and the cause was entirely self-inflicted. Quit trying to take credit for something you did not create. But realize this – even a well-placed nuclear device on Wall Street would not stop the continued worldwide flow of American goods and services. We’ve been there, we’ve done that, and we always bounce back.

3) Any American casualties more than one, whether it be Al Gore or an entire gaggle of Democrats, will be considered a large-scale loss (yes, this is a stretch, but you get the point). Don’t insult us, as you do your own, by twisting logic into an ugly knot by somehow justifying the slaughter of a child or the limb extraction of a rape victim. We are human beings; at times I’m honestly not sure if you are.

4) It would take the Second Coming of Allah to impose more psychological trauma upon U.S. citizens than already has been forced. Do not confuse generalized and forced acceptance of a situation with complacency. We Americans have learned from history that in spite of religious and/or political differences, life does indeed go on after a crisis. Yet down deep we never forget.

Believe me, our memories are much longer than your cause.

Your scare tactics of threats only strengthen our resolve. When you strike again – and we know you will – Americans will again be horrified and sickened. But American pride and resilience, along with an overriding concern for mankind, will survive.

Although there is no battlefront at the moment, Americans know when they are at war. Each time you draw a line in the sand, the winds of change blow it away while you scurry off into another cave, leaving a man-made trail of death and destruction behind.

Americans know this will not end with Iraq. Americans know the Axis of Evil is actually a giant wheel with spokes spread out in all directions. Americans know that merely a battle will have been won when Osama’s head is in a box. Americans know that this war will take years to win.

But Americans know that it will be won. Now that’s what I call spectacular.

Richard Carnes of Edwards can be reached at poor@vail.net

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