Vol. 13, No. 3,243 - The American Reporter - September 5, 2007

Market Mover

by Mark Scheinbaum
American Reporter Correspondent
Boca Raton, Fla.

Printable version of this story

BOCA RATON, FL (3 Aug 04)--The Washington Post, New York Times, and some of my old colleagues from the loose knit UPI alumni club, are wondering whether the latest elections season "terror alert" is a case of a President or an administration who cried "Wolf."

One would hope to believe cash-strapped ("I just can't send kids to college on $175,000 per year") Fatherland security chief Tom Ridge is telling the truth. One hopes this is all nonpolitical. One hopes that threats detected three and four years ago, are truly reinforced by new material. But the track record does not bode well for the current administration. When politicians and their mouthpieces shout "Wolf" (Blitzer or otherwise) there is a growing percentage of the public which will either totally ignore the warning, or wonder if the warning is an attempt to rally polling results around the GOP flag. Personally, I tend to believe that an old laptop computer, found recently, with old plans and threats in its files, is a pretty good reason to remind the nation--including Wall Street--that we are at war. Well, maybe "we" are not at war, but people are at war against us. If the United States had really been at "war" the past three years, the national security protocol would have been one of preserve, conserve, and reserve, valuable assets (such as oil) and wealth instead of "Get thee to a local Mall and watch us tax and spend, spend and tax, reduce taxes on our biggest contributors, and grow the national debt." Here's my bottom line, after crisscrossing this fair land four or five times in recent months.

Can the elevated terror threat be real when:

  • Soldiers on leave from the "battlefield" are told to pay their own airfare home....and back to the "war?"
  • Any legal or illegal alien can walk into any convenience store and wire money to friends and relatives anywhere in the world, with little or no security controls?
  • No serious multinational controls have been placed on Mexico to monitor persons going INTO Mexico. That's right, criminals going into Mexico and then joining thousands of others who sneak into the U.S.?
  • The level of literacy, verbal skill, mental and physical agility, and direct government supervision of security personnel at ports and airports is a joke?
  • The State Department maintains diplomatic ties with Syria and other countries whose borders are staging areas for those who want to kill U.S. troops?
  • In declaring de facto "victory" in Afghanistan, Washington looks the other way as illegal opium production--banned under the Taliban--enjoys a resurgence in financial importance?
  • U.S. fighting men and women are denied (by Congress by a razor thin margin) proper housing benefits, living wages, realistic death and disability benefits, and safety nets to protect their small businesses when they are called up for a year or two from the Reserves or National Guard?
  • High-ranking government officials are still taking vacations and leave time, and members of Congress are still taking their summer junkets and campaign trips?
  • Two members of the U.S. Senate and the President of the United States are riding luxury land yachts to drum up votes in Ohio instead of urging a special session of Congress to deal with the so-called "war?"

And finally, how can we be at war when officials reveal our counter-terrorist plans and alerts to the public in news conferences? In real wars, and in nations which are in perpetual war such as Israel, police agencies quietly and efficiently do their work without unduly alarming the public. In contrast, Gov. Ridge, his staff, White House spokesmen, and apologists for the current regime, indicate, 'Well, could you imagine the scandal if we got wind of some trouble, did not announce it to the public, and then we were hit by an attack, and our critics complained that we didn't warn people?" Translation: we can't allow the opposition party to benefit from a new attack, so it's better to scare everyone whenever possible.

Former UPI newsman, syndicated radio talk host and political scientist Mark Scheinbaum has contributed to the American Reporter from Bosnia, Panama and points East and West since 1999. He is based in Boca Raton, Fla.

Copyright 2007 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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