Since the London bombings, there has been a palpable feeling in the air here in the U.S. that another terrorist attack is imminent. Maybe not as bad as 9-11, perhaps a train or subway bombing. Or maybe it will be something worse. There were fevered rumors circulating over the last few weeks about massive attacks on New York and Washington scheduled for Aug. 6 and 9, to mark the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
But now Aug. 6 and 9 have come and gone. More significantly, 47 months have come and gone since 9-11 without a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil. The closest thing we had to a major bombing was the new Pauly Shore show on TBS.
Even if the next attack comes tomorrow, it is worth pondering that we've gone 47 months without the savages being able to mount another terrorist attack in a country virtually designed for terrorist attacks, a country where we search the purses of little old ladies so that recent immigrants from Saudi Arabia named "Mohammed" wearing massive backpacks don't get singled out.
But instead of news stories about how we must be doing something right in the war on terror, we're being carpet-bombed with news stories about how Bush doesn't have a "plan," the war was based on "lies," we're losing the war, the redcoats are coming!
As Republicans were saying repeatedly – captured on Lexis-Nexis for a year before it showed up in a Frank Luntz talking-points memo in 2004 – the savages have declared war, and it's far preferable to fight them in the streets of Baghdad than in the streets of New York (where the residents would immediately surrender). That strategy appears to be working. Then again, maybe it's just that it's so damnably hard to find parking in New York ...
Two weeks ago, Gen. Jack Keane, a former deputy chief of staff for the Army, said our forces in Iraq have killed or arrested more than 50,000 insurgents in the past six or seven months. It appears the majority of those were captured and released, but that may be good enough.
Consider the intriguing diary entries of British jihadist Zeeshan Siddique, reported in the New York Times this Monday (somewhat less prominently than the 4 billion front-page stories on Abu Ghraib). Siddique was captured last April in Pakistan by that country's security forces. His diary is a sort of Plan-a-Jihad journal, much like California seventh-graders were required to write in 2002. (There's also talk of publishing his diary under the title "Hello, Allah? It's Me, Siddique.")