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.")
In addition to heartwarming entries like the one on the pope's death – "Allah will throw him in hell" – a number of Siddique's diary entries suggest that it's not all sunshine and song for the Islamo-fascists these days. Day after day for six weeks, it was nothing but bad news for Siddique – except for the good news about the pope's death, Saul Bellow's death and the Prince of Monaco's death, all of which cheered him considerably.
After visiting his fellow jihadists in early March, Siddique reports that he received "bad news" – and something tells me it wasn't about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. He writes: "The relaxing place was done over" and "7-8 of the guys taken whilst asleep." He was told "guys need 2 make a move soon. Cant stik round."
A week later, he is informed by someone, probably not the Prince of Monaco, that "the situation is really bad" and he should "just sit tight & wait it out until things get a bit better." Oddly enough he is also a Mets fan, so this spring was an all-around bummer for Siddique.
A few weeks later, Siddique is vowing to make "an all out immense effort" to "rejoin my contingent." And then he was captured, too, along with his diary and phone numbers for other al-Qaida operatives and his co-religionists in Britain involved in the failed subway bombing. If you made a movie of this bumbling nincompoop's misadventures, you'd have to call it "Dude, Where's My Car Bomb?"
Siddique's diary entries refer to Iraq Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari as "the dog of the hell fire" and Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, as "Satan." That's not the talk of a winner! Siddique's future as a jihadist may be fading, but he has a good shot at writing speeches for Howard Dean. (He also describes Maya Angelou as "America's national treasure," so I guess some things are universal.)
Meanwhile, every time Americans get a gander at these lunatics ranting about the "Great Satan" and the "Zionist entity," we can't believe we're at war with such a comical enemy. No wonder they dream of an afterlife with 72 hot teenage girls. These guys are klutzes. Nerds. Dweebs. In the Las Vegas of life, they're at the convention center with the other "Star Trek" fans. Even in Pakistan, Siddique says he is "constantly laughed at & ridiculed."
Ahmed can't get a date, and now the rest of us have to suffer.
But you will notice, the jihadists are not pouring across the Syrian border to, say, Brooklyn Heights. They are running to Iraq, where they run smack dab into the glorious U.S. military.