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Running scared since September 11

By Alan Caruba
web posted May 20, 2002

Osama bin Laden accomplished a great deal with his September 11 attack in 2001. His vicious surprise attack not only destroyed the Twin Towers and damaged the Pentagon at great loss of life, but he succeeded in slowing the US economy to a crawl. And he bragged about it!

The government recently reported that the unemployment rate shot up to its highest level in more than a seven and a half-year period. More than 134,000 jobs disappeared, but I don't need the government to tell me about economic indicators. I have my own.

I have a friend in Montana who has run a successful barbecue operation during the summer and fall months. He's had his hands full getting any insurance company to issue a standard liability policy. The insurance industry took a big hit. Now they are risk aversive.

I have a friend who is a top financial consultant with a leading brokerage firm where they have removed the office water coolers to save a few dollars. Another friend watched his business of twenty years go belly-up in part because he couldn't get his mail delivered in Washington, DC for weeks after the Anthrax scare.

The public relations industry, always a bellwether for business and industry, is experiencing serious losses as clients of every description hold back on promoting products and issues.

Finally, there are the new hours at Tiffany's in New York City. It used to be the store closed at 5PM with one night open until 7PM. Now Tiffany's is open every night until 7PM.

Americans are waiting for the next September 11. There are lots of good reasons to think it is coming. National security is a joke. In the months since September 11, the morons in the Immigration and Naturalization Service have issued more than 50,000 visas to people coming into the United States from nations identified as sponsors of terror. Getting into the US from either Canada or Mexico is just too easy.

On a recent "Sixty Minutes", they aired a segment that described how Canada, which shares the longest border with the US, has in effect no immigration policy whatever. This allows anyone to show up in Canada without a visa or any other documentation, claim refugee status, and immediately begin to receive welfare checks and many other generous benefits. Any terrorist can cross the border into the US with no more than a wave of the hand.

There are major concentrations of Muslims in places such as Jersey City and Paterson in New Jersey and Detroit, Michigan. There are suspected Islamic terrorist cells in Virginia and other States. The estimates of how many Arab-Americans there are in the US range from 2.8 million to the claim of six million by Muslim organizations. Okay, not all Muslims are al-Qaida, but which ones are and which are not? And which ones are loyal to the US first?

The Islamic schools to which some send their children are inculcating the same anti-Israel, anti-Semitic views that have the entire Middle East locked into the insane notion that tiny Israel must be destroyed. On another "Sixty Minutes" segment, interviews with some of these children revealed they think that suicide-murderers are "martyrs" and they would do the same thing if asked. Little wonder Muslim-Americans are looked upon these days with suspicion.

From a news item posted May 11th, "Now for the hard truth," CIA Deputy Director for Operation James Pavitt said. "Despite the best efforts of so much of the world, the next terrorist attack -- it's not a question of if, it's a question of when. The threat that we face today from global terrorism is real, it's immediate, and it is unlike any other we have faced before. I say this from 30 years of experience in an intelligence function."

The anticipation of the next act of terrorism is thwarting an economic rebound. Every day, a million separate decisions not to make an investment, undertake an expansion or take a trip are occurring. Wall Street has seen the Dow Jones dip below 10,000. If bin Laden is alive, he is surely celebrating. Even if he is dead, his minions are no doubt plotting yet another assault upon this nation.

Americans are scared and scared people make bad choices. We need to gird up our courage and our determination to defeat the worldwide Islamic Jihad. One solution-the best one--is to take the fight directly to the enemy. This is why we went to Afghanistan and this is why we must do the same with Iraq.

Americans, who want everything over and done in hurry, would be wise to learn the lessons of history. After the defeat of Japan in WWII, an effort of four years, we managed that nation's affairs for seven years in order to effect the changes from which a modern Japan emerged. We must be prepared to do that in Iraq and to bring about similar change throughout the Middle East.

With 1.3 billion adherents worldwide and an estimated 10 per cent to 15 per cent (100 to 150 million) who support the Islamic Jihad, this war on Western civilization, on the modern world, poses a great danger to the future of freedom and progress. It must be defeated.

Alan Caruba is the author of "A Pocket Guide to Militant Islam", available from www.anxietycenter.com, where his weekly column, "Warning Signs", is posted. (c) Alan Caruba, 2002.

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