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Dash of Pepper

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Tomorrow morning - 9/11 jitters
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
I have written past columns on anniversaries of September 11th, 2001 but this particular anniversary finds me more than a little nervous.
Partly, this is due to the year - 2007 - because I've read that the number "7" has particular significance in the Muslim religion. Added to this, is the reappearance of bin Laden on video. His rambling rant included American domestic issues, even including the sub-prime mortgage mess and his disappointment with the Democrat congress not proving able to get President Bush to quit Iraq. Parts of it sounded like a Democrat stump speech. Nice to know whose side he's on.
He followed this with some old video testimony by one of the 9/11 hijackers - creepy and unnerving but a tactic al Qaeda has done before.
A week or so ago, a very nasty event was nipped in the bud over in Germany, an event designed to include an attack on our big base at Ramstein.
I'm writing this on September 10th. Providing nothing happens tomorrow, there will have been no terrorist act successfully committed on U.S. soil for six years.
As the President has often said, we have to be right 100 percent of the time and the terrorists only need to be right once. But, if in America there has been no terrorism, it puts the "war on terror" in a strange place.
Americans go through enhanced security measures at subway stations, in airports and boarding cruise ships. However, everyday life cruises on, business gets done and the normality of it all produces complacency. My favorite columnist Mark Steyn remarked recently, "It's a curious paradox: airports on permanent Orange Alert, and a citizenry on permanent ... well, I'm not sure there's a homeland security color code for "Gaily Insouciant." The economy, sub-prime lenders not included, rolls along. Consumers keep consuming and insouciant indeed seems to describe the demeanor of the average American.
On the political scene, things are not so pretty. Today, as I write, readers of the venerable New York Times are being treated to a full page ad with a photo of General David Petraeus. The caption, in bold font, below the photo, reads, "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" The ad was paid for by a left wing organization, MoveOn.Org. My sources say funding for this group comes largely from a firm called Fenton Communications, which it is rumored is backed by George Soros, an international financier who is known to despise the Bush administration.
One Democrat senator told a press source that they won't call Gen. Petraeus a "liar" on national TV. The senator said groups such as MoveOn would "do that for us."
That, sadly, is the level our political discourse has sunk to - a fine American can have his honor and integrity impugned with impunity even while our soldiers are fighting in the field!
As I write, we are an hour away from the General's report to Congress. I wonder if the left-wing senators will have the guts to attack him on camera. Probably not. It's likely that some of them remember what happened when a panel of windbags on the hill went after a young U.S. Marine by the name of Oliver North. Public opinion swung angrily against them.
The events of 9/11 fade into memory. We gossip about the next reality TV show, the latest out-of-control celebrity, and a football player allegedly involved in dog fights.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the mountains of Pakistan ...
Copyright©2007SheilahPepper
Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 15:45  

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