Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Swirling Waters

Last night, I bit the bullet and watched "United 93".

There's an idiot on the right wing named Michael Fumento, who claims liberals "split a gut laughing when those Twin Towers fell." I imagine my good friend Mike McGinn probably still busts a gut thinking about how his brother Billy was trapped in the Towers. Bet he laughs so hard he cries (follow that link, Fumento, you sleazy pandering right-wing jerkwad. I dare you to have the courage).

So naturally, as a die-hard liberal, I expected a comedy.

I mean, jeez, I only avoided watching this film for the better part of a year because I wasn't sure I was ready to see it, what with sucking in asbestos dust and body parts for weeks, and seeing daily reminders...the still-chained bicycles, the plume of smoke and ash, the "MISSING" posters, the lack of those two gleaming towers...all over town.

I was pretty surprised that a movie about such tragic events that I've relived over and over in my head and in my dreams (and on TV) was so riveting and thrilling. Yes, it was a bit cardboardish and cartoonish, to be expected since we will never know precisely what happened on that flight, but still, the film was good enough that I felt part of the action, part of the narrative, and ultimately, part of the devastation of lives around the country.

OK, I wrote all that as a preface to this:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An American Airlines flight was diverted to New York early on Thursday after the crew reported a suspicious passenger in what the U.S. homeland security chief later said may have been a misunderstanding.
Aside from the eerie coincidence of having finally watched United 93 the night before another "concern," I note that, finally, someone got the story out quickly:
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told CNN he had received a report the man in question was an employee who was traveling in a private capacity.

"It may very well turn out that this is nothing more than a misunderstanding with an employee who used an employee bus to get on a plane for a private flight," Chertoff said.
My point is, this nation is terrified, and Al Qaeda has done its work without lifting a finger towards the United States. Even Chertoff himself has said he has a gut feeling there's going to be a terror attack this summer, even if both the White House and he took great pains these past two days to back away from that questionable statement. A little.

I look around the city and, to put it in Fumento-logic, I see myriad reasons to be lighthearted and joyful. Streets blocked off for no apparent reason, large dump trucks filled with sand lurking suspiciously by on-ramps for bridges and tunnels, and cops armed with semi-automatic rifles.

Oh joy! I haven't laughed this much since The Red Skelton Show!

And why is this country suddenly walking around on eggshells? Could it be that this administration, bolstered heavily by numbnut knownothings like the aforementioned (Butt)Fume-nto, have created a Chicken Little atmosphere where legitimate concerns about Al Qaeda cells become not the lead story of the news cycle, but buried behind the front page on someone's blog?

And the Fumentos of the world laugh a cynical laugh at me, and call me a traitor?

Bush has failed, failed horribly, to protect us from future terror attacks. About all we can say to his credit is that they may not happen on his watch, since he's desperately trying to run out the clock, and knows if they do, he'll be exposed to even the sliver of the percentage pie, like the Michael Fumentos of the world, who still believe in him.

A sliver, I note, that is smaller than the sliver that believe Barry Bonds doesn't use steroids. A sliver smaller than the percentage of American adults who believe in the tooth fairy. A sliver far smaller than the percentage of American adults who don't believe in evolution (which means Bush can't even con the abjectly stupid anymore, and holds on tightly to the hydrocephalic moron vote like a life raft).

The ultimate repudiation for history will come when Al Qaeda attacks the US once again, inside the US, and immistakably despite the half-hearted efforts of the Bush administration to, you know, protect the people. That will, I'm afraid, be Bush's legacy for the rest of eternity, and may he burn in hell when his time comes, subject to the sexual predations of every Muslim who died believing in the 72 virgins.