...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

September 21, 2006

Another Warning From AQ

Perhaps many of you have seen the Abu Dawood interview transcript that's been making the rounds. If not, here it is.

It's pretty scary stuff. Dawood is supposedly some sort of al Qaeda bigwig, and he says American moslems should leave the country immediately. He also says that al Qaeda has already smuggled "deadly materials" across the Mexican border and that they can attack anytime.

I'm not convinced of this transcript's authenticity. It's supposed to have been done in person, but it reads like a written interview with short questions and long prepared answers.

Assuming arguendo that the transcript is legitimate, a couple of things come to mind. If the "deadly materials" were smuggled across the Mexican border, that suggests to me that a likely target is the West Coast, probably Los Angeles. That scares me a lot because my family lives there. I don't see the terrorists attacking anything except on the coasts. They can blend in easier in populated blue state areas than they can in say, Texas. Transporting the "material" from Tijuana to L.A. is a lot less risky than going from Nuevo Laredo to D.C. And if they want to top 9/11, they'll need to attack a major city that holds some symbolic value.

Secondly, if a big attack occurs, the Democrats won't look quite so dumb for having insisted that Iraq was a distraction and we should have been concentrating on finding Bin Laden. Just being honest here.

Thirdly, I have heard more than once from people I know, that if a major attack occurs, it will be open season on anyone with linen on their head. I think we're in for some serious backlash if there's another attack, as the interviewer acknowledes in the transcript.

I don't know about you, but I've noticed a vague sense of anger and dread rising in this country since about mid summer. I don't see it in my personal day-to-day life, but I do hear it on the radio, on tv and in blogs. I think left and right have been banging away at each other for five years and nobody's winning the debate. We're all sick of arguing and we're just waiting for some event to happen that will prove one side or the other right.

The string of foiled attacks this summer added to the feeling I'm talking about. So did the Lebanon crisis. And the Iran stalemate. And Chavez yesterday. The impending election is also a factor, though I don't think the results will change the national mood, no matter who wins. If there is a big attack on our soil before the year is out, I really think things will get ugly — much uglier than I can even imagine.

Sure, I know that there are lots of dedicated folks out there trying to detect and stop anything bad from happening. And they've been successful so far. But I also worry because it seems like it would be so easy for the terrorists to do something if they really tried. Anytime we catch somebody it seems like we got lucky. But just using my own imagination, I can think of dozens of ways they could carry out an attack without us ever catching them.

So I guess the message is pray, have an emergency kit ready, and don't fly during Ramadan (which starts two days from now).

Update: Peggy Noonan senses the dire mood too.

But the temperature of the world is very high, and maybe we're not stuck in a continuum but barreling down a dark corridor. The problem with heated words now is that it's not the old world anymore. In the old world, incompetent governments dragged cannons through the mud to set up a ragged front. Now every nut and nation wants, has or is trying to develop nukes.

Posted by annika, Sep. 21, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: annikapunditry


With our long borders and freedom of movement, I'm frankly surprised we have avoided being hit again. You are right, I think, that we have been very, very lucky. It's definitely not "if," it's "when." Fucking sucks.

Posted by: blu on Sep. 21, 2006

As we near the November elections, everything is seen through the prism of the elections and the potential results.

The Democrats have gone from gleeful exhilaration to existential dread of what is going to happen. They were so sure they were going to win the House and maybe even the Senate; it now looks like a toss up for the status quo, with the trend toward the Republicans.

If the Republicans win this one, lots of old, safe seat Dems will be retiring, thus creating even worse scenarios for them in the next Presidential elections. They are in real danger of becomming the permanent minority for a long, long time, and they know it.

Thus, those of us who stand with the Republican Party as the party best suited to lead us in this time of near permanent warfare, should be sure to vote, donate and work as hard as we can to save this Republic from the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Howard Dean and especially Herself, the Senator from New York.

Posted by: shelly on Sep. 22, 2006

Jeez, must be that time of the month. Hell there's an upside to everything. Pop a nuke in LA, and California is an instant red state. Pelosi, Boxer, and that fat cunt from San Francisco are all swinging from lamp posts. Of course I'm always running in Buck Turgidson mode. I hope they know that they're going to have to answer to the Coca-Cola Bottling Company for this.

Posted by: Casca on Sep. 22, 2006

You think another attack (God forbid) helps Reps politically? I was trying to think that scenario through and could see it going either way. Curious about your thought process. It's kinda of a sick topic to discuss, but the reality is that it could happen, and I'm curious about the political implications.

Posted by: blu on Sep. 22, 2006

Annika, I'm with you on this one - I agree that whoever wins this coming November, things mood-wise won't change.

I discussed this post with my boyfriend and the transcript you linked to; he seems to think LA would be the ideal target too.

Oh and the serious backlash you mention -- I've heard it here a lot too. I mean, A LOT.

Posted by: Amy Bo Bamy on Sep. 22, 2006

After re-reading that, I realize that "ideal target" sounds...bad. Okay, all of this sounds bad however you slice it. Anyways...

Posted by: Amy Bo Bamy on Sep. 22, 2006

Children, children, lighten up. Blu, my comments are usually tongue-in-cheek, but what I've articulated would be the outcome if the strike is bad enough. Amy, quit hand-wringing. We're doing what we can do now. Ultimately, another blow by the bad guys doesn't equal power for the Demoncrats. What will happen is a focusing of our resolve as a nation. As that green fellow used to calmly say, "Don't make me angry. You won't like me when I'm angry."

Posted by: Casca on Sep. 22, 2006

I can't find that interview on any reputable news sites; the only ones carrying it seem to be affiliated with the National Enquirer and/or blackhelicopters.com. If the interview's real, I'm not inclined to believe a word of it. No matter how good you think your OPSEC is, you just don't tip your hand like that.

Not that that goes to any of your other points. We will get hit again. Eventually we'll get nuked. It's only a matter of time. This isn't the kind of war that can be "won" in any conventional sense -- by either side.

Posted by: Matt on Sep. 22, 2006

A successful terror attack, here, would also lend even more credence to the conservative "Big Government sucks at pretty much everything" meme.

National Review's resident war contrarian says don't worry about the Muzzies....much.


Posted by: reagan80 on Sep. 22, 2006

I'm not that worried, really. I think that we are strong enough to go on, no matter what happens. As a wise man once said, "Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? NO!"

If something big happens, I think Casca is right, we'll really get angry. And angry probably means full mobilization - something we haven't seen since WWII. I'd say we are maybe 40-50% mobilized at the moment, and that allows a lot of people to be unserious.

But the truth is, we're winning this thing and the bad guys know that. I don't remember hearing anything about warnings prior to 9/11 (I don't even remember people saying there were warnings that we missed). The tapes are just an attempt to rattle our cage because that's all they can do. They've seen what we can do when we strike from the cage, they don't want us out of the cage.

Posted by: KG on Sep. 22, 2006

It's a miracle we haven't been hit again. I don't know how a dedicated terrorist could fail to hit us, unless they were
a) running for their lives,
b) otherwise occupied in the mideast, or
c) such a scientific moron - due to a youth spent memorizing the Koran - that they would f___ up like an illiterate baboon, by, for instance, starting a fire whilst mixing chemicals in their apt. I'm talkin to you, Ramsi Yousef.

Posted by: gcotharn on Sep. 22, 2006


I'm curious by what measure you gage that we are winning this "thing"?

Posted by: Strawman on Sep. 22, 2006

Strategy Page lists some trends.







Posted by: reagan80 on Sep. 22, 2006


I read the Afgan citation and If I wanted to re-read the bullshit the pentagon press sec. tosses out each day I could watch CSPAN. This was a very disturbing group of paragraphs since nothing in them is sourced. Are these people on the ground with the NATO forces and reporting first hand or are they simply a paid arm of the Pentagon? Who can tell? They speculate wildy in a most un jouurnalistic manner about what the Taliban will do, ususlly do and like to do, etc. I have no info to counter a word they say but after reading I have no reason to believe a word they say.

Posted by: strawman on Sep. 24, 2006

Strawman, here's why I think we're winning:


Posted by: KG on Sep. 24, 2006

"They speculate wildy in a most un jouurnalistic manner about what the Taliban will do, ususlly do and like to do, etc."

Unlike, say, the Washington Post or the NY Times or the Associated (with terrorists) Press? PUH-LEEESE.

The truth is that God Himself could send you proof, and you'd deny it and impeach His journalistic integreity. Your response is just one of the many reasons the average American finds the Left unelectable. You people are fanatical in your hatred of all things Bush and the military as well as knee-deep in conspiratorial crap.

Posted by: blu on Sep. 25, 2006

Blu, KG,

Read your post and think it's crap, I'm up to my nostrals in conspiratorial crap and the wind is blowing so you'll have to forgive me.

All militarialy biased parties agree the effort is not going well and more than likely it has been a setback in the effort to do something contstructiv or protective, or positive, or anthing at all for the homeland. And there are 100,000 dead and 3000 a month more each month and prolly 3000 a month more your Islamic whipper snappers holding open their coats looking for a C-4 cumberbun. This plan of attacking Iraq is and has been so stupid its funny if it weren't so tragic. No democracy, no security, no Iraqi army or police force worth a damn, less electric than before the war, less oil pumping than everybody promised, no hospitals built, or schools, chaos reighning, billions down the drain each month, graft and corruption rampant...........

So guys, tell me something good other than the rat trap theory where Rummy tells us the bad guys are all coming to fight here and all we have to do is knock'em down like ten pins and given enough stinky bait and enough time we'll be winners cause they'll all be dead. Some plan.

Posted by: strawman on Sep. 27, 2006