Friday, October 07, 2005


Bill Spier: View From the Underground. I Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up*

We New Yawkers listen to our police chief, Ray Kelly. Ray's a serious guy who knows very well that you don't lay any shuck and jive on the residents of the five boroughs. So when he scrambles the cops to the underground after telling us there is a threat, we cooperate with da man. And me, I'm livin' next to the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn Heights, where all subway lines meet under historic tree-lined streets before spreading like fingers deep into the borough and beyond; and I'm thinking that my twelve year old travels by subway from here to the Atlantic Avenue Station to school weekdays. Having sat on my roofdeck and watched human beings jump from the WTC, I've got reason to listen to Ray. New York makes news. So no matter what Bush and Cheney want us to believe, jihadists are not going to kamikaze into the dimly lit Texas statehouse. (For as any guy spending his day playing backgammon in Baghdad knows, there ain't nothing going on in that place.) ----Reality check: A few years back, the NYPD foiled a plot to bomb that same Atlantic Avenue Station in Brooklyn. So I listen to Ray. I listen to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, too. (But I wonder why a guy with billions of dead presidents in his bank account, as Bloomberg has, always looks so depressed.)

With trepidation, I packed my kid off to school this morning. Later I heard that Ray Kelly et al. were engaged in behind-the-scenes jostling with security officials in Washington, who downplayed the threat and suggested that Mayor Bloomberg may have overreached. The Mayor, a sort of Republican, has got to be fuming. By noon Friday, the Bush cabal moved the scam onto San Francisco and told the nation that we got another Al Qaida in Iraq to corroborate the other two AlQs who squealed. But Homeland Security officials in Washington said the threats were of "doubtful credibility." Bush will cross anyone to save his bottom.

There is a Rovian stench here. In one day we get a warning of a London type attack in New York; and not by local jihadists, but perps imported all the way from the world's newest democracy, Iraq; and we get a nutty speech from Bush meant to scare the hell out of Richmond, Indiana. A few terrific excerpts follow for those who missed that major policy address (given at 11:00 A.M.?) :

"All these separate images of destruction and suffering that we see on the news can seem like random and isolated acts of madness. Innocent men and women and children have died simply because they boarded the wrong train or worked in the wrong building or checked into the wrong hotel."

"And while the killers choose their victims indiscriminately, their attacks serve a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil but not insane."

"With greater economic and military and political power, the terrorists would be able to advance their stated agenda: to develop weapons of mass destruction, to destroy Israel, to intimidate Europe, to assault the American people and to blackmail our government into isolation." [I Think he's talking about Iran here. They ought to keep Michael Ledeen off the White House grounds.]

"No act of ours invited the rage of the killers, and no concession, bribe or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder.

[I like this one] "In truth, they have endless ambitions of imperial domination and they wish to make everyone powerless except themselves. They seek to end dissent in every form and to control every aspect of life and to rule the soul itself."

Bush is confused here. This is Cheney and corporatist mantra, not the guys playing backgammon in Baghdad.

All this smells of Rove. I believe that the Bush speech and the timely arrival of jihadists-- from wherever-- are the shenanigans of a very desperate regime; and expensive shenanigans at that--given the overtime costs for NYPD personnel.

*Thanks Richard Farina

William Spier, Ph.D.

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Superbly written. Makes the point with a sly Brooklyn grin instead of a sledge hammer.

Bill, I loved your piece on the underground.

Tried to upload a pix of da Mayor looking depressed talking to a cute girl on the subway, but it wouldn't work.

That picture, however, can be found at:

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