Friday, June 02, 2006

Simple-minded or Single-Minded?

Robert continues to do pretty well in the hospital. We're hoping to go home tomorrow afternoon. Waiting for some blood work to be drawn and analyzed late tonight. He's off morphine and on some other heavy duty painkiller, but seems to be handling the transition well. And we think we've hit upon the right combination of anti-anxiety medications for him. He has terrible, terrible anxiety in the hospital--he basically becomes dysfunctional. If we don't treat the anxiety, then he has respiratory and heart rate problems--but those are under control now.

He's actually in one of the less restrictive casts for this procedure, so that's good news. His thighs are casted and a bar runs between them, but his hips are not actually casted. Which will make care easier. And he'll be more comfortable--less hot, less itchy. The special wheelchair has been sorted out and will arrive at the house tomorrow. Once he's home, he'll gradually come back out of his hospital catatonia shell and start to acclimatize to the whole cast issue.

After he fell into his blissful painkiller/Valium-enhanced sleep (he needs sleep now, and without the Valium, he just tries to keep himself awake--it is always absolutely amazing how he can keep himself awake for long periods of time--the hypervigilence characteristic of PTSD)--but, anyway, after he fell deeply asleep, Roger and I were watching Washington Week in Review and Inside Washington. If I weren't so distracted with a child having hip surgery, I would be a lot more ripped about the whole Homeland Security budget issue than I already am. I saw one headline in the paper today that WDC is not considered a target.

Excuse me, but these Islamist terrorists are a lot more simple-minded--or should I say singled-minded--than a lot of Americans think they are. This is not a group of people who want to strike, like lightening, where we least expect it. That is not their pattern. They are entirely predictable: when they hijack and blow up planes, they always pick an airline with some portion of the the phrase United States of America in it; that is, USAir, American, United, Pam Am. Have terrorists ever blown up a Continental jet? I think not. People's Airlines (now defunct)? I think not. Delta? No. They go for the obvious. Perhaps one of our cheaper anti-terrorism initiatives could be to simply rename all the airlines: Joe Bob's Wings, MidWest Express, Fly Daily, something like that. Give them ridiculous names. Change AmTrack to Cheap Seats.

These terrorists have these weird machismo complexes. Think how dumb they would feel, how much face they would lose in their home countries if they were blowing up things call Bubba Rail or As the Crow Flies Airlines. Their friends would make fun of them. They would be objects of ridicule.

On a more serious note--of course WDC is a target. The next serious target in the U.S. is the Capitol building. That's where the flight that crashed in Pennsylvania was headed. These Islamist terrorists are creatures of obsession. They're not interested in surprising us by attacking Des Moines or St. Louis, which people keep bringing up as though they're be much news mileage in blowing up the St. Louis Arch. We're not dealing with people who have studied a lot of U.S. history--they don't know what Westward Expansion was/is. The St. Louis Arch is not a giant office building, nor does it attract a substantial number of visitors each year compared to, say, the Statue of Liberty. There are not long lines of vulnerable people waiting to go up in the Arch. In fact, there are not many people who go up into any part of the arch at any time. Remember, these are men on machismo steroids--what's the glee factor in killing 25 people? The Arch won't fall down and destroy all of downtown St. Louis.

Their friends in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have never heard of the St. Louis Arch--they would have to explain it to them. It's too much effort--al Jazeera would have to run little sidebar stories--'for our viewers who don't know, the St. Louis Arch is a monument to U.S. Westward expansion in the mid-19th century. At 10pm, we will run a special episode of "Death to America" that will explain to our viewers the importance of Westward expansion and arcane symbolism behind the necessity of its destruction. Our research team has discovered that it has to do with two sons of Satan named Lewis and Clark, mostly unknown outside America.'

In fact, I would imagine that if we were somehow able to poll terrorists about U.S. cities familiar to them that St. Louis would not make the top ten. This is what these people understand about America: American Airlines, United Airlines, New York City, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark NJ. That's about it. DisneyLand. Oh, and Dearborn Michigan. States these people have heard of: New York, California, Florida, Michigan. I don't imagine these terrorists could name more than 8 U.S. states. It's not that they're stupid--it's just that America means very limited things to them.

And they're obsessive/compulsive people. They tried to blow up the WTC in the early 1990s. They did not succeed. They planned obsessively for about 8 years and then they tried again and succeeded. They didn't try to 'surprise' us by attacking St. Louis. They went back to the target they missed. They missed the U.S. Capitol building. That's their primary target now. Even I understand that--why the CIA, the FBI, and Homeland Security can't get that through their collectively thick heads is a mystery to me.

Oh, and terrorism is most likely to occur during the morning rush hour. Why? Because then the story plays all day long. If you attack something in the late afternoon or the evening, the news coverage is not as satisfying. They do this for the news coverage, which reinforces their pitiful little male egos of their delusional superiority. We're not necessarily dealing with people who are truly political terrorists--we're dealing with people who are mentally ill and delusional; people with delusions of grandeur and obsessive/compulsive disorder. Maybe this is all fueled by some kind of psychotic religious/political dementia, but it's still psychopathology at heart. If we treated them and profiled them the way the FBI profiles psychopaths and serial killers, we'd probably do a better job of catching them and identifying and pre-empting their targets.

But back to our own nut jobs at Homeland Security. I am not typically prone to paranoia, but I am beginning to wonder if the President really is the Manchurian Candidate. I mean, honestly, when every single decision you make has the net purposeful effect of putting this country and its citizens in more jeopardy while strengthening the hands and wallets of dictators and religious fanatics everywhere, something doesn't smell right to me. People should stop making fun of Michael Moore and start looking for Angela Lansbury's evil twin.

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