Sunday, April 03, 2005

Terrorism that Doesn't Go "Boom!"
Vis-a-vis the mess surrounding Sandy "have scissors will shred documents" Berger, I was reminded of a recurring thought I often have and which I haven't seen written about anywhere. Mind you, this is just a kooky idea I have, and I don't want to start anything like a conspiracy theory --- I'm just clearing space in my brain.

After 9/11, we've been on the lookout for the nastier and more immediately deadly forms of terrorist activity: hijacked airliners, shoe bombs, tanker trucks full of caustic chemicals. But, there are other forms of terrorism that don't seem to be getting a lot of attention, in my view, assuming that anyone actually considers them to be terrorism in the first place.

About four years ago, all we heard about was massive rash of forest fires out west. It seemed the entire Western porton of the continent was due to incinerate and fall off like a cigarette ash. I can't recall, recently, having heard of any major fires. One could make the argument that the Forest Service has gotten much more efficient and perhaps more pragmatic about clearing underbrush and removing the initial contributing factor to those fires, i.e. having all that kindling around. But I doubt it. I doubt because we're talking about the fedral gubmint here and no gubmint agency could be that efficient. I'm beginning to think many of those fires were deliberately set, and possibly set by terrorists, who had three motives in mind.

First, with half the country on fire, rescue and fire resources would be spread thin across the West. Second, it would cause the government to devote resources to fight the fires and clean up the forests, which would be less money and resources available to fight terrorists. And finally, as a distraction to keep attention focused somewhere else on a nuisance issue. Now, three years and two wars later, I have heard nary a whisper about massive forest fires. Just a thought.

The next item on the agenda is the spate of Mad Cow outbreaks in recent years. Why is it that we never heard of Mad Cow before the late 1990's? I'm sure it existed before then, but I'm thinking it was such a rare occurance before then that no one bothered to think about it, except those that were familiar with it. All of a sudden, Mad Cow outbreaks hit Europe (especially England), then the United States and Canada and finally Japan. Why is it that you never hear of a Mad Cow outbreak in, say, India, which probably has more cows running around than anyplace on the planet? How come there is no Mad Cow in Argentina that we know about?

It's my considered, and totally uninformed (I'd like to point out) opinion that the epidemic of mad cow outbreaks in recent years was someone testing an attack on the food supply. Again, I do not wish to alarm anyone or make a mountain out of a molehill, but I find it strange that Mad Cow, and now the Bird Flu, are making the news on a daily basis, but I'd never heard of either before in my life.

And could it be that the forest fires and the lightning strikes of Mad Cow petered out because someone figured it wasn't so effective after all, and all that's left is the residual aftershocks?

Just something to think about, like I do. Mainly because I have too much free time on my hands.

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