By Tom Engelhardt
"Consider the debate among four Democratic presidential candidates on ABC News last Saturday night. In the previous week, the price of a barrel of oil briefly touched $100, unemployment hit 5 percent, the stock market had the worst three-day start since the Great Depression, and the word "recession" was in the headlines and in the air. So when ABC debate moderator Charlie Gibson announced that the first 15-minute segment would be taken up with "what is generally agreed to be … the greatest threat to the United States today," what did you expect?
As it happened, he was referring to "nuclear terrorism," specifically "a nuclear attack on an American city" by al-Qaeda (as well as how the future president would "retaliate"). In other words, Gibson launched his version of a national debate by focusing on a fictional, futuristic scenario, at this point farfetched, in which a Pakistani loose nuke would fall into the hands of al-Qaeda, be transported to the United States, perhaps picked up by well-trained al-Qaedan minions off the docks of Newark, and set off in the Big Apple. In this, though he was surely channeling Rudy Giuliani, he managed to catch the essence of what may be George W. Bush's major legacy to this country.
The Planet as a GWOT (Global War on Terror) Free-Fire Zone......."