By Alan Caruba
On March 11, 2004, just days before general elections in Spain, bombs went off on trains in a series of coordinated attacks that killed 191 people and wounded 1,800. An investigation determined that they were the work of an al Qaeda “inspired” terrorist cell, though it was said at the time there was no direct connection.
The ruling party, Partido Popular, had supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a policy that was generally unpopular with Spaniards. The result was that its opposition won the elections.
I do not believe in coincidences and news that two explosive devices were found on cargo planes headed for America just days before our general elections suggests a pattern.
The larger pattern, of course, has been a number of recent terrorist attacks from the Christmas Eve “underwear bomber” to the more recent Times Square bomber. The only thing that seems to have protected Americans from being murdered as infidels is the sheer incompetence of those involved.
That kind of luck does not last forever.
Ironically, on October 27th I posted a commentary that was intended to be a reminder that, as we got ready to go to polling places on November 2nd, we have been too distracted from the fact that outside of America there is still a dangerous world.
Al Qaeda has sent us a message. The first part of the message was that they are still around and still at war with the Great Satan, America. The second was that they believe they can influence the outcome of our midterm elections. Though unintentional, the third part of the message is that they are a bunch of incompetents who, unlike Timothy McVeigh of Oklahoma City infamy, cannot put together a decent bomb.
That, of course, is an overstatement because Arabs, whether al Qaeda or not, have been blowing up each other’s mosques with regularity throughout the Middle East. There’s an Arab saying that goes something like “I against my brother. My brother and I against our cousins. My brother, my cousins, and I against the world.”
Even the Mafia had more internal cohesiveness than these sons of Allah whose biggest problem in life is who to kill next.
Unlike the Spaniards who voted to run away from the Iraq conflict, these would-be bombers have seriously misunderstood how Americans think. You attack us, we send in the Marines—and the Army—and the Air Force—and we park a couple of Navy carrier groups off the coast..
If the Yemenese do not get serious about their jihadists, finding and killing them, they will eventually get a visit from Uncle Sam. They don’t have that many friends in the world and that includes their neighbors in Saudi Arabia, so it’s likely to get very nasty for them.
The American military will be exiting Afghanistan in 2011 because President Obama never wanted to be there in the first place. I hate to agree with anything the man says or does, but in this he is correct. The Afghanis are tribal. When not finding a reason to fight one another, they will join together to fight anyone from outside. And that is likely to include the Taliban at some point.
The troops we are leaving in Iraq will be there when our grandchildren have grandchildren. The U.S. has a long history of never leaving a nation once we have invaded. Just ask the Germans, the Japanese, or the South Koreans, all of whom appear to have found that arrangement to their advantage.
Aside from the operational failure of this latest terror attack, what stands out is the lack of terror among Americans. Even the stock market took it in stride on Friday.
On Tuesday Americans are going to clean house in a Congress whose members are so unpopular that the survivors and the new winners will have gotten the message voters will have sent.
That’s not just a problem for Democrats. It’s a problem for al Qaeda, too.
© Alan Caruba, 2010