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Expert: Terrorists Seek ‘Mass Casualties’ of ‘Unprecedented Scale’
NewsMax ^ | 10/5/04 | Dave Eberhart

Posted on 10/04/2004 6:12:17 PM PDT by wagglebee

Few understand the mind of the terror leaders like Yossef Bodansky.

Bodanksy was the first expert to significantly warn the West about bin Laden in his 1999 bestseller “Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America.”

As director of Research of the International Strategic Studies Association and the director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare of the U.S. House of Representatives, Bodasnky is one of the world’s most sought after terror experts.

In an exclusive interview with NewsMax, Bodansky starkly concluded the U.S. is losing its war on terrorism. In fact, since Sept. 11, he estimates “the cadres of terror groups have actually tripled since mid-September 2001, and the active support echelons have grown ten-fold.”

Also the bestselling author of “The High Cost of Peace: How Washington's Middle East Policy Left America Vulnerable to Terrorism,” Bodansky has no doubt that America is vulnerable to a major attack before the Nov. 2 election.

Already, he says, there is talk among Islamic terror groups of an attack on the U.S. homeland yielding “mass casualties on an unprecedented scale.”

While lauding the policy of the Bush administration, he chides U.S. intelligence agencies.

NewsMax caught up with the busy expert as he traveled back to the U.S. from Geneva, Switzerland.

NewsMax: Are the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission sound – or do they miss some critical point?

Bodansky:
I don’t have a specific comment regarding this or that commission, but I think that the MAIN problem of our war on terrorism has so far eluded public debate. So, here goes my rather lengthy overall take:

The United States is losing the war on terrorism despite sound policies, responsible decision-making, and laudable dedication of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies.

Even a cursory examination of the war is not encouraging --

Iraq is going up in flames -- the outcome of an escalating grassroots rebellion. A wave of terrorism engulfs Saudi Arabia. Afghanistan is falling apart because of revived fratricidal warfare. Pakistan is on the brink of civil war because of mounting grassroots opposition to Musharraf’s cooperation with the U.S. The Chechens escalate their terrorist war to the heart of Russia. The HAMAS escalates operations beyond the Palestinian theater, as do other Islamist-Jihadist groups in dozens of countries around the world.

The size of the Islamist-Jihadist terrorist forces around the world has tripled since mid-September 2001, and the active support echelons have grown ten-fold. Meanwhile, the hard core of Osama bin Laden’s loyalists have markedly improved their ability to strike out at the heart of the United States and Western Europe.

Despite the formulation of a correct policy by the Bush Administration, the war is in a dire state primarily because the U.S. intelligence community has repeatedly failed the White House by providing scant concrete data and wrong threat analysis.

It has been the wanting of intelligence that has made implementation of the President’s policy virtually impossible, and at times has even aggravated the problems facing the U.S.

The primary flaw of the U.S. intelligence community is the intellectual isolationism and arrogance of the purveyors of knowledge to the White House -- that is, the intelligence system of research and analysis.

The current disastrous state of affairs is the outcome of more than a decade of intentional recruitment of like-minded individuals to sustain the course.

Consequently, there emerged an institutional culture -- much like the State Department’s culture -- that taints and tilts analysis, refusing to confront the possibility of lack of knowledge or errors of judgment.

Within the intelligence community’s analytical elite there is by now a very strong echo-chamber effect. And recent history is full with cases of honest analysts who dared question the party-line (through channels) being fired or forced to resign because they would not toe the line.

The American intelligence community does not tolerate challenge and dissent to the detriment of the national interest.

The gravity of the crisis of the U.S. intelligence community, particularly in view of the mounting quagmire in post-Saddam Iraq, is now widely acknowledged throughout official Washington.

Thus, the harsh criticism of the U.S. intelligence community by the various commissions investigating recent crises is warranted. Moreover, a crucial issue outside their mandate -- namely, how come that intelligence community knows so little and comprehends even less -- is yet to be addressed.

‘Profound Revamping’

Therefore, the recommendation that there should be a profound reorganization of the intelligence community, including the creation of a new cabinet-level position for an Intelligence Czar and the elimination of the CIA as a single agency through partitioning, is only the first step in what should be a profound revamping of America’s intelligence community and its culture. A profoundly thorough reform is urgently needed.

The current sorry state of affairs cannot continue. If the U.S. is to persevere and prevail in the war on terrorism -- and it must ultimately triumph if Western civilization is to survive -- it ought to comprehend its foes.

Intelligence is the key to fighting terrorism and subversion. The present U.S. intelligence community has not only failed to meet the challenge, but is failing to learn from its own recent mistakes, adapt and correct its ways of doing business.

Increasing the intelligence budget and reorganizing existing institutions no longer suffices. Urgently needed are changes of priorities and methods -- the revamping of the US intelligence culture. The intelligence community’s analysts must be freed from the current institutional stifling, must have greater exposure to the real world, must interact with outside expertise even if dissenting, must increase their reliance on open source-material - at least until viable sources are acquired and developed.

Without such profound intelligence reforms, the United States will keep losing the war on terrorism - an unthinkable prospect.

NewsMax: The 9/11 Commission seems to dismiss any serious nexus between Saddam Hussein, bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks. You have voiced, however, what you perceive as a long history of Saddam/bin Laden association. What is the strongest proof of that nexus and why, in your opinion, did the Commission take the relatively dismissive stance they have?

Bodansky:
The mere fact that I’ve discussed in great length the evolution of the Islamist-Jihadist cooperation with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq between the early 1990’s and the spring of 1999 in my book bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America is in itself telling because the book was published in the summer of 1999 – long before this cooperation became a hot political topic.

I cannot point out to a single specific piece of evidence as “the strongest proof.”

We are dealing with evolving cooperation that started way before Osama bin Laden was a leader and essentially continues -- in the form of Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri’s June 2004 formal alliance with Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi after the demise of Saddam Hussein.

Perhaps the multiple source evidence about the training in fall 2002 of al-Qaeda terrorists in WMD by Iraqi Military Intelligence Unit 999 in Salman Pack -- as described in great detail in my latest book The Secret History of the Iraq War -- is the most relevant proof of these relationships.

NewsMax: There have been media reports that bin Laden is no longer running the al-Qaeda show – that now, in fact, the network has a life of its own, spawned in part at least by the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In your opinion, is this true – is it now a broader and even more insidious war? What could we (the president) have done differently?

Bodansky:
Al-Qaeda has always been an amorphous entity.

From an operational point of view, of significance are the terrorist groups run by and/or associated with the International Front for Confronting the Crusaders and the Jews.

There, there has been a major expansion since winter 2001 with the operational cadres (would-be terrorists) increasing by three- fold and the active support elements increasing by ten fold.

Most significant is the flow of thoroughly westernized Muslims in Western Europe into the ranks of the would-be terrorists. Moreover, there is an ongoing radicalization and alienation of ever greater segments of the Muslim world even if only a relative few resort to violence.

However, of far greater significance is the fact that there is NO real counter-movement throughout the Muslim world since the fall of 2001. There is no popular movement calling for moderation, modernization, co-existence with the West, etc.

Osama bin Laden has never been in direct operational control over the majority of the Jihadist-Islamist groups.

Ayman al-Zawahiri has controlled, and is still controlling, the key elite terrorist formations committed to spectacular strikes of strategic or global significance.

The marked expansion of the Islamist-Jihadist movement since fall 2001, concurrent with the reduced importance of the Afghan-Pakistani hub, resulted in the growing pronouncement of the regional distinction of the various Islamist-Jihadist groups, particularly those with charismatic commanders and leaders.

Bin Laden, however, remains the undisputed supreme spiritual authority that charts the overall course of the Jihad.

Ideologically and theologically -- all of these developments are still the manifestation of the growing alienation of the Muslim world from the West and the grassroots adoption of the call for fateful confrontation bin Laden has been advocating since late 1990’s.

By mid 2002, the U.S. preoccupation with Baghdad – the former sacred Capital of the Caliphate as distinct from Saddam Hussein’s secular Iraq – resulted in the eruption of Islamist zeal based on the cataclysmic legacy of the Hulagu Khan syndrome.

I discuss this issue in great detail in the Introduction to The Secret History of the Iraq War. Needless to say that the subsequent U.S. occupation of Iraq and the widespread destruction wrought only aggravated the situation and confirmed bin Laden’s worst-case scenario.

In a nutshell, going to a warranted and justified war to disarm and topple the Saddan Hussein regime, the U.S. completely ignored the much wider and more profound global Islamic ramifications of such a move -- particularly the inevitable worldwide Islamist-Jihadist mobilization.

We now pay dearly for this oversight and will continue to do so for generations to come.

NewsMax: You were warning of a massive attack within the U.S. well before 9/11. What is our biggest worry now? Some media report that a dirty-nuke attack is forthcoming. Any solid basis for this? Ridge opines that there will likely be an attack to disrupt our democratic process – any time in the period of the election right up through the presidential inauguration. Justified?

Bodansky:
There is ample evidence from impeccable sources that the Islamist-Jihadist forces are adamant on striking out before the U.S. elections. Some of the warnings specify a commitment to inflicting mass casualties on an unprecedented scale – perhaps through the use of a nuclear suitcase-bomb (which they definitely have).

At the same time, however, the key terrorism sponsoring states urge prudence – fearing U.S. retribution. Right now, there are intense theological deliberations within the Islamist movement about what to do next. We will surely see the outcome of these deliberations.

NewsMax: You have written that given the available evidence, it is imperative for the U.S. to confront not only the entire question of Iran's terrorism sponsorship, but also the possibility that Iran provided the perpetrators of 9/11 with unique training and expertise. Bush has said that the U.S. is exhaustively looking at Iran’s terror connections. If Bush is re-elected, do you expect to see some dramatic developments regarding this member of the “Axis of Evil?”

Bodansky:
Generally: For as long as the Mullahs’ Regime remains in power, and for as long as the Jihadist culture remains prevalent and dominant in Pakistan (Musharraf’s declared policies not withstanding), the qualitative Islamist-Jihadist war against the U.S.-led West -- that is, the lethal, spectacular, strategically-significant terrorist strikes -- will keep escalating.

Moreover, the overall bitter struggle between the modernity (both values and technology) the West is imposing on the world and Islamdom will continue escalating and expanding until a genuine, indigenous self-reforming movement emerges in Islamdom.

There’s nothing the outside world can do in this respect but fight ceaselessly and resolutely the aggressive violent manifestation of this fateful struggle – Islamist-Jihadist terrorism.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaida; bodansky; cia; intelligence; jihadists; obl; terrorism; yossefbodansky
This is some scary stuff.
1 posted on 10/04/2004 6:12:17 PM PDT by wagglebee
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To: wagglebee

Extremely disturbing...

However- someone correct me if I'm mistaken- but wasn't Bodansky somewhat discredited last year?


2 posted on 10/04/2004 6:15:22 PM PDT by SE Mom
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To: wagglebee

Iran, Al Qaeda, and the rest of the wretched lot are going to try to hurt Bush in Iraq over the next four weeks. They want more sound bites for defeatist Kerry to use. That's why I like the timing of the coalition and Iraqi forces offensive to reduce the enemy rathole by rathole, and thereby interfere with their plans.


3 posted on 10/04/2004 6:16:45 PM PDT by Shqipo (The gloves are on and the corners are empty.)
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To: wagglebee

Bodansky has some good information. but I wouldn't describe him as an optimist.


4 posted on 10/04/2004 6:16:54 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: wagglebee

Scary. I don't want to think about what happens if this happened in the US.


5 posted on 10/04/2004 6:17:26 PM PDT by Ptarmigan (Proud rabbit hater and killer)
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To: wagglebee
I am quite certain that W will act on Iran when reelected. Iraq will prove to be an excellent "base of operations" for confronting Iran.

The US cannot let Iran become a "nuclear state".

6 posted on 10/04/2004 6:17:52 PM PDT by demsux
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To: wagglebee
There’s nothing the outside world can do in this respect but fight ceaselessly and resolutely the aggressive violent manifestation of this fateful struggle – Islamist-Jihadist terrorism.

This should be shouted from the rooftops - all the more reason to vote for Bush!

7 posted on 10/04/2004 6:18:09 PM PDT by NCjim
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To: wagglebee

..."...as long as the Mullahs’ Regime remains in power, and for as long as the Jihadist culture remains prevalent and dominant in Pakistan (Musharraf’s declared policies not withstanding), the qualitative Islamist-Jihadist war against the U.S.-led West -- that is, the lethal, spectacular, strategically-significant terrorist strikes -- will keep escalating."...


8 posted on 10/04/2004 6:19:07 PM PDT by jolie560
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To: SE Mom

maybe once the election passes - all this nonsense about the nuclear suitcase bombs will stop.


9 posted on 10/04/2004 6:19:13 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: demsux

I have a feeling that 2005 will be a VERY BAD YEAR for Iranian jihadists.


10 posted on 10/04/2004 6:20:23 PM PDT by wagglebee (Benedict Arnold was for American independence before he was against it.)
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To: wagglebee

As I was reading this article, I was thinking 'I'll bet wagglebee already posted this.'

You beat me to a lot of stuff! I for one appreciate your vigilance.


11 posted on 10/04/2004 6:24:04 PM PDT by ovrtaxt (Remember: the Lord loves a workin' man, don't trust whitey, see a doctor and get rid of it.)
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To: wagglebee
Of course we're losing the war on terrorism.

If we were winning nobody would read Bodansky's stuff or invite him on talk shows.

12 posted on 10/04/2004 6:27:25 PM PDT by sinkspur ("John Kerry's gonna win on his juices. "--Cardinal Fanfani)
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To: wagglebee
Second sentence: 'Bodanksy',
Third sentence: ' Bodanksy'.

That's when I stopped.

13 posted on 10/04/2004 6:27:33 PM PDT by Revolting cat! ("In the end, nothing explains anything!")
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To: wagglebee

I think he's wrong that things are going bad in Afghanistan or Iraq. It really isn't that bad. The only thing that makes it dangerous is the Fifth Column in our own country.

I think he's absolutely right about the intelligence community. The FBI and the CIA are sick, sick, sick. Weak, corrupt, and politicized. They badly need fixing, and I haven't seen any real signs that Bush understands that. It has been one of his biggest failures.

He did finally dump Tenet, but events since then have not been that encouraging. Maybe after the election he'll act, but I'm not holding my breath.


14 posted on 10/04/2004 6:30:31 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: wagglebee

tell us something we don't know.


15 posted on 10/04/2004 6:32:46 PM PDT by gilliam
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To: wagglebee
BINGO:

The current disastrous state of affairs is the outcome of more than a decade of intentional recruitment of like-minded individuals to sustain the course.

Consequently, there emerged an institutional culture -- much like the State Department’s culture -- that taints and tilts analysis, refusing to confront the possibility of lack of knowledge or errors of judgment.

16 posted on 10/04/2004 6:40:41 PM PDT by GOPJ (The effect of‘MSM bias’ is the Democratic party and the press sustain each other’s delusions. Steyn)
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To: wagglebee

Well, “mass casualties on an unprecedented scale” could be caused preventively within "Islamdom". It might even work.


17 posted on 10/04/2004 6:43:47 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: wagglebee
The size of the Islamist-Jihadist terrorist forces around the world has tripled since mid-September 2001,

I don't see how in the world anyone could possibly know this. It's not as if someone can take a headcount of terrorists.

18 posted on 10/04/2004 6:44:42 PM PDT by Dave Olson
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To: SE Mom; All

You have to remember that John "Inspector Jacques Clouseau"
Loftus gets a lot of his stuff from Bodansky.

I read Bodansky's book and he said in his notes that he could not keep notes and that all he wrote had to come from memory.

He had a lot details that you had to question his actual first hand knowledge. One of them was that chemical agents had been load into RPG-7s in Iraq.







19 posted on 10/04/2004 6:53:07 PM PDT by Perdogg (Dubya - Right Man, Right Job, at the Right Time!)
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To: sinkspur

I agree. I think he's much too pessimistic about terrorism because that position is good for his business. That said, the threat of an Islamist takeover of Pakistan and its nuclear arsenal is extremely serious. But I strongly doubt AQ has a working nuclear suitcase bomb.


20 posted on 10/04/2004 6:53:41 PM PDT by carl in alaska (Throw deep........you're already in the fourth quarter.)
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To: wagglebee
I have a feeling that 2005 will be a VERY BAD YEAR for Iranian jihadists.

Unless we have to pass a Global Test before lifting a finger. In that case, the U.N. will say "No. Just give us some more of that highly addictive oil-for-food $$$$.".

21 posted on 10/04/2004 6:54:35 PM PDT by Johnny Crab (Doomed! They've declared a Jihad on all pajama people & extremist bloggers!)
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To: Cicero

"The FBI and the CIA are sick, sick, sick. Weak, corrupt, and politicized. They badly need fixing, and I haven't seen any real signs that Bush understands that. It has been one of his biggest failures."

I agree that we have huge holes to fill. Homeland Security agency with powers to force the other agencies to get their data was a smart start, but it takes time.


22 posted on 10/04/2004 6:54:51 PM PDT by iThinkBig
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To: oceanview
"...I wouldn't describe him as an optimist."

No.... usually realists are pragmatic...

The Islamic Jihadists feel they are dealing with an enemy that can NOT strike them in their home country....

The Jihadists strategy of terror without "supporting country" attribution is wearing thin......very thin..

I would fully support our reaction to the next major terrorist attack, as designating cities within three or four terrorist supporting nations to disappear....literally..

Brutal? Yes - but probably the ONLY reaction they haven't planned on and one that will send the clear message that we will not be murdered before reducing their entire world to rubble.....

Semper Fi

23 posted on 10/04/2004 6:58:49 PM PDT by river rat (You may turn the other cheek...But I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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To: wagglebee

This guy Bodansky sounds like a major league bullshitter to me.


24 posted on 10/04/2004 6:59:56 PM PDT by Palladin (Proud to be a FReeper!)
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To: wagglebee
Iraq is going up in flames -- the outcome of an escalating grassroots rebellion. A wave of terrorism engulfs Saudi Arabia. Afghanistan is falling apart because of revived fratricidal warfare.

Intemperate and sensationalizing language with the added discrediting factor of being largely untrue. He sprinkles the entire commentary with this kind of flawed language.

I am very wary of guys like this.

25 posted on 10/04/2004 7:00:27 PM PDT by beckett
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To: wagglebee

He didn't even mention our wide-open borders that Slamists are crossing...


26 posted on 10/04/2004 7:04:58 PM PDT by ApesForEvolution (You will NEVER convince me that Muhammadanism isn't a veil for MASS MURDERS. Save your time...)
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To: Calpernia; nw_arizona_granny; StillProud2BeFree; Cindy; thecabal

PING


27 posted on 10/04/2004 7:06:28 PM PDT by Revel
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To: jolie560
As long as we think [erroneously] that all jihadis carry rifles and wear black hoods, we will speed toward our demise as a nation and as living human beings.

Not all Nazis were in the army...

The "problem" IS islam.

28 posted on 10/04/2004 7:07:08 PM PDT by Indie (Ignorance of the truth is no excuse for stupidity.)
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To: Dave Olson

They call it 'chatter'...


29 posted on 10/04/2004 7:07:10 PM PDT by ApesForEvolution (You will NEVER convince me that Muhammadanism isn't a veil for MASS MURDERS. Save your time...)
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To: wagglebee

I quit reading at the word "quagmire".

Prairie


30 posted on 10/04/2004 7:09:13 PM PDT by prairiebreeze (John F. Kerry. Wrong war? WRONG MAN!!)
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To: prairiebreeze
I quit reading at the word "quagmire".

I have always wished somebody would ask Teereezahh the ketchup queen what a quagmire is, I think it would be highly amusing.

31 posted on 10/04/2004 7:11:24 PM PDT by wagglebee (Benedict Arnold was for American independence before he was against it.)
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To: beckett

I believe Bodansky is correct in that we cannot expect to win the war until there is extant indigenous muslims wanting to moderated their lives. The problem is that they have been programmed since childhood to hate the west and to obey the koran. The koran tells them to kill westerners. The leaders will not passionately rebuke those who commot such things as beheadings and I suspect they actually root for them.
I believe many if not most want to live quiet lives,but they are constantly being indoctrinated to jihad.
Therefore, I believe the U.S. missed its chance on 9/12/01 to use the only tool available which might have a chance of enforcing control over those countries which would destroy the west. The only option is to demonstrate force and destruction beyond anything they can imagine. They must fear the U.S. more that the mullas or bin laden or al zaqarhi. I hope it will be possible to exhibit such a demonstration in "relatively" low density population areas. In any event there will be hundreds of thousands dead, hopefully not millions. If we do not have the political will to do this horrible thing, then western civilization will not survive. We must make them more afraid of us than anything else they can imagine. They must fear the west more than they fear allah. We will not reason them into the fold. We will not convert them. We must, therefore, kill them or make them receed into their part of the world and forever be separated.
I hope someone out in United Free Republic will show me where my reasoning is wrong, but otherwise I cannot conclude otherwise.
God help the United States of America


32 posted on 10/04/2004 7:42:41 PM PDT by Texas Songwriter (Texas Songwriter)
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To: Texas Songwriter

What lingo you speakin'Son? Either you went to the Public school or you just can't "Speeka Da Ling"


33 posted on 10/04/2004 7:58:12 PM PDT by acapesket (never had a vote count in all my years here)
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To: wagglebee

If these stupid idiots strike us....PRESIDENT BUSH will win re-election hands down. People want a President that will protect them....and Bush has continually proven to the American People he's the one that will do and is doing it!!!


34 posted on 10/04/2004 8:02:34 PM PDT by shield (The Greatest Scientific Discoveries of the Century Reveal God!!!! by Dr. H. Ross, Astrophysicist)
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To: wagglebee

Yes, it is scary. My worst fear is not a pre-emptive strike by the Islamofascists, but rather a stand-off, consisting of a threat by terrorists to detonate a nuclear device in an un-named city. They will more than likely purport to have several of these devices hidden in cities across the US.
If our government refuses to negotiate,which is almost a certainty, one device will be detonated to show the world the monsters are real.


35 posted on 10/04/2004 8:41:39 PM PDT by concretebob (I know there's nothing under the bed, and if I don't hang my foot off the edge, it won't get me)
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To: concretebob

If people had a clue how many bad ways the next attack could be much worse than 9-11, and how wide open we are now with so many potential enemies amongst us...they'd demand hardcore preventative measures that we don't see yet.


36 posted on 10/04/2004 9:59:16 PM PDT by ApesForEvolution (You will NEVER convince me that Muhammadanism isn't a veil for MASS MURDERS. Save your time...)
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