The next 9/11? CBS News reported Monday that U.S. officials are cautioning about the "imminence" of terrorist attacks in light of recent thwarted crimes stateside as well as in Canada. The unrelated attacks were to be carried out by homegrown jihadist gangs thought to be completely separate from al-Qaida, and thus harder to monitor and suppress. Some bloggers wipe their brows in relief over "dodged bullets" while others smell the agitprop of another election cycle.
NBT at the anti-Bush Dog From Hell writes: "Oh yeah ... I suspect sometimes before November 6, 2006 we will be hearing a lot about an imminent terror attack. ... Why doesn't this surprise me?" Retired naval aviator and former Marine Mike at The Lamplighter is not exactly leaping for his duct tape: "First, vague predictions of an attack by unknown sources seems to be less then compelling. Second, we have always known that Islamic fundamentalist terrorists were planning on attacking us at some point, and in fact, the government has stated that it prevented several attacks by busting up cells in the past. Third, the fact that there were 3 home grown terrorist groups in the US and one in Canada does indeed indicate that others may exist. However, this is nothing we have not known for a long time."
Lefty Tennesseean JMG at The Tangled Weblog is concerned that this story will only further anesthetize opposition to a dangerously intrusive immigration-reform bill: "What better way to subdue potential terrorists—people who have expressed disagreement with the government but who haven't actually done anything—than to flag their social security number and keep them tied up in a long investigation that will keep them from gaining employment, which would in turn prevent them from earning money to finance potential terror activities."
But conservative Tom Elia at The New Editor thinks that foiled plots need, if anything, more publicizing: "There's no bright-line test to distinguish nonchalance from oblivion. So the sluggish reaction of many Americans to the news of terror planning in the Canadian province of Ontario may qualify as both lame and foolhardy. ... Ready as many of us are to condemn government agencies that fumble terror investigations, we tend to fall silent when investigators do foil deadly plots."
Read more about the Canadian arrests and the stateside terrorist fears.
Suicide blonde: Ann Coulter appeared Tuesday on Today to promote her new book Godlessness: The Church of Liberalism. Matt Lauer chided the controversial right-winger on her tough talk about gay marriage, the war on terror, and a group of 9/11 widows whom she thinks comprise an unseemly leftist cult of victimization. (See the video here.)
Righty Mr. Minority bravely supports Coulter, particularly on her claim that some Sept. 11 widows are "enjoying" their husbands' deaths: "If these women were truely concern about preventing more deaths, then they would be supporting the President's War on Terrorism, trying to bring awareness of Islamofacism to the American public, instead of using their 'widows' position to campaign for someone that would allow this type of attack to happen again. Yes, Ann's statements were caustic and maybe over the top, but they were also right on."
In the comments section of liberal blog ThinkProgress, "Bearpaw" observes: "So Ann Coulter's argument is that she can make political points off of 9/11 because her nation was attacked, but people who 'only' lost spouses in the attack are politicizing their grief. Oh, and 'these broads are millionaires'? How much has Coulter made off of the country's emotional response to 9/11?"
But Democrat Matt Browner-Hamlin at Bring It On! argues that Coulter is right for the wrong reasons: "If Democratic pols were respected for their policy views and did not have to fear immediate RNC fund attack adds on ... we wouldn't have to rely on spokespeople whose power and authenticity comes from their tragic losses."
Read more about Ann Coulter's stint on Today.
World in motion: It's World Cup time again, and the English and Germans are dizzying themselves over the global football event, which this year involves the prickly politics of its being staged in Berlin. German neo-Nazis have taken occasion to up their random acts of thuggery in nostalgia for Hitler's hosting of the Olympics in 1936.
At the democratic socialist blog Harry's Place, new contributor Adam Lebor laments the overly sensitive circumvention of any mention of World War II—given the tournament's locale—among the British chattering classes: "[N]ow it seems, like Trotsky in Stalinist Russia, the Hitler-era is to be airbrushed out of history, or at least suitably blurred in soft focus, so as not to cause bad feeling among our German hosts. ... But let's not forget that enough young British men and women died fighting Hitler to fill the stadiums of the World Cup many times over. So, sometimes, let's do mention the war."
Metro zine Londonist "believes the 'dark horse' for a run to the semi-finals this time is Ukraine." Explains poster Duncan: "They were the first European team to qualify and have a lot more to them than Chelsea's new British record fee striker Andriy Shevchenko. ... Theoretically, they have the raw material to go all the way."
Berliner Rezwan at 3rd world view surveys his city's preparations: "Shops will be kept open till 10 at night during the world cup for the tourists. Special brothels are ready to entertain some of the international guests. The public transport authority has issued special whole day tickets for the world cup fans. ... And suddenly (quite contrary to their habit) some Germans are trying to speak in English to foreigners."
Read more about World Cup madness.