On Real Time 4/15, Thomas Friedman was making the argument that attacks on U.S. soil wouldn't have much of an impact on Middle Eastern leaders ."So if they set off a car bomb God forbid, you know in Las Vegas or something like that they would chatter about it for a day or two but not something the Arab leaders remember they want to take over their world first."
Is Tom taking the same window pane as David Brooks? If a car bomb goes off in Las Vegas,the hotels will be shut down,the lights on the strip will be turned off, thousands of people will be unemployed, airline flights will be cancelled, citizens will stay locked in their rooms, and Bush will probably declare martial law.
I know Friedman has been out of the country for a while now writing a new book, so maybe he forgot all about our great 24/7 cable TV. Schiavo TV ran thirteen long days and nights, even without most Americans behind the story. Fake priests in collars yelling murder. Quack doctors making diagnoses without looking at the patient. Fired nurses being coached by fake talk show hosts. Crazier lawyers making the case that Terri's soul would burn in hell if the feeding tube was not re-inserted.
Until Pope TV came along, a protest group of about 30 people was made to look like Woodstock, while tens of thousands of anti-war protestors were never covered by the media on the second anniversary of the war. The cable whores would replay the bombing over, and over, and over again. It's Vegas!
There are almost as many cameras as there are poker chips Tom, and you know there will be about five hundred angles of the event. Hell, they have fifty cameras just making sure you can't count cards. The horrible images will ooze out into our living rooms like sewerage into cesspools. The 24/7 cable whores will re-broadcast the whole 9/11 tragedy repeatedly again, replaying every painful second into our homes. Newscasters will fly around the country, visiting chemical plants, shipyards and any town USA trying to predict the next target.
TV Evangelists will call it "vengeance from the lord reaped down upon Sin City."
The Right Wing Noise Machine will undoubtedly brand every democrat as a traitor for even hinting that its Bush's fault because he was more worried about protecting the credit card companies than giving a shit about Homeland Security. Limbaugh will claim it really wasn't an attack on the US, but against the angry liberals who oppose the president's agenda.
So you see Tom, the next tinny, little car bomb that goes off in Las Vegas or wherever will have ramifications that obviously your huge brain can't even invision. Please do us all a favor. Go to another galaxy far, far away and work on another book. You are so interested in proving yourself right about the invasion of Iraq, that you are completely blind to the frailness of our society. To relegate an attack as chatter shows how desperate you have become to prove yourself right.