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And hadn’t the Arafat-linked Al Aqsa brigade, just days before, sent out a directive to attack U.S. and Israeli “installations” across the globe? Isn’t an El Al ticket counter just about the most obvious synecdoche for Israel one can find in this country?
Certainly all this caught the FBI flatfooted. Impulsively, though he did wait long enough for a perplexed L.A. Mayor Jim Hahn to show up as his armpiece at an airport press conference, the Bureau’s local spokesman downplayed any thought that Hadayet acted in concert with the Evildoers. Investigators, he lectured impatient newshounds, hadn’t been able as yet to categorize this holiday headache as a “hate crime,” an “act of terror,” or anything other than “coincidence” — the coincidence presumably being Hadayet’s proximity to the El Al counter.
Isn’t it lovely to have such recently minted categories to sift through? Nor had Hadayet, the helpful G-man assured us, shown up on any watch list. So how do you get on a watch list anyway? By committing terror? And aren’t those sleeper cells we heard so much about post-9/11 — aren’t they by definition so stealthy as to be off a watch list?
As for Hahn, the antithesis of Rudy, clearly he wanted to smooth nerves in and around the City of Angels, first declaring this was not terrorism, then retreating to the position that the very nature of violence is terror, or some such obfuscation. He called for pushing LAX’s security zone back to the curb … no, back beyond the parking structures … no, probably all the way back to the landmark “TOTALLY NUDE” theater that greets air passengers on Century Boulevard.
All the while, Gov. Gray Davis, fresh from picking up beach litter at nearby Playa Vista, commandeered a local police station and made it his “command post,” whereupon he would hold his own, more crisis-themed news conference. On Friday, carefully planned for the cameras, Davis took a telephone call from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who thanked the embattled governor for supporting Israel. Of course they were now able to talk, briefly and unsubstantially, about the day before at LAX, and Davis naturally kept the crisis-management image primed.
Memo to Ariel Sharon: You may be forgiven Ramallah and even Sabra and Shatilla. But stay the hell out of the California governor’s race. If Gray Davis is re-elected, anything that leads up to it is, truly, an act of terrorism. You would be complicit with Hesham Mohamed Hadayet. You want to meddle? Do something with Irvine Mayor Larry Agran. Hire him away to run your waterworks or something. He’s never been out of the country. He might love it.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?