THERE’S A familiar ritual each time an operation to thwart a putative terrorist incident dominates the news. After the public’s initial expressions of relief and shuddering contemplation of what might have been, a rising chorus of sceptics takes over, with a string of questions and hypotheses.
Was it really a serious terrorist plot, or only a bunch of misguided, alienated Muslim kids larking about with a chemistry set and a mobile phone?
The scepticism is then embellished by the conspiracy-as-diversion theory. How convenient, cluck the doubters, with rolled eyes and theatrical sarcasm, just as the Government’s got some new bonfire of civil liberties planned; or just as President Bush’s poll numbers are collapsing; or just as Israel is stepping up its ground attacks in southern Lebanon.
In this internally pure worldview, the consistent theme is denial— denial of the reality of the mortal threat we face, denial of the reasons we face it. The villain for these people is not the jihadist, with his agenda of destroying our very way of life. It is, as it has always been, that malign continuum of institutions of our own authority that begins with the aggressive police officer and goes all the way up via the credulous media and craven officials to No 10 and the White House.
At the risk of getting repetitious, the denial and displacement are becoming so obvious that even a Democrat should be able to see them.
I guess they will only open their eyes when they achieve their primary purpose for existing: getting back control of the oval office.
And at this point, I'm beyond questioning their patriotism--I'm questioning their intelligence.