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Jewish World Review May 21, 2004 / 1 Sivan, 5764

Tom Purcell

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Ask Mr. Terror | Q: Mr. Terror, the White House and a majority of leaders in Washington strongly believe that terrorists will strike America before the upcoming election. What can I do to protect myself? (Worried in Washington, D.C.)

A: For goodness sakes, Worried, you must be a Republican. I tire of right-wing scaremongers like you who keep using this issue to stoke the fear of the American public.

Q: But Mr. Terror, terrorists have a habit of striking before elections. Blowing up a train in Spain succeeded in altering the results of their election. Despite all we're doing to prevent another attack, there are too many places terrorists can strike us. (Sensible in Peoria.)

A: Blah, blah, blah, blah.

Q: Come on, Mr. Terror, the White House assumes two chilling scenarios: Terrorists may do something spectacular, such as wipe out the Capitol Building, possibly the target of the fourth plane on 911. Or they may carry out numerous smaller attacks at cities all across America. (Reality Check in Pittsburgh)

A: For goodness sakes, Reality Check. I've been knee-deep in American idol. Why are you trying to bring me down with your right-wing Republican rhetoric?

Q: But we are at war, Mr. Terror. In 1996, Al Qaeda declared war on us. They dream of converting all of the Middle East to a Taliban-style government. They think we are at war with Islam. And because we stand in their way, they want to destroy us. (Big Picture in Toledo)

A: What a load of malarkey, Big Picture. It's just a band of terrorists, not a war. President Bush has turned this whole thing into a political charade. It's all about political gain for Republicans.

Q: But Mr. Terror, because of Iraq, Bush's ratings have fallen to 42%. How can anyone think any president would go into Iraq for political gain? That's just nutty. (Nutty in San Diego)

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A: Hey, Nutty, put a sock in it. Here are the other reasons the president took us into Iraq: oil, oil and oil.

Q: For goodness sakes, Mr. Terror, if it was oil we wanted, wouldn't it have been a lot less costly to just do away with the sanctions on Iraq and buy oil from them? We've spent billions going into Iraq -- we've lost more than 760 young Americans. And we're going to spend billions more. (Costly in Miami)

A: Which is why we shouldn't have gone in there in the first place, Costly. Hey, more than half of all Americans think Iraq was a mistake. We should cut our losses and get out now.

Q: But Mr. Terror, if we leave now, the terrorists will win. They'll be mightily emboldened. And if they took over, they'd use the oil wealth to really fund destruction. Losing in Iraq is simply not an option. (Hopeful in Dallas)

A: Blah, blah, blah, blah.

Q: Don't you see, Mr. Terror? That is what this struggle is all about. A handful of countries in that region have been actively funding terrorism. As the threat of nuclear weapons grows, it's only a matter of time before terrorists get hold of one. You saw what they did to Nick Berg. You really think they'd hesitate to blow up Washington, D.C. if they could? (Bomb Shelter in D.C.)

A: More scaremonger Republican rhetoric.

Q: For goodness sakes, Mr. Terror, when is America going to wake up. Terrorists tried to take down the World Trade Center in 1993 and we quickly forgot. They finally did take it down on 911 and a lot of folks are forgetting that. We should be unified like never before to face down this challenge, but we are not. Instead, many Americans have tuned it out. And partisan Democratic politicians are trying to weaken Bush and divide the country to get Kerry into the presidency. Have we forgot what is really at stake here? (Really Worried in Chicago)

A: I'll tell you what's at stake. Will Ben find love after the J-Lo? It's been keeping me up nights.

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© 2004 Tom Purcell