Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Danger Zone

Are you afraid of a terrorist attack on the United States? Do you wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, full of the fear that comes from ISIL or al This or That blowing up or knocking down something in your neighborhood? What if they were out there, planning and plotting the downfall of this American society? Well, to borrow an analogy from "Parks and Recreation," that's more of an Eagleton concern than a Pawnee concern. Or if you prefer to put it in a Simpsons mode, it's more of a "Shelbyville idea." The war on terror, meanwhile, continues, whether you're in Springfield, Shelbyville, or Detroit.
A bridge was taken down by in that rusted wreck of a city. The instrument of destruction was a trash truck. Two other vehicles were struck by debris, but no one else was injured, Michigan State Police Lieutenant Michael Shaw said at the scene. "If this would have happened maybe an hour later it would have been a lot worse," he said. Thank goodness the terrorists struck where and when they did. Except they weren't terrorists. It was an accident, and the driver of the trash truck was the only fatality. The only other casualty? Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was late for practice because of the traffic jam that was created. But it's Detroit, after all. If terrorists showed up and wreaked havoc for weeks in that jewel of the Midwest, would we know it? 
I kid. I like to kid about terrorism, domestic or foreign. Every time we laugh at terrorism, we win. Or something like that. I'm also just as happy to toss that same kind of callous disregard at the city where I live: Oakland. It would probably take just as long or longer to detect a terrorist presence in this city by the bay. They would have to show up in between riots and gang violence in order to get us to look up from our morning paper. When Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that ISIL is planning retaliatory strikes against public transportation targets here in the United States in response to the air strikes we have been lobbing in their general direction, the folks in Auburn Hills and Piedmont were probably quaking in their boots. Expensive, designer boots. 
Down here in the flatlands, we're just waiting for them to try something. You guys think you're so bad? Go ahead. Bring it on. But not this weekend. We've got Oktoberfest

No comments: