Monday, January 17, 2005

Doom and Gloom

I guess I must have been about 15 years old when Philip Wylie’s book “Tomorrow” came out. His description of a nuclear war and its aftermath had a profound effect on me. I dreamed that one day my survival skills would be put to the test. I didn’t dream that this would happen after I turned 65. But I do now.

I recently sent a gloomy forecast of the future, “As The World Burns”, out to some of you as an email. I’m guessing that most didn’t read it because it was “too long”. Hey, I know a nine page article is taxing, and I suggested that you print it out to read. And some of you probably stopped reading when it started to sound scary. Wouldn’t want to get scared now would we.

But new projections are being published, and they are similar.

WASHINGTON - In the next six years, Al Qaeda will launch terrible attacks on America's casinos, shopping malls, and rail lines. The federal government will intern tens of thousands of Muslims in remote facilities and issue national identification cards. The price of oil will spike to more than $80 a barrel, and rebel forces will launch a successful coup in Saudi Arabia. And one more thing: Iran will obtain an A-bomb.
That's the vision of the future in a lengthy cover story in the current Atlantic Monthly by former counterterrorism tsar Richard Clarke, who predicts the American economy - not to mention civil liberties - will decline precipitously after a second wave of attacks that he says Al Qaeda will launch this year.
Written as the transcript for a fictional lecturer, Roger McBride, giving a 10th annual September 11 address to the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Mr. Clarke drives his point home when he writes, "No one could stand here today, in 2011, and say that America has won the war on terror."

Although the Atlantic Monthly wants a subscription fee to read the article, others soon published it on the web, some to ridicule it. Free Republic, a right-wing site, stole the article in its entirety and published it here along with a humorous collection of nitwit comments.

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