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News and quick-hit commentary from around mid-Michigan ... from the Morning Sun.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Mackinac Terror

The alleged terror plot to damage the Mackinac Bridge is interesting, to say the least, if it's real. The families of the men involved, of course, claim it was all part of a scheme to repackage cell phones. That's interesting, and I certainly hope prosecutors check it out.
But if the plot is true, it would be extraordinarily chilling.
I think back to the Oklahoma City bombing. When that happened, I, like most Americans, originally jumped to the conclusion that it originated in the Middle East, not with terrorists from Michigan's Thumb.
I remember thinking, "Man, they finally get it."
Striking at a major city, like New York or Los Angeles, is one thing. Striking at the heartland is another.
Yet where is the greatest support for the U.S. adventure in the Middle East? The heartland. Where do many of the most committed U.S. military people come from? The heartland, the Midwest and the South.
Imagine, for a moment, the Labor Day walk across the Mackinac Bridge. On a typical year, somewhere around 50,000 people walk across the bridge. It's almost a spiritual experience, to be surrounded by this massive steel structure, high above the Straits, at dawn.
By 8 a.m., the bridge is full of people, thousands of them, men, women, children, active seniors, people in wheelchairs, babies in strollers.
Now, imagine if every 50 feet through the crowd, a suicide bomber were stationed, each with the type of horrible nail bomb or ball-bearing bomb that have ripped through Israeli marketplaces for years, and now rip through Iraqi marketplaces. Imagine they all are tied together with cell-phone connected detonators, so one phone call from St. Ignace -- or a cave in Pakistan -- sets them off all at once.
How would the heartland react to that slaughter of its own? That kind of stuff is happening daily in Iraq, and most Americans are shrugging and turning back to "South Park."
Here's the frightening part: If an old newspaper guy can think of it, chances are good someone else has thought of it first.
We are the enemy. We are being persecuted. We have to face up to it.


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