Ridge: Iraq war will increase terrorist danger

This is not a news story. It's not even an interesting feature story. We all know this already and it's definitely not entertaining. In fact, I'm convinced the only reason the White House and the NYTimes got together today on this one was to give me an excuse to post this item.

WASHINGTON, March 13 — Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge joined federal law enforcement officials today in warning that suicide bombings like those that have killed hundreds in Israel are inevitable in the United States and will be difficult to prevent.

His warning, in a television interview, came as Mr. Ridge and his department stepped up preparations to raise the nation's terrorism alert level to "high risk" out of concern over the possibility of terrorist attacks linked to an invasion of Iraq.

In his interview with Fox News, Mr. Ridge said, "we have to prepare for the inevitability" of suicide bombings in the United States.

How can a war against Iraq be essential to American security, as the Bush crowd argues, if a war against Iraq will destroy American security? Is anyone in Washington thinking about this? Just ask yourself, whether you live in New York or, say, Tom Ridge's home, Erie, Pennsylvania, do you have more to fear from Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction" or the neighborhood suicide bomber?

On another note, let us all remember that, when the alert is raised to "orange" once again next week, a few days before a major national antiwar demonstration, as was done a few days before the February 15 rallies around the country, this will be only a coincidence.