we're just going to have to create terrorists ourselves

The war party in Washington had predicted terrorist strikes in the U.S. would accompany a war on Iraq, but now that it's gotten the war it longed for, it admits there is little evidence Al Qaeda or any other groups plan to attack us, and this may not be making the party members happy. What they really want is a red alert, since that would mean the real martial law with which we have only been threatened up up now.

I don't think it's just my cynicism, but a piece in the regular "A Nation at War" section of the NYTimes this Sunday morning suggests that our very nutty and very scary secret-society, basement-clubhouse war-mongers seems to have a plan for turning around this unexpected and almost certainly disappointing development.

WASHINGTON, April 5 — After Bush administration officials and many American lawmakers predicted that terrorist attacks were nearly inevitable because of the war in Iraq, there has been little evidence that Al Qaeda or other networks are preparing to strike against the United States, senior government officials say.

As a result, intelligence analysts are turning their attention to a new potential threat, the likelihood that a protracted American presence in Iraq after the war could stir violence both in Iraq, the rest of the Middle East, in the United States and against American interests around the globe.

"I can't believe that they are going to do nothing after Iraq," said one senior counterterrorism official. "I've been frankly astonished at how quiet it's been. I've got to believe that somehow, some way they are going to try to hit us. It's just a matter of time."

We've learned nothing since September 11. We're going to continue to do whatever we can to stir the embers and fan the flames of an enemy about which we understand nothing and which is currently to be found nowhere, this time by an extended ocupation of the proud heart of ancient araby.

But we aren't going to restrict our mischief to the overlordship of Mesopotamia. The news story immediately to the left of the one cited above tells us that our modern destroyer of civilization has cast his eyes beyond the ancient cradle of civilization, and now openly covets Persia and Syria.

Shortly after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld issued a stark warning to Iran and Syria last week, declaring that any "hostile acts" they committed on behalf of Iraq might prompt severe consequences, one of President Bush's closest aides stepped into the Oval Office to warn him that his unpredictable defense secretary had just raised the specter of a broader confrontation.

Mr. Bush smiled a moment at the latest example of Mr. Rumsfeld's brazenness, recalled the aide. Then he said one word — "Good" — and went back to work.

It was a small but telling moment on the sidelines of the war.

"[Colin] Powell was taken aback," says the Times, but he remains only window dressing for the den of criminals and fools in the White House. The paper later quotes someone described as "a senior administation official:"
"Iraq is not just about Iraq"
There's also a trigger-happy cheering section outside the White House, and they're not being discreet these days.
Several of the hawks outside the administration who pressed for war with Iraq are already moving on to the next step, and perhaps further than the president is ready to go. [my italics, and I have to say, huh?] R. James Woolsey, the former director of central intelligence, said on Wednesday that Iraq was the opening of a "fourth world war," after World War I, World War II and the cold war, and that America's enemies included the religious rulers in Iran, states like Syria and Islamic extremist terrorist groups.
For more fun (or nightmares) with speculation about the extent of the White House gang's stupidity or devilry, see the excellent Daily Kos.