Don't Panic! January 09 2002

Terror tips for the terrified

Where's the next stop in our overseas war on terror?

Even though we still have one or two small tasks yet to complete in Afghanistan — getting bin Laden and Mullah Omar, picking up our empty cans and bottles, etc. — it appears our government is moving ahead with plans to expand the war against international terrorism into new countries.

Rest assured the Pentagon already knows our military's next target, but for some reason they won't tell me. Something about "maintaining operational secrecy" and "national security."

So with no one in the government willing to talk to me, I asked my fortune-teller pal, the Magic 8-Ball. While Magic 8-Ball only gives "yes" or "no" answers, it's still a more reliable source of war news than Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera. Here's what I asked Magic 8-Ball, and here's what it said:

Q: The U.S. government says that al-Qaeda has active personnel and bases in Somalia. Reports say that American reconnaissance aircraft are currently scouting targets there. Somalia has no central government and no allies. Unlike Iraq, we can bomb them without jeopardizing our anti-terrorism coalition. So is Somalia our next target?

A: You may rely on it.

Q: Iraq has biological, chemical and possibly even nuclear weapons. And in Saddam Hussein, it's got a leader willing to use them. Everybody wants his regime gone, but our Arab Gulf War allies believe the U.S. has inflicted enough harm on Iraq, and they might not support more military strikes. Is Iraq our next military target?

A: Signs point to yes.

Q: Yemen, bin Laden's ancestral homeland, is where suicide bombers believed to be associated with al-Qaeda attacked the U.S.S. Cole in 2000, killing 17 American sailors. For the stability of our nearby oil-rich allies, we want Yemen's al-Qaeda cells destroyed. Yemen's government has already begun cracking down on them. Will we send our troops in to help them out?

A: Cannot predict now.

Q: The Philippines and Indonesia are possible U.S. military targets because both countries have strong militant Islamic rebel movements with ties to al-Qaeda. However, both are allies and lucrative trading partners. Are we gonna risk tens of billions of dollars by attacking them?

A: Don't count on it.

E-mail your war questions to andisheh@creativeloafing.com.??

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