Last week Madeleine Albright announced the obvious: that Y2K presents a propitious moment in time for those with nefarious plots for terrorism, world domination and general mayhem. Warnings have been issued to U.S. citizens with overseas holiday travel plans. The usual suspects -- Osama Bin Laden and crew -- have been fingered and Americans are for sure worrying their heads over a perceived external, foreign threat. But is the United States government overlooking something?
Yes, it is true that there are countless individuals throughout the world who might like to see America and its citizens harmed. Surely, Muamer Qadhafi harbors ill will towards the United States for the death of his daughter. Osama Bin Laden, an avowed enemy of the United States, has targeted the U.S. and its citizens for of violence. And Yugoslavians no doubt feel some level of resentment for this year's U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign.
Interestingly though, the warning covers the entire globe with the exception of the United States itself. There is a very important subliminal message in this. Americans are being told that the rest of the world is a big, scary, menacing place; and this reinforces whatever xenophobic fears Americans might harbor, especially with reference to Muslims.
But has the U.S. government overlooked the very real possibility that domestic terror and mayhem could be more prevalent than any such activities that might be exacted upon Americans travelling abroad?
Surely, there is someone out there who would like to take revenge for the FBI and ATF debacle at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX. Maybe someone feels that Y2K is the time to even the score for the deaths at Ruby Ridge. Or possibly someone or some group would like to pick up where Timothy McVeigh left off in Oklahoma City. Did the U.S. government think to warn its citizens about these possibilities?
Is Y2K a propitious moment for extremist, hate groups who wish to start a race war in the United States? Will there be a rash of activity from apocalyptic groups who wish to use death and terror on U.S. soil to usher in the "Last Days?"
All of this is within the realm of reason and what better night for a small group with bad intentions to rain down terror here in the United States than New Year's eve at midnight.
What if some extreme Michigan or Idaho militia group decided to blow up Dick Clark and all his drunken hordes in Times Square? They would definitely make an emphatic statement in doing so.
The point is that there is sufficient homegrown hatred brewing in America that could easily boil over into violence. And government officials here have been notorious for misreading signs of civil discontent.
So although it is prudent for the State Department to warn citizens about foreign threats, it is time that someone in the government realized that the United States has major issues of its own to handle, and should warn its people accordingly.
Ali Asadullah is the Editor of iviews.com