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Awaiting terrorist attacks

Fears of Americans can contribute to Bush’s victory. 
New York and Washington, DC have been under terrorist alert - the level of terrorist alert has been increased to orange. Al-Qaida can launch an attack in the nearest future, said Head of the Interior Security Ministry Tom Ridge.

According to him, there is high risk of attacks for the building of the Stock Exchange and the headquarters of Citigroup major financial corporation in Manhattan, New York, for the premises of Prudential Financial in Newark, NJ and for the offices of International Monetary Fund and World Bank (located near the White House in Washington, DC).

Special services said that the terrorists shared the data on the architecture, vulnerable places and security of the 12 buildings in the above mentioned cities.

Despite Mr. Ridge’s assurances that even destroying all the 12 buildings would not undermine the US economy, the markets’ reaction was instant. In New York, the oil prices set a new record and approach the mark of $44 per barrel. The stock exchange indices fell at the majority of Asian markets.

US media were quick to depict the unusual reaction of the Democrats – Bush’s opponents – on the terrorist alert. The New York Time wrote that previously the Democrats called the special services warnings “using terrorist threat for political purposes” – to get the voters scared and persuade them that only the current US Administration headed by Bush, can safeguard them from the total terrorist threat. Today, the things changed. The aides of Presidential candidate John Kerry say that they believe the special services’ warnings this time. 

In turn, Bush’s Administration officials admit that any reminder of the reality of terrorist threat is beneficial for President Bush. According to public opinion polls, Americans perceive George Bush as the best defender of the nation. At the difficult periods of history, US public opinion tends to be conservative, and this increases Bush’s chances to win, says Valery Garbuzov, Head of Department of Domestic Policy Research of the Institute of the USA and Canada.  “There is much to criticize George Bush for – for the problems in the relations with the allies, for the war in Iraq, but Bush’s Administration has been really fighting against terrorism after 9/11, and no terrorist attacks took place. Even a major act terrorist would not put down Bush’s rating, but would improve it”, says Valery Garbuzov. He believes that no way Bush can postpone the elections, as Americans would detest abusing their right to vote.

According to analysts, the outburst of negative reaction to the test “leak” on postponing the election date demonstrated that the person initiating this idea would lose the elections. If the relevant bill was submitted to the US Congress by the Administration, the press will call Bush a “wheeler-dealer”. For George Bush, it will be sufficient to continue get the people scared, and the people fears will work for Bush demonstrating his readiness to fight with terrorist threats.

Andrey Terekhov

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