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Pat Robertson Predicts 'Mass Killing' In U.S.
[Opinion] Should Americans fear for their safety in 2007?
Shannon McCann (joethefig)     Print Article 
Published 2007-01-04 15:54 (KST)   
On Pat Robertson's television show "The 700 Club" he predicted that there would be a terrorist attack that would result in "mass killing" in the United States in late 2007. He further clarified this position with "the Lord didn't say nuclear. But, I do believe it will be something like that." Robertson says that he develops his predictions during prayer retreats when God speaks to him.

Pat Robertson has a long history of making controversial statements on a wide variety of subjects. Among some of his more memorable claims: in 1985, he said that he used his powers of prayer to steer Hurricane Gloria away from Virginia Beach, Virginia and his company's headquarters. In 1998, he stated that allowing "Gay Days" to occur at Disney World could result in variety of natural disasters to strike Orlando, Florida, including the possibility of a meteor strike. In 2005, He told Dover, Pennsylvania residents "if there is a disaster in your area, don셳 turn to god." This was due to the fact that the school board in the town had rejected the idea of teaching the intelligent design theory in its public schools. Also in 2005, he called for the United States to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. A statement he later denied making.

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He has regularly made broad statements condemning the Muslim religion, certain Israeli leaders, and even some denominations of the Christian faith. He once called Scotland a "dark land overrun by homosexuals." Possibly, his most controversial statements involve his public support of Liberian President Charles Taylor. In 2003, Robertson was very critical of the Bush administration for its support of removing Charles Taylor from power in Liberia on his television show. During these criticisms, Robertson failed to mention that he had invested $8 million in a Liberian gold mine. Taylor is not the only African dictator that Robertson has supported over the years. In 1993/1994, Robertson established the African Development Corporation in Zaire. This venture was supported by the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.

And, of course, there was Robertson's 1988 presidential bid. His run for the Republican nomination started off very well when he finished second in the Iowa caucus. But, he was unable to take advantage of this momentum and dropped out of the race before the end of the primaries.

Many of his outrageous statements seem to be nothing more than attempts to focus attention and publicity toward his cable television network and specifically his show, The 700 Club. He regularly makes predictions after prayer retreats, but most of these are ambiguous. This is not the first time Robertson has predicted a coming calamity. In 1996 he predicted "a great disaster," following up with 쏧 think it's the U.S., but, I don't know."

So, should we be more fearful of a terrorist attack this year because God told Pat Robertson that an attack will occur? On May 17, 2006 Robertson elaborated on an earlier 2006 prediction that "there well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest." Of course, there was no tsunami to hit the U.S. in 2006. And, even though Robertson's powers of prayer successfully steered Hurricane Gloria away from Virginia Beach in 1985, it was not enough to change the path of Hurricane Isabel which struck Virginian Beach in 2003. Had Robertson made this "mass killing" prediction at the beginning of 2001 when a large scale terrorist attack in the U.S. was still inconceivable in most people's mind, then his current prophesies would be much more chilling.

The problem with discounting completely these predictions is the fact that both a nuclear attack on a major city in the U.S. and a tsunami event in the pacific are very real and distinct threats. As witnessed by the 2004 Asian tsunami, mankind is not prepared to handle an event of this magnitude. And, although we have spent billions on homeland security following the 9/11/2001 attacks; the threat of a major terrorist attack against the United States remains a very real and credible possibility.

Even more sobering is the fact that the Associated Press reported on Tuesday that a federal report states that only six American cities are ready to handle a major disaster. And, two of these cities, Laramie County, Wyoming and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, are probably not at the top of a terrorist's target list.

Among the five cities with the lowest scores in this report is Chicago, Illinois. As one of the nation's five largest cities with a world known landmark, The Sears Tower, Chicago is a prime target for a major terrorist attack. Yet, this report rates the city's ability to coordinate and communicate in the event of a major disaster as one of the worst in the study.

Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications issued a statement "we strongly disagree with the results of this study, and feel that the parameters of the study were inconsistent and limited." Instead of examining the "parameters" used in the study, the city should instead welcome all criticism as good in order to continue to improve procedures and processes. All focus should always be on improvement, no city wants to be the next New Orleans.

Although, I would love to completely discount Pat Robertson's present prediction, the bottom line is that it is a very real possibility. There are thousands of shipping containers entering the United States every day. Any one of these poses the risk of containing nuclear material. Unfortunately, the threat of a "dirty bomb" made from nuclear waste is another very real possibility, although the net result of an attack of this kind is unknown.

And, as the events of 9/11 and at the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City have shown, a terrorist does not need to have a nuclear device or nuclear material to accomplish an effective and devastating attack on an American city. This coupled with the recent report that shows that many urban areas are not poised to handle a major disaster, makes Pat Robertson's recent statement a chilling foreboding of what could happen at any time.
©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Shannon McCann

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