A Proposal

It's appropriate that the United States government has finally gotten our television networks to ban the propaganda videos coming from Osama bin Laden. Apparently, according to reports, it is possible that he could be using hand signals or coded words to reach terrorists in this country to prompt further attacks.

By removing these programs from American television, it means that bin Laden's followers would be dependent on pagers, which can be called directly from satellite phones in Afghanistan. Thus, Sprint could be empowered to check out which of their customers are receiving calls directly from Afghanistan, and use the appropriate means to discover those who are in touch with that area of that country where bin Laden is thought to be living.

Would-be terrorists might also use their home satellite dishes to receive Echostar's service, "The Arabic Elite," where Qad news-service Al Jazeera can be found. Appropriate governmental agencies should be given special powers to track down American homes which are beaming in on Transponder 4 --- Al Jazeera's transponder --- and thus nab other possible terrorists.

The administration should also consider forcing a ban on all inappropriate videos that our neighboring countries are putting on their news programs. For instance, where I live in Mexico, television stations often feature not only speeches by Islam militants from Al Jazeera (with translation in Spanish), but many times will lead off their news programs with shots of women and children wounded in the bombings of Kabul being taken off to the hospital. Friends tell me this could also be a problem with CBC television programs coming in from Canada. These programs are "illegal aliens," creeping over our borders without permission.

Bush, Cheney and others in the administration should require Mexico and Canada --- if they are to continue to be considered allies of the United States --- to ferret out all programming that might show this collateral damage from the bombings, because they may reflect an implicit criticism of American foreign policy.


--- Carlos Amantea

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