Should we be more concerned about terrorism today than, say, one year ago? Given what happened on the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day, it seems the answer is we should all be a whole lot more worried. Western security measures seem fairly weak indeed, especially those of the Americans.
Instead of clearly identifying the main threat of international terrorism, and instead of focusing on the real source, the US and much of the West simply imposes draconian restrictions of the majority who are not and will not be a threat to national security.
As Newt Gingrich puts it, “Once again, instead of targeting the source of the threats, our politically correct government decides to make life more miserable for the travelling public by imposing hopelessly meaningless rules such as not allowing passengers to leave their seats in the last hour of the flight. Bound by cultural sensitivities, the default reaction of the bureaucracy is to review the procedures and wring its hands ineffectively.”
He continues, “Today, because our elites fear politically incorrect honesty, they believe that it is better to harass the innocent, delay the harmless, and risk the lives of every American than to do the obvious, the effective, and the necessary.”
Charles Krauthammer is equally critical of the American national security setup: “Janet Napolitano – former Arizona governor, now overmatched secretary of homeland security – will forever be remembered for having said of the attempt to bring down an airliner over Detroit: ‘The system worked.’ The attacker’s concerned father had warned U.S. authorities about his son’s jihadist tendencies. The would-be bomber paid cash and checked no luggage on a transoceanic flight. He was nonetheless allowed to fly, and would have killed 288 people in the air alone, save for a faulty detonator and quick actions by a few passengers. Heck of a job, Brownie.”
Of course it doesn’t help when the US President seems to be clueless about the war we are in: “The reason the country is uneasy about the Obama administration’s response to this attack is a distinct sense of not just incompetence but incomprehension. From the very beginning, President Obama has relentlessly tried to downplay and deny the nature of the terrorist threat we continue to face. Napolitano renames terrorism ‘man-caused disasters.’ Obama goes abroad and pledges to cleanse America of its post-9/11 counterterrorist sins. Hence, Guantanamo will close, CIA interrogators will face a special prosecutor, and Khalid Sheik Mohammed will bask in a civilian trial in New York – a trifecta of political correctness and image management.
“And just to make sure even the dimmest understand, Obama banishes the term ‘war on terror.’ It’s over – that is, if it ever existed. Obama may have declared the war over. Unfortunately al-Qaeda has not. Which gives new meaning to the term ‘asymmetric warfare’.”
He concludes, “Any government can through laxity let someone slip through the cracks. But a government that refuses to admit that we are at war, indeed, refuses even to name the enemy – jihadist is a word banished from the Obama lexicon – turns laxity into a governing philosophy.”
And as usual, Ann Coulter gets it exactly right, with terrific wit to boot. She seems far more informed about Islamic terrorism and the woeful US security system than those who should be are. Indeed, picking up on another recent episode, she is far closer to the truth: “Ivana Trump Escorted Off Plane: Napolitano Declares ‘The System Worked’.”
She is scathingly correct here: “For the past eight years, approximately 2 million Americans a day have been subjected to humiliating searches at airport security checkpoints, forced to remove their shoes and jackets, to open their computers, and to remove all liquids from their carry-on bags, except minuscule amounts in marked 3-ounce containers placed in Ziploc plastic bags – folding sandwich bags are verboten – among other indignities. This, allegedly, was the price we had to pay for safe airplanes. The one security precaution the government refused to consider was to require extra screening for passengers who looked like the last three-dozen terrorists to attack airplanes.
“Since Muslims took down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, every attack on a commercial airliner has been committed by foreign-born Muslim men with the same hair color, eye color and skin color. Half of them have been named Mohammed.”
Why is all this so difficult? “And so, despite 5 trillion Americans opening laptops, surrendering lip gloss and drinking breast milk in airports day after day for the past eight years, the government still couldn’t stop a Nigerian Muslim from nearly blowing up a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day. The ‘warning signs’ exhibited by this particular passenger included the following:
“His name was Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. He’s Nigerian. He’s a Muslim. His name was Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. He boarded a plane in Lagos, Nigeria. He paid nearly $3,000 in cash for his ticket. He had no luggage. His name was Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Two months ago, his father warned the U.S. that he was a radical Muslim and possibly dangerous. If our security procedures can’t stop this guy, can’t we just dispense with those procedures altogether? What’s the point exactly?”
She finishes with these words: “The government is like the drunk looking for his keys under a lamppost. Someone stops to help, and asks, ‘Is this where you lost them?’ No, the drunk answers, but the light’s better here. The government refuses to perform the only possibly effective security check – search Muslims – so instead it harasses infinitely compliant Americans. Will that help avert a terrorist attack? No, but the Americans don’t complain.
“The only reason Abdulmutallab didn’t succeed in bringing down an airplane with 278 passengers was that: (1) A brave Dutchman leapt from his seat and extinguished the smoldering Nigerian; and (2) the Nigerian apparently didn’t have enough detonating fluid to cause a powerful explosion.
“In addition to the no blanket, no computer, no bathroom rule, perhaps the airlines could add this to their preflight announcement about seat belts and emergency exits: ‘Should a passenger sitting near you attempt to detonate an explosive device, you may be called upon to render emergency assistance. Would you be willing to do so under those circumstances? If not we will assign you another seat …’”
One would have thought that nearly a decade out from 9/11 we would have got some of this stuff sorted out. Evidently not. Not when political correctness and idiotic attempts at appeasement dominate the thinking of our ruling elites. It is hoped that someone in a position of power and influence wakes up pretty soon, before more Western lives are recklessly and needlessly lost.