Getting Serious About Terrorism

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.

newt.org/tabid/102/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/4708/Default.aspx
patriotpost.us/opinion/charles-krauthammer/2010/01/01/war-what-war/
townhall.com/columnists/AnnCoulter/2009/12/30/ivana_trump_escorted_off_plane_napolitano_declares_the_system_worked

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10 Replies to “Getting Serious About Terrorism”

  1. Political correctness on this issue is what got 14 people killed at Fort Hood just a few weeks ago, despite the obvious warning signs there.

    Honestly, when are governments going to learn that political correctness kills? What is worse, people dead or just offended?

    Of course, the problem is that the dead don’t complain as much as those offended, and so the deadly circus continues…

    Mark Rabich

  2. There is a few interesting lessons from this incident;

    Surprise, surprise, after being treated as a common criminal and lawyered up, he has refused co-operate and spill the beans on future terrorist attacks

    “Abdulmutallab remains in a Detroit area prison and, after initial debriefings by the FBI, has restricted his cooperation since securing a defense attorney, according to federal officials.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/29/AR2009122901433_pf.html

    Interesting too, he was from a priveleged, wealthy family, not forced into a life of terrorism out of his poor upbringing or supposed exploitation by western countries;

    “Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s life until mid-2008 reflected his lofty status as the son of a prominent Nigerian banker, with a prestigious education and luxury apartment in London. After graduating from a prominent London university that June, however, Mr. Abdulmutallab soon began showing signs of trouble.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126187511080506063.html

    Real interesting too that Somalia’s security system was able to prevent a similar terrorist attack from even boarding the plane. They put to use good old fashioned common sense, obviously were not hamstrung by political correctness like stupid westerners;

    “In Somalia, the rudimentary security apparatus in the nation that ranks rock-bottom on every major development indicator stopped him before he even got on. Incredibly, it means that in this case passengers would have been safer flying out of Mogadishu than depending on elaborate U.S. security measures coming into Detroit.

    All the $50.5 billion spent on Homeland Security and the even higher black budgets of the intelligence agencies didn’t help. What in the heck is this money for?

    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s first statement was that the system worked. What she meant by that was frisking every blue-haired old lady or any other random person authorities can get their hands on. They know these people are not terrorists, but they do it to so that Muslim passengers and the terrorists among them don’t feel profiled. All the political correctness boxes got checked off.

    For African Union soldiers doing security in a hellhole like Mogadishu, it meant stopping a terror attack at all costs.

    Instead of going after the elderly, they zeroed in on a curiously acting young man with a terrorist profile, and gave him the extra pat-down in all the right places. That was all it took to bag a terrorist.”

    http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=516682

    Damien Spillane

  3. Your term “draconian” is accurate.

    Forex, DHS wants the ability to approve (or deny) passage for every passenger on any form of transport into or ex the USA – Citizen or not.

    They began demanding this ability in 2006.

    It is becoming increasingly obvious that the intent is to terrify or frustrate (or both) practically everyone… which leads to the obvious question: Why?

    My guess is that it’s to railroad people into accepting “safety” & “health” measures which they would never ordinarily accept. Invasions of privacy, invasions of freedom, invasions of just about everything – which includes global warming, swine flu, terrorists, the lot.

    The goal of such measures appears to add up to total, unquestioned control. Now that is indeed a worry.

    Leon Brooks

  4. A society which despises God and His laws, despises the very notion of law and hence the concepts of cause and effect. Such a society inevitably develops an existential mindset. Politics then becomes the art of the feel-good gesture rather than the job of making unpopular decisions which would actually produce results.

    Mansel Rogerson

  5. Thanks Dale

    Yes those Christians are a very real problem alright. Thanks for alerting us to the extreme dangers we all face!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  6. Mark Steyn is absolutely devastating on this issue, both in terms of logic and wit;

    “So instead they imposed a slew of constraints against you. At Heathrow last week, they were permitting only one item of carry-on on U.S. flights. In Toronto, no large purses.

    Um, the Pantybomber didn’t have a purse. He brought the bomb on board under his private parts, and his private parts weren’t part of his carry-on (although, if reports of injuries sustained in his failed mission are correct, they may well have been part of his carry-off). But no matter. If in doubt, blame the victim. The TSA announced that for the last hour of the flight no passenger can use the toilets or have anything on his lap – not a laptop, not a blanket, not a stewardess, not even a paperback book. I can’t wait for the first lawsuit after an infidel flight attendant confiscates a litigious imam’s Koran as they’re coming into LAX.

    You’re still free to read a paperback if you’re flying from Paris to Sydney, or Stockholm to Beijing, or Kuala Lumpur to Heathrow. But not to LAX or JFK. The TSA were responding as bonehead bureaucracies do: Don’t just stand there, do something. And every time the TSA does something, you’ll have to stand there, longer and longer, suffering ever more pointless indignities. Last week, guest-hosting “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” I took a call from a lady who said that, if it helps keep her safe, she’s happy to get to the airport “four, five, whatever hours” before the flight. Try to put a figure on “whatever” and you’ll get a sense of where America’s transportation system is headed. Ten years ago, you got to the airport 45 minutes, an hour before the flight. Now, thanks to the ever more demanding choreographers of the homeland security kabuki, it’s two, three, four, whatever. Look at O’Hare and imagine the size of airport we’ll need. And by then the Pantybomber won’t even need to get on the plane; he can kill more people blowing up the check-in line.”

    http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/president-226640-states-system.html

    Damien Spillane

  7. Hi Bill – magnificent work you do on Culture Watch. I couldn’t see any direct contact on the site so the following comment doesn’t have any relevance to the above article.

    Regarding the current impending sanctions by the Indian government over the killing yesterday in Melbourne of an Indian national. This is an article in the making that should be read across our nation. As you know, India is one of the most socially intolerant & racist nations on Earth – no fuss is ever made when Australians and other western nationals (known as Christians) get murdered in India whilst helping their damned Lower Class. What a hypocritical bunch the Indian Ruling Class are. If they were Christians, Christ reserved his most scathing remarks for their spiritual leaders who preened themselves at the expense of the poor & murdering those who are actually putting something into their country.

    Kind regards,

    Grant Squelch

  8. The big-wigs in al-Qaeda must be having a laugh at the irony.

    The US government accuses those nasty terrorists of scheming to rob Americans of their freedom and destroy the liberty of the land of the free. Then the US government proceeds to do exactly that.

    No need for al-Qaeda to do much beyond the occasional incident. Homeland Security and the TSA are doing a fine job of incrementally withdrawing freedoms while successfully convincing people it’s for their own safety.

    I can see a sketch for the Chaser team here … trying to fly into LA dressed as Osama bin Laden, Koran on lap, using toilet just before landing (time to pray, wants privacy). They could probably get away with it, as nobody would dare to offend a Muslim.

    Graham Barker

  9. American officials certainly deserve heavy criticism for their PC rules on flying. People who look like Muslims should be thoroughly checked. When I was in radio and was invited by the Irish Tourist Board to do some programmes in Ireland, I found that every single time I touched down in Dublin or Shannon airports with Aer Lingus, I was pulled over, from among a mixture of nationalities on the flight, for checking. This was at a time in which there had been problems with the activities of the IRA. Now my grandparents, despite my French surname, all came from Ireland, so it was obvious that I must have looked like a local. I understood why they pulled me over, even though I wasn’t thrilled with the idea. Now almost all terrorist attacks today originate with Muslims, so they should understand why there is a need to be checked, if you are or look like one.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

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