On September 11, 2001, an army of well organized fanatical Islamists sent some “kamikaze” soldiers to the United States of America to wreak havoc upon the free world. Their success was spectacular.
From the time the first plane hit, to the time the last plane crashed and burned was measured in minutes. Yet; the physical and psychological damage will linger for years.
These Islamist soldiers did their evil deed, and left the rest of their victories up to us. We grounded our airplanes and crippled travel. We have become so paranoid, that the tiny file attached to a nail clipper is now banned from flights because it is deemed to be a weapon. And even cutlery has been removed from airline galleys.
An elderly man joked about the search of his elderly wife’s purse at the airport security station, asking if they (the security guards) were worried that his wife was carrying a bomb in her little purse. For that, he was denied passage on the plane and detained by the authorities.
For a time, New York City crippled its own flow of traffic into Manhattan as a means to prevent further attacks. And the list goes on. Yet; we hear from our leaders that we should do the patriotic thing and go fly, travel, shop and live our normal lives. But; how can we do this when we are reminded daily by those same authorities, and by the news media that we are extraordinarily vulnerable?
It bothers me that there are now armed and uniformed soldiers at America’s airports. To me, this is yet another reminder from the government that we are at great risk, and an admission that we have a great deal of reason to be afraid.
I am certain that terrorists will not be nearly as intimidated by the presence of these soldiers, as will be the normal traveler. So, why not have armed, plain clothed specialists patrolling airport security? They will be at the least as effective, if not more so than visible soldiers.
It is also pushing the envelope to force people to show up as long as three hours prior to their flight, supposedly for security reasons. I have flown several times since the 11th, and each time, I showed up three hours early and wound up hanging around the airport for more than two and half hours, doing nothing after I was checked through.
The Islamic army spent “chump change” to cost the world trillions of dollars in tangible and intangible costs. And every day that we alter our lives to suit the enemy, we lose even more.
If we are terrified of what the terrorists might do next, we’ll probably do nothing. When one considers the uncountable number of potential targets the enemy might attack, we might as well not step outside the door if fear is going to be our motivator.
The terrorists are not interested in killing millions of people. They don’t have to. All they have to do is kill and injure enough people in enough strategic locations as to shut down everything. It really doesn’t take much. Nor does it take a very large army with sophisticated weapons. But that is only if we let them.
Security can be easy without crippling travel. Every flight cockpit must be locked down with unequivocal rules against opening the door under any and all circumstances, before and after all passengers are either on, or off the plane.
And at the very least, one armed and well trained plain clothed sky marshal should be on every flight. And if there are flights coming in that do not have sky marshals, deny them entry.
If we can pay these stupid airport improvement fees, we can certainly pay for the kind of security that is necessary for our protection without making it so uncomfortable to fly, that many of us won’t.
We will also see bogey-men around every corner. Loose talcum powder will immediately be considered a biological threat. A lunch bag left on a fast food counter might be thought to be a bomb. And everyone with a Mediterranean complexion will be a suspected terrorist. Let’s not allow ourselves to live like this.
The best thing for all of us to do, is to just go about living our normal lives. Watch a little less CNN. Listen to fewer talk-shows, especially where the hosts are idiots and the callers are even bigger idiots. Don’t read all the Bin Laden newspaper stories. And let’s once again start making all of our politicians accountable.
I am not suggesting that we do not remain vigilant. But; every time we choose not to do something that we would normally do, it is yet another victory for the terrorists. And in my mind’s eye, they have already won far too much.