Saturday, August 12, 2006

Snakes on a Plane

They have nothing on the Islamist zealots.

This is not the time to be politically correct. I propose that instead of embarking on a widespread persecution of innocent toiletries, there should also be – and I know this is going to give a zirotsky to many – effective profiling of passengers (which I'm sure exists already. I have a Dominican friend who always gets stopped). Still, history has shown that the people who tend to want to blow the civilized world up in midair tend to be young male Muslims, not overweight white trash housewives from Podunk carrying hair mousse in their handbags. So that both travelers and their hapless screeners can keep their sanity, I propose to particularly screen those passengers that seem to present a risk factor, and sorry, but that will mean that if you have a Muslim name or mane or mien, you may be screened more than the rest. Tough. Such is life in wartime. This does not mean that blonde vixens and rednecks are exempt, but that there needs to be special attention to those who may pose a threat and less to those who don’t.
But what matters most is intelligent, targeted screening, not the wholesale persecution of eau de cologne.
May I remind you of a story about an Irish pregnant woman who was about to board an ElAl plane in London many years ago. The Israeli security agent who screened her noticed there was something weird with her suitcase. It was a big suitcase that seemed rather empty, but when she lifted it up, it seemed too heavy. So the agent stopped her, and thoroughly checked the bag, and lo and behold, there were plastic explosives sewn under the suitcase’s lining. Apparently, the poor woman was pregnant from some Middle Eastern terrorist who planned to use her and her unborn baby as human bombs, without telling her, which at this point should not surprise anyone. So people should be vigilant, because next we could have blond, white assholes scaring the living daylights out of everybody. But in the meantime, don’t you be letting any more Mohammed Attas anywhere near a plane.

The other thing that seems rather obvious to me and probably to anybody who has flown since 9/11 is that the people who work as screeners are woefully inadequate. I propose that since this is supposed to be a war on terror, as we have been constantly reminded for the last 5 years (and as is painfully clear that we are losing), this country should actually train soldiers, reservists, or national guards or drafted college students (why not?) to screen people more intelligently. Not to only depend on those people they are using now, who barely made it to high school and would be equally at home flipping burgers at White Castle. I have nothing against them except that they are not qualified.

There need to be people out there who have a set of criteria and can ask the right questions and stop the right passengers. I know that I sound like a broken record, but that is why ElAl has not had a plane exploded or hijacked in years.

By the way, the terrorists are hurting the Muslim community quite a bit with their actions. Encouraging racism and ostracism and discrimination. It would be great if the moderate Muslims in Britain and other countries would unite and make a statement, like peaceful massive street demonstrations, denouncing and shunning the barbarians in their midst. Instead, three Muslim members of parliament write a letter to Tony Blair blaming the plot on British foreign policy:

In an open letter they say British policy is putting civilians at increased risk in the UK and abroad.

The letter, signed by three Muslim MPs, three peers and 38 groups, also points to the "debacle" of Iraq and the UK's stance over the Middle East crisis.

Well, that's rich, not to say unfathomably stupid and even more cowardly. Perhaps they should think about what they could do to prevent their own young men from getting into the mindset of blowing themselves up at the age of twentysomething, instead of assigning blame on British foreign policy.

We all know Iraq is a debacle, but you can't put the blame of someone like Al-Zawahiri or Bin Laden exclusively on that. The Muslim world has done nothing, or nothing useful yet, to thwart or prevent or ameliorate the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. Surely there is blame to be apportioned there as well.

Apart from the obvious outrage at the disgusting, obscene bloodlust these people show, what also galls me are the levels of absurdity they are able to generate with their pranks. Now every single passenger on Earth has to have their perfume confiscated? Now a bottle of water is considered a risk on a plane? Are these people sitting in their hideouts laughing their heads off at the almost cartoonish chaos they unleash in the world? I would be.
Am I the only one or is anybody else deeply offended by the level of ridiculousness, not only of the all-over-the-place response by the airport authorities, but also of the plotting itself? Doesn't it strike you as offensively juvenile, inane, moronic, retarded, to want to blow up ten planes at once with innocent people in the air, including your stupid, gullible, idiot self in the process?

Listen, I appreciate every effort to keep people safe. I'm just saying these efforts must be smarter.

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