If I ran the world, the money that will go into purchasing these seeing-all machines, training airport security workers in their use and maintaining them when they break down would instead be used for surveillance before these murderers cross into our airspace, much less onto our soil. I’d insist that all the alphabet soup agencies share information, investigate every person on their watch lists, and put dozens more into no-fly categories. I’d feel safer if our security plans were proactive against future deviltry instead of reactive to yesterday’s plots.
The folks in charge of national security have been so ridiculously hesitant to insult that they’ve allowed those with suspect backgrounds access to our airlines, yet de-shoe, de-coat, pat down, unbelt, x-ray and wand toddlers asleep in strollers, the elderly whose last trip to Yemen was never, and yours truly. Finally, after this foiled close call, those hailing from certain countries with terrorist links will have to undergo certain measures. I noticed Saudi Arabia wasn’t on the list. But they are our friends. Except for the 9/11 nineteen.
The time to find those determined to do us ill is not simply in an airplane security line, body x-ray or not, but at the ticket desk when they pay cash and have no luggage. And even before that, like when their fathers walk into an American embassy call to report their sons have become radicalized.
And while I’m on the topic, I wonder about the locution “become radicalized.” AOL recently ran a short piece on those who “got radicalized” as if deciding one day to go off and purchase some radical in the dairy aisle right there next to the milk. These radical Islamists don’t “get radicalized.” They choose to become proficient in murder, mayhem and terror. It’s our job to stop them.
Say what you will about Israelis, they know how to run air security. You don’t mess with those guys. Former military, they are business all the way. They don’t joke with a teenager about her handpainted sneakers (as one airline security guard did with my daughter some years back.) They don’t allow passengers through without matching ticket with identification. And they don’t forget to ask for I.D. upon check-in as one ticket agent did on a recent trip of mine.
In Israel they mean business; there’s not one Israeli who hasn’t experienced the terrorist’s reach. Forget about six degrees of separation. In Israel it’s a hundred degrees of connection. We don’t have the same sense of urgency or familiarity to devastation here in the U.S. I pray we never do. Israelis have a non-partisan approach when it comes to airline security because they understand everyone’s life is on the line.
So now we can’t go to the bathroom for an hour before our flight lands. (How to balance this stricture with the health tip that hydration is important when airborne?) We are not allowed to read a book or have anything in our laps either. And there are those body scans. The best protection is not following a terrorist’s prior plans but stopping him (or her) before they hatch the next one. These scans may very well expose hidden weapons. And those who would do us harm will merely find a new niche to infiltrate.
I know plots have been uncovered and terror cells close to Washington have been neutralized. Perhaps even more than we hear about. But they blew it big with Fort Hood’s Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. Plenty of dots there to be connected. Plain and simple the Islamists despise our country’s freedoms. They will stop at nothing. It is a part of our nation’s very marrow to look ahead to the future. Islamists would deliver us to the 9th century. It doesn’t take x-ray vision to see this. I just wish those in charge of America’s future understood what it takes to clip the wings of those who would destroy us.