Friday, July 08, 2005

Better to be safe than sorry

I would have written about the London attacks yesterday morning just after they happened but what really is there to say? The cowardly animals, and that's what they are, who committed indiscriminate mass murder in London are no doubt thanking who they consider is the Almighty for their actions. They are simply insane savages who destroy rather than create, who love death more than life and who are a human cancer that must be eliminated. I almost hesitate to blog about this since all of this should be obvious to reasonable people.

What irritates the Curmudgeon is that we are not doing the things we need to do to make our societies safer. There is no way to protect every civilian target in every country all the time. That's not the standard. But it's been nearly four years since September 11 and we still don't secure airplanes and airports properly. Forget about chemical plants and their chain link fences and sea ports and the "fingers crossed" security system. I'm talking about air travel, something we've seen can cause significant economic damage. Start profiling passengers. Yes, you heard me. Profile. It's not Grandma or my two-year old who are placing bombs on planes or buses or subways and they don't need to be strip searched. It's Islamic psychopaths. So the five 20-something guys who break out the prayer rugs at Gate 3C, face Mecca and start praying, yeah, I might look at them a little more closely than my 11 year-old niece who got the full security treatment at O'Hare recently. Not PC? Who cares. Grow up. This isn't debate class it's the real world.

If you have a no-fly list have some standards and have some uniformity. Have one list for pete's sake. And scratch Sen. Ted Kennedy's name from the list. He's not a risk. None of this is making us safer. In fact, it's making us less safe. It's giving us the illusion of safety and a false sense of security. When we had a election in November coming Homeland Security raised the national threat level up all the time based on rumors and internet "chatter." When four bombs go off is London killing more than 50 people we raise our threat level alert to "orange" but only for the mass transit portion of the transportation sector which includes only regional and inter-city passenger rail, subways and metropolitan bus systems. Think politics plays any role in threat alerts from the Department of Homeland Security? Nah. Since 9/11 we've spent $18 billion, with a "b" on airline security but only $250 million, with an "m" as in moronic, on rail security. Feel safe?

Take some lessons from the Israelis. Hire some of their El Al security people. Stop taking away nail clippers and start using some common sense. My sister-in-law went to Israel recently and her bags didn't get there. If the passenger can get on an airplane without their bags then bags can get on an airplane without passengers. And you don't even want to know how checked luggage doesn't get a full security scan. It's like sausages, you're better off not knowing how they're made.

At my work they have people, who were probably McDonald's workers not so long ago, manning x-ray machines to scan bags. But they allow women with purses, large and small, to just walk into the building. Huh? This is your idea of security? And you think the $7.50 an hour "security" worker is going to tackle a suicide bomber before getting into the buiding? Don't count on it. And what about all the janitors and food service people? You think they don't just walk right in to my building, your building or any airport here? You think sufficient background checks are being done? They don't even do that for the TSA people.

You want to fight this war? Then fight it. Stop doing what looks good and take the real and hard steps to secure, as well as you can, likely targets. Stop sending billions of oil dollars to the very regimes who fund Islamic terrorism. Unless we raise fuel efficiency standards and give tax breaks for a Prius rather than a Hummer 2 we will simply be funding both sides of the war. Stop blaming the U.S. or its support for Israel as a cause for terrorism. The bombers in London didn't leave a list of demands like a smaller Israel or fewer KFCs in the Middle East. They simply tried to kill as many innocent people because theirs is death culture that glorifies murder and they believe this type of murder will bring about a 14th century style Islamic fundamentalist states.

Going about your normal life, driving a Chevy Suburban and taking your shoes off at JFK isn't going to get it done. And relying on the good judgment of the ladder climbers in Washington is just as bad a strategy. Until we make some hard choices, we shouldn't be surprised at acts of terrorism like we saw in London. We should be surprised there isn't more of them.


Blogger Martwork said...

Amen, brother! When was the last time a blond Swede or an 11 year old hijacked an airplane? What's wrong with a little profiling, anyway? The U.S. should have El Al's phone number programmed into our speed dial. We should also implement many of Israel's security systems here--but guess what--they have great security and even so, a bus occasionally gets blown up or some fanatic looking for the fast track to Allah blows him or herself up in a crowded marketplace or restaurant.

I walk into my local JCC and I have to show a driver's license. The security guard looks at it and waves me through. He doesn't check it off against a list of people authorized to be in the building. He just glances at it. So if I'm a bad guy who has a driver's license (or probably any ID, for that matter) I'm in the building. Is that a false sense of security or what?

People are always shocked and surprised when something like this happens. Sadly, I'm just surprised it doesn't happen more often.

9:49 AM  

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