The Reasoned Review

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Worst (and best) Terrorist Ever

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Time, I guess, for another out-of-proportion terrorist scare, if today’s newspapers are any indication. This season’s lunatic, conveniently an Arab, was even more incompetent than the celebrated “shoe bomber”, but this of course has not prevented our military establishment from touting it as an act of “sheer terrorism.”

Very, very few details are known at this point, only that the flight was from Amsterdam to Detroit and that the bomber, named Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, intended to ignite some primitive “explosive” by mixing a powder and a liquid. We don’t know the scale of the explosive (very small, to judge by its preparation), with whom, if anyone, Mr. Abdul associates, or, most importantly, how he was able to enter a plane with a vial and syringe taped to his leg.

What we do know is that passengers heard a “series of pops” emanating from the rear of the aircraft, subdued Mr. Abdul, and saw the plane land safely. Oh, and we also know the response of our Department of “Homeland Security”.

“This was the real deal,” said Representative Peter T. King of New York, the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, who was briefed on the incident and said something had gone wrong with the explosive device, which he described as somewhat sophisticated. “This could have been devastating,” Mr. King said.

Fabulous.

On one hand it is clear that inflating the significance of such incidents does nobody any good. Even if Mr. Abdul had successfully brought the plane down, it stands to reason that one airplane falling out of the sky hardly constitutes an “existential threat” (Compare, for instance, the weekly explosions rocking Baghdad).  But further, this episode illustrates the fact airport security is a meaningless nuisance and determined persons can still smuggle “explosives” on board. Still further this shows how both “Al-Qaeda” and our present establishment benefit from throwing the US public into a state of anxiety.

There is no doubt that a government seriously interested in mitigating the effects of terrorism would downplay the significance of those acts that occur. Our US government does the exact opposite – they frame every failed attempt as further proof that the world is out to get us, and do more than their part in concocting fear among their citizens (which, after all, is only the definition of “terrorism”). Only thus can they gain popular consent for their brutal resource wars.

It is a sad irony that the citizens of the states least likely to be hit by terrorism (the Midwest) are often the most fervent supporters of our “War on Terror”. Watch now for the assembly-line of “commentators” and “pundits” to come forth, declaring that this latest “attack” stands as further proof that we must “win the War on Terror”.

If Mr. Abdul knew the consequences of his actions, I am sure he would be full of apologies to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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Written by pavanvan

December 26, 2009 at 5:43 pm

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