When the tragic earthquake in Haiti hit a while ago, it has managed to shift the spotlight of the media from the ridiculous to the tragic. I am referring to the fact that at least momentarily, the media was no longer focusing on the "underwear bomber", but was instead highlighting the heroism of people from the civilized world in the Haitian rescue effort.
Since I was preparing to comment on the TSA security response to that latest "terror" attempt before the earthquake hit, I will revisit that topic now. After all, someone has to stand up and shout, "Open your eyes, America!"
When 9-11 dropped onto our laps, all of us were inspired by the response of our leadership to do something meaningful about it. Patriotism was rampant and we were determined to punish those responsible for the attack. Our efforts paid off in driving the perpetrators into hiding. They knew that if they showed themselves, let's face it, we would kill them.
Then somewhere along the way, the climate changed. We forgot our determination to seek and destroy, and replaced it with a self-flagellating Political Correctness. We suddenly forgot who our enemy was, and eschewed a spineless conciliatory tone towards our self-proclaimed undertakers. And in doing so, we have brought the greatest injustice to our own citizenry. With our repeated reaction to terrorist activities, we have taken Lady Liberty, and ripped asunder her garments of freedom.
It is not as if we don't know who our tormentors are, but the Liberal establishment (yes, I did use the "L" word) is more concerned that the World see us unbiased toward the people who invented the "suicide bomber", unbiased toward the only religion on this planet whose stated endgame is world domination by any means at any cost. Our current administration would rather put our own citizens through daily harassment at airports and other ports of entry, with the traveling public suffering the ignominy of the TSA's random security checks. And now with the latest "almost successful" terrorist escapade in the rear-view mirror, the knee-jerk reaction seems to be to further burden the innocent traveler with more costly checks and regulations, while doing nothing to deter the terrorists.
Yes, I did say that it will not deter the terrorists! That is because what we are doing is "reacting". Reacting to what has already occurred, and will likely not happen in the same form again. In the Stock-market, if you conduct your trading by reacting to what happened to stocks in the past, you would quickly lose your money. In the drama of real life, the stakes are infinitely higher, since you are jeopardizing lives as well as money by simply reacting to what has already happened. Getting those new scanners that can undress you electronically, will only provide entertainment for voyeurs, and perhaps for the TSA agents. It will not make us any safer. Oh yes, it will also have those terrorist "masterminds" rolling on the floor of their caves in stitches. They will modify their next attempt, and when that happens, we will "react" again and the terrorist will laugh again, knowing that they are achieving their goals. Their goals of stunting our Liberty, their goals of knee-capping our determination to live as free people, and their goals of forcing us to live in constant fear, will all have been realized.
So you will ask me, "What can we do?"
We all know what we have to do. The question is whether the Administration wants to protect the American public, or do they want to bask in the glow of the Love of foreigners? Is the administration serious about our safety, or would they rather play the Political Correctness game? Are we, as Peace and Liberty loving Americans totally fed up with the weak-kneed, terrorist appeasing response from our Government, and are we determined enough to demand changes from our elected officials? If the answer is "Yes", here is what has to be done.
Drop the random "Granny" checks at the airports, and start doing some serious Profiling.
Having just returned from overseas, I have personally witnessed the methodology in other countries, and they were doing some intelligent - dare I say - PROFILING. While my wife and I were standing in line to enter the secure area of the Brussels airport, I watched as the people in front of us were scrutinized and questioned for about a minute before given entry. Fully expecting the same rigorous grilling, I stepped up to the inquisitor and handed him the passports and other papers. He barely flicked open the passports, handed everything back to me, smiled and said "have a nice trip". I would like to believe that it was my magnetic personality and infectious smile that disarmed my interrogator, but having watched him in action, he was a skilled professional who could read people's body language and facial expressions with ease. Let's face it - I exude the lack of threat.
At another airport in the Middle East, there was the additional chit-chat that I was told was for the purpose of hearing the voice and speech mannerism of the traveler. (I am happy to report that I passed this test too). And while we had to pass through the metal detector while our hand luggage was being X-rayed, we could walk through the detector with our shoes on and our pants supported by our belts.
So why is it that back home we are so afraid to do what needs to be done, and we settle for some robotic agents trained to confiscate liquids and nail clippers (though my wife's knitting needles made it through), who make us undress halfway (for now), and who pull my 82 year old mother out for a pat-down? Why do we allow the ACLU and other special interest group lobbys (legal or otherwise) dictate how we may protect ourselves? Why do we let politicians constantly react to even inept terrorist attempts by forcing ever escalating and more demeaning burdens on the traveling public?
I say that it is high time to do some serious profiling and let people know that we are doing it. If you think that the public will resent it, I suggest that we put the question on the ballot for Election Day, and let the American Public have the final say. I for one have nothing to hide and am not intimidated by the additional scrutiny. I also believe that most Americans would vote to initiate profiling so we can feel safer in our land, and thereby preserve our individual freedoms that we have always cherished, and which are lately perilously hanging by a thread.
Get the profiling going, and for once, make the "bad guys" feel uncomfortable.
What do YOU think? Any TSA stories that you can tell us about?