Saturday, December 26, 2009

What Comes Next? In The Wake, of The Latest Airline Bombing Attempt.

Nigerian Arrested in Failed Plane Attack Claims Links to al-Qaeda This headline was the lead story on newspapers and every news broadcast worldwide, Christmas Day. It could have been much worse if the alleged bomber had been successful. We would be mourning the unexplained loss of 278 lives when an airliner exploded and fell to earth as it entered U.S. airspace. Thanks to a combination of inept execution and the bravery of some passengers, we will have the opportunity to discover how this latest attempt at terrorism came about.

This story has begun to resonate across the blogs where it will touch millions of minds and trigger responses that are both insightful and offer ideas and warnings about what to expect when the inevitable finally occurs.

One of the first to post a comment is respected grand strategist Thomas Barnett who weighs in with two brief comments to yesterday's devlopments. Here is the money line, in the first post.

Said it a million times: we are an ultra-violent society. The Occidentalism of the Salafists is severely misguided. We are anything but wimpy momma's boys. We can't wait to kill, so we're the wrong society to pick a long war with.
Read more:
Imagine that: Home-grown mass murders in America

Barnett goes on with his next post to note his personal connection to Northwest Flight 253 and his first thoughts on this foiled attempt.

I've taken Northwest 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit, even connecting through the Netherlands from Africa. I remember the African security being fairly lax, and the Dutch being much tighter, with the usual screening before you board the plane by special personnel (who ask a lot of questions).

Nice to see the spirit of United 93 lives on in passengers.
Will this stuff ever go away? Unlikely. But important to remember how easy it was to hijack planes in the 1970s and then how that tactic went away in the 1980s thanks to heightened security.
Read more:
A familiar flight and--thankfully--a familiar ending

To be sure airline security will increase in the coming days. My own off-the-cuff observation would lead me to look back at what happened in the wake of the failed attempt by Shoe bomber, Richard Reid. Today, we all queue up and remove our shoes to be X-rayed along with our carry-on luggage. I suspect that if it was a small vial of liquid and powder as reported, that in the future all luggage containing any of that kind of material will have to ride in the cargo hold. One or two more incidents will have us down to wearing TAS issued slippers and sanitized coveralls and having only the reading material in the seat pockets to pass the time. I am being a bit fascias, but before Reid, who would have thought about having to shed our shoes and pad across dirty terminal floors clutching our britches as we waited for the tray to disgorge our worldly possessions.


The Small Wars Council has begun to weigh in on this subject with this discussion thread. Explosive device set off aboard airliner at Detroit Wayne International Airport

And for those who might think bending the rules to defeat your enemy is a 21st century rightwing neocon invention.

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