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Have The Terrorists Won?  
User currently offlineaviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1355 posts, RR: 11
Posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2638 times:

The full text of my latest column.....





Here's a scenario:

Middle Eastern terrorists hijack a U.S. jetliner bound for Italy. A two-week drama ensues in which the plane's occupants are split into groups and held hostage in secret locations in Lebanon and Syria.

While this drama is unfolding, another group of terrorists detonates a bomb in the luggage hold of a 747 over the North Atlantic, killing more than 300 people.

Not long afterward, terrorists kill 19 people and wound more than a hundred others in coordinated attacks at European airport ticket counters.

A few months later, a U.S. airliner is bombed over Greece, killing four passengers.

Five months after that, another U.S. airliner is stormed by heavily armed terrorists at the airport in Karachi, Pakistan, killing at least 20 people and wounding 150 more.

Things are quiet for a while, until two years later when a 747 bound for New York is blown up over Europe killing 270 passengers and crew.

Nine months from then, a French airliner en route to Paris is bombed over Africa, killing 170 people from 17 countries.

That's a pretty macabre fantasy, no? A worst-case war-game scenario for the CIA? A script for the End Times? Except, of course, that everything above actually happened, in a four-year span between 1985 and 1989. The culprits were the al-Qaidas of their time: groups like the Abu Nidal Organization and the Arab Revolutionary Cells, and even the government of Libya.

First on that list was the spectacular saga of TWA Flight 847, a Boeing 727 commandeered by Shiite militiamen in June of '85. Even before that crisis ended, Sikh extremists would blow up Air India Flight 182 off the coast of Ireland -- the deadliest civil aviation bombing in history. The Abu Nidal group then murdered 20 people at the airports in Rome and Vienna, followed in short order by the bombing of TWA Flight 840 as it descended toward Athens. Abu Nidal struck again in Karachi, attacking a Pan Am 747 with machine guns and grenades. Then, in December 1988, Libyan operatives planted the luggage bomb that brought down Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in what would stand until 2001 as the worst-ever terror attack against a U.S. target. The Libyans later used another luggage bomb to take out UTA Flight 772 over Niger in September 1989.

Also occurring in that same span were the non-terrorist bombing of a Korean Air Lines 707 and the downing of a San Francisco-bound Pacific Southwest Airlines flight by a recently fired employee who burst into the cockpit and shot both pilots.

I bring all of this up for a couple of reasons.

If nothing else, it demonstrates how quickly we forget the past. Our memories are short, and growing shorter, it seems, all the time. Our collective consciousness seems to reinvent itself daily, cobbled from a media blitz of short-order blurbs and 30-second segments. There will be a heavy price to pay, potentially, for having developed such a shallow and fragile mind-set.

With respect to airport security, it is remarkable how we have come to place Sept. 11, 2001, as the fulcrum upon which we balance almost all of our decisions. As if deadly terrorism didn't exist prior to that day, when really we've been dealing with the same old threats for decades. What have we learned? What have we done?

Well, have a look at the debased state of airport security today. We continue enacting the wrong policies, wasting our security resources and manpower. We have implemented many important changes since Lockerbie, it's true (actually, many of the new protocols are post-9/11), but much of our approach remains incoherent. Cargo and packages go uninspected while passengers are groped and harassed over umbrellas and harmless hobby knives. Uniformed pilots are forced to remove their belts and endure embarrassing pat-downs.

And what of our rights as citizens? Body scanners are in the news this week. If a decade ago people were told that a day was coming when passengers would need to be looked at naked before getting on a plane, nobody would have believed it. Yet here we are, and what might be next?

Yes, I remember the underwear bomber. But where do we draw the line? Do we turn our airports into fortresses and surrender our freedoms and privacy, in the name of something that is ultimately impossible: total safety?

"What have we done?" is a chilling enough question. But here's a scarier and more important one: What will we do when they strike again?

Because they will, and I shudder to imagine our response.

Look again at that list above. All of those tragedies, in a four-year span, with some of the attacks actually overlapping. Try to imagine a similar spell today. Could we handle even a fraction of such disaster?

In the 1980s we did not overreact. We did not stage ill-fated invasions of distant countries. People did not cease traveling and the airline industry did not fall into chaos. We were lazy in enacting better security, perhaps, but as a country our psychological reaction, much to our credit, was calm, measured and not yet self-defeating.

This time, thanks to the wholly unhealthy changes in our national and cultural mind-set, I fear it will be different.

As an airline employee I worry greatly about this. If 2001 was any indication, we are doomed to overreaction that will ground planes and send Americans scurrying into their hidey-holes. Along with many thousands, or even millions, of others, I am liable to find myself once again unemployed. Unemployed not for any good or practical reason, but because we, as a nation, have grown weak and prone to panic.

"The terrorists have won" is a refrain I don't like using. It's sensationalist and ignores inherent complexities. But for the moment, I can't think of a better way of putting it.



-- Patrick Smith


Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinebizmark03 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 47 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2538 times:

Well said....I cannot agree more....hope we dont have to see that day, but a part of me is saying it might just happen.

User currently offlineflyguy89 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 1936 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2538 times:

you make some valid points but I disagree with you on some of your premises.

[Edited 2010-11-10 19:01:23]

User currently offlinePlaneAdmirer From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 564 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2497 times:

Quoting aviateur (Thread starter):
In the 1980s we did not overreact. We did not stage ill-fated invasions of distant countries. People did not cease traveling and the airline industry did not fall into chaos. We were lazy in enacting better security, perhaps, but as a country our psychological reaction, much to our credit, was calm, measured and not yet self-defeating.

Thanks for you political view and using this forum for presenting it. When terrorists have a nuclear bomb let me know how "calm, measured" the response will be.


User currently offlinedarthluke12694 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2427 times:

I totally agree with your post. Even though I do believe in the body scanners, and they are the right thing to use to help fight terrorism (yes, I know there are a lot of you that disagree on this, but this is not the thread to argue about it), the terrorists have won.

Think about the over reaction the TSA shows after any kind of "attack". I remember when the TSA said you couldn't get out of your seat within and hour of landing. That was stupid.

Think about the publicity every time something like this happens. Look at the over-reaction on the news.

The terrorists have gotten what they wanted. They have gotten their "fame" from all of the publicity they get. And in reality, getting that publicity, and scaring the public, is more important, and more effective than killing people.


User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8508 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2427 times:

Quoting aviateur (Thread starter):
Middle Eastern terrorists hijack a U.S. jetliner bound for Italy. A two-week drama ensues in which the plane's occupants are split into groups and held hostage in secret locations in Lebanon and Syria.

While this drama is unfolding, another group of terrorists detonates a bomb in the luggage hold of a 747 over the North Atlantic, killing more than 300 people.

Not long afterward, terrorists kill 19 people and wound more than a hundred others in coordinated attacks at European airport ticket counters.

A few months later, a U.S. airliner is bombed over Greece, killing four passengers.

Five months after that, another U.S. airliner is stormed by heavily armed terrorists at the airport in Karachi, Pakistan, killing at least 20 people and wounding 150 more.

Things are quiet for a while, until two years later when a 747 bound for New York is blown up over Europe killing 270 passengers and crew.

Nine months from then, a French airliner en route to Paris is bombed over Africa, killing 170 people from 17 countries.

That's a pretty macabre fantasy, no?

I am too young to remember these first hand and you had me going good. It does put things into perspective. Why have body scanners and TSA groping perverts when aviation has a better safety record now than it did 20-25 years ago?


User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4897 posts, RR: 16
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2413 times:

The usual excellent post by Aviateur.

It has a lot to do with Civ-Av as it stitches together all the dysfunctional elements that affect Civ-Av today and makes the prospect of a trip so needlessly daunting.

Terrorism is nothing new but the scale of 9/11 was nothing like anything experienced on American soil. Extreme measures were taken with the mission of avoiding a repeat at any cost. It's the any cost scenario that leads to excessive TSA protocols.

The destruction of the WTC was an order of magnitude higher than all the other air incidents cited as it happened on American soil with an indelible image of the WTC crumbling. While I'm wholly with Aviateur on TSA overreach, the Flying public seems to have accepted these trade-offs in the cause of safe fliying.


User currently offlinebizmark03 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 47 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2373 times:

Quoting PlaneAdmirer (Reply 3):
Thanks for you political view and using this forum for presenting it. When terrorists have a nuclear bomb let me know how "calm, measured" the response will be.

So you mean to say.....the fact that TSA is doing such a wonderful job by harassing people with umbrellas, patdowns and body scanners would some how help prevent the terrorists from getting hold of a nuclear bomb? It not like Mr. Bin Laden is going to attempt to siphon off a nuclear warhead in his underwear. Just trying to stick to the topic of discussion


User currently offlinephotopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 2748 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2341 times:

It is almost entirely because of the incredible hassle and attitude of the TSA and the US CBP agents that frankly, I have put the USA on my personal NO-FLY LIST. It's just not worth the hassle to fly into, out of, or through the USA on a connecting flight anymore when there are plenty of other nice vacation destinations who want my business and treat me in a civilized and friendly manner. Nobody likes to be treated like a criminal, least of all when they're on vacation.

It's not so much that the terroroists have won, it's that American has lost.


User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2317 times:

Quoting aviateur (Thread starter):
"The terrorists have won" is a refrain I don't like using.


Just as well, because they haven't. Despite the increased "inconvenience" posed by scanners and limitations on liquids, people have not given up flying. Following a decline due to the GFC, passenger numbers are increasing. Terrorists have achieved some disruption, but is that their sole aim? Don't they profess some more "lofty" ideal and do they not have any medium to long term goal? Are they anywhere closer to accomplishing it?

If the terrorists aim is to dislodge the US from the Middle East they have failed. If the aim is to undermine US support for Israel they have failed. If the aim is to encourage the mass of Muslim to be become jihadis they have failed.

Tighter security hasn't defeated terrorists, it is true. It has meant that they seek other means to attempt to spread fear as we have seen with the toner cartridge devices. There will be increased vigilance in cargo handling as a result. But world trade will not suffer, despite the doom and gloom predictions of some so-called "industry experts" who really only want to shift the cost.

That said, I do agree with those who suggest our response could be improved by greater intelligence and profiling.


User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10048 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2288 times:
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Quoting aviateur (Thread starter):
Along with many thousands, or even millions, of others, I am liable to find myself once again unemployed. Unemployed not for any good or practical reason, but because we, as a nation, have grown weak and prone to panic.

I thought your article was decent right up until there. I know you're a pilot, but that part just makes it sound like, "please don't worry about the terrorists and keep flying so I can keep my job!"

Anyway.

I certainly don't feel defeated by terrorists. I still take trips when I want, to where I want (when I have the money!). I don't care about the extra hassles (which, to me, really aren't that hassle-y). I'm not any more worried about flying now than I was in 2000. I don't spend my free time worrying that some terrorist somewhere is planning on blowing up my city. Basically, I go about my life in much the same way I did pre-9/11.

Not to mention, standing over Ground Zero for the first time a few weeks ago, one can't help but think that they sure as hell haven't won. Just seeing all the activity going on there.....I can't help but think that it's like spraying the ants in my kitchen. I kill 100 of them, and within 5 seconds, 100 more have taken their place and rebuilt the convoy to my sink. Resilient bastards.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19806 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2274 times:

My nightmare scenario is this one:

*A bomb goes off in a pizza parlor in Akron, OH on a Saturday at lunchtime.
*Two weeks later, a bomb goes off in a hair salon frequented by teenagers at a mall in Ypsilanti, MI.
*A few weeks after that, an ice cream parlor in Yuba City, CA blows up on a hot day in July.
*A shoe store in Atlantic, IA is next.
*A Denny's in Carson City, NV blows up at 2:30 AM just as all the people from the bars and clubs are getting their drunken, post-party meals.
*And then a coffee shop on the campus of University of Minnesota.

The bombs are all home-made, using readily available and essential materials that can't practically be restricted or tracked. Fertilizer, motor oil, nails, broken glass. The attacks are obviously connected but there is no way to pinpoint where the next one will happen. The perpetrators who are found are interrogated, even tortured... but they don't know about other splinter cells because they don't have the information.

I think the United States would implode. Nobody would go anywhere. Everyone would view their neighbors with suspicion. If the terrorists were Islamic, there would be pogroms, calls for concentration camps, genocide. There might be martial law with the 4th Amendment... hell, the entire Constitution completely suspended. I simply do not think that the American people, who have lived in a time when most people live to an old age and eat well, would be able to carry on. We might well descend into a dictatorship to make Nazi Germany look like a utopia.

Right now, the only thing preventing this from happening is the fact that the people who run AQ are a bunch of megalomaniacs who can't be satisfied with killing 15 or 20 people. No, it has to be flashy, high-profile, big, expensive, elaborate. Planes into buildings. Entire subway systems.

I'll never forget Rudy Guiliani's comment when there was a threat to the NYC Subway: "If we wanted to stop people on the street and search them we probably wouldn't have the right to do that..." PROBABLY? How about you'd be a dictator and a traitor to everything the United States of America stands for? But there he was, the mayor of New York City, casually raising that possibility and dismissing it because of that pesky, busybody idea of civil rights.

If they pulled off the attacks I've described, it would be the end.


User currently offlineFlyingfox27 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2229 times:

I think they would *win* if we kept ignoring them after each attack, its unfortunate that we have to increase security but its a necessity in this day and age.

I would rather be a passenger on a plane at present than one back in the 1970s where bombs and hijackings of planes were a regular occurrence despite travelling by plane back then was *more fun and glamourous*

The Terrorists are losing, not winning, They get foiled more than they succeed, recent examples being the attempted blowups of 10 planes over the Atlantic, shoe and pants bomber, the second attempted blowup of a tube train in London and the recent cargo plane bomb was foiled within 17 minutes to spare so i would say they are losing more than winning.

True, they maybe keeping us on our toes by spotting gaps in security so it becomes ever so tighter but to me i would happily spend more time and do more in security before boarding a plane than risk what happened with the underwear bomber being coming successful, that would be awfully tragic and condemned if it was allowed to happen when we have this additional security in place.

So, yes air travel was more exciting and glamourous 40 years back but compare how many bombs and hijackings there was back then to today and you will see its much safer today than back then.


User currently offlineQuokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2222 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 11):
If they pulled off the attacks I've described, it would be the end.

Change the names of the locations and you have described the IRA campaigns and other acts of terrorism in the United Kingdom. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents_in_London
Much of the funding for the IRA came from across the pond, which the US Government claimed it was powerless to stop despite the pleas of the British. At least the US was able to provide some useful intelligence.

I was living in the UK during the IRA campaigns and was in Oxford Street when a bomb exploded. Despite the instant horror and fear, there was no widespread panic and people weren't cowering in fear all the time. Posters went up advising people to be alert to suspicious packages, security at embassies and airports was stepped up but life went on.

Life goes on: it has to.


User currently onlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12573 posts, RR: 46
Reply 14, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2170 times:
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Quote:
Have The Terrorists Won?



If you have to ask the question, then the answer is probably already "yes".



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10901 posts, RR: 37
Reply 15, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2133 times:

The question is not "Have the terrorits won" but rather why is there terrorism?

The kind of terrorism we have now is not the same terrorism as what we have been used to, anarchist groups or such as Baader Meinhof or Brigade Rosse far left political groups, the Chechens, the IRA in Northern Ireland, the FLB in France (Front of Liberation for Brittanny) or the one or two active groups in Corsica blowing up houses when the owners are away, or even the Basques.

We are dealing with a totally different phenomenon, namely in the name of a religion, Islamic extremes, with political links, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, also Somalia, Yemen, groups in Indonesia, Egypt, Israel and other such linked actions.

For me the question is why. What makes terrorists do what they do and are Western powers not having a good part of responsibilty and most of all not wanting to admit it.

We don't see much terror in Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Japan (other than the occasional nut case), China, Singapore only to name a few countries.



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 16, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2089 times:

Quoting aviateur (Thread starter):
In the 1980s we did not overreact. We did not stage ill-fated invasions of distant countries. People did not cease traveling and the airline industry did not fall into chaos. We were lazy in enacting better security, perhaps, but as a country our psychological reaction, much to our credit, was calm, measured and not yet self-defeating.

Excellent thread and post, aviateur; and a question well worth asking. I can contribute a further example. Six unarmed British policemen being shot (and all dying within days) by Russian 'revolutionaries.' The Army had to be called in, resulting in a massive 'firefight' in the streets of East London.........

All of which happened way back in 1911 - and has since always been known as "The Siege of Sidney Street":-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Sidney_Street

First thing is, there's no doubt that all of us have a much higher chance of dying in a road accident - or even, dare I say it, in an aeroplane crash? - than we have of dying in a terrorist attack.

But the SECOND thing is that today happens to be 11th. November - the 'sacred date' of the whole of the British Commonwealth, the moment when WW1 ended - 'the 11th. hour of the 11th. day of the 11th. month' in 1918.

As happens every year nowadays, the names of yet more dead Australian soldiers - ten this year, all killed in Afghanistan - have just been engraved on the National War Memorial.

http://news.yahoo.com/video/world-15...49633/australia-remembers-22964775

In my opinion, they died for no reason at all. And their deaths achieved absolutely nothing.

A cruel waste............

[Edited 2010-11-11 06:22:15]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineSevernaya From Russia, joined Jan 2009, 1413 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2060 times:

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 15):
The kind of terrorism we have now is not the same terrorism as what we have been used to, anarchist groups or such as Baader Meinhof or Brigade Rosse far left political groups, the Chechens,

We are dealing with a totally different phenomenon, namely in the name of a religion, Islamic extremes, with political links

May I remind you that the Chechen terrorists are very much connected to the Islamic Religion.



Всяк глядит, да не всяк видит.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19806 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2043 times:

Quoting Quokka (Reply 13):

I was living in the UK during the IRA campaigns and was in Oxford Street when a bomb exploded. Despite the instant horror and fear, there was no widespread panic and people weren't cowering in fear all the time. Posters went up advising people to be alert to suspicious packages, security at embassies and airports was stepped up but life went on.

That was the UK where people are civilized and not prone to extremist reactions.

This is the USA, which is a different kettle of fish. I have much less faith in my own country.

Quoting Flyingfox27 (Reply 12):

The Terrorists are losing, not winning, They get foiled more than they succeed,

But when they get foiled it's not a loss. It's another expendable terrorist gone. They can't lose. They can only win.

Unless we ignore them. Remember, the goal is to cause terror. If terror is not our reaction, we've won.


User currently onlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13120 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2021 times:

The greatest problem with terrorism is that a relatively small number of people, not a huge army, navy or air force, using relatively simple weapons, no wearing of national uniforms can wage a war against a large country like the USA. How does the USA react - using their huge army, navy or air force and using expensive and complicated weapons which is exactly what the enemy - al-Queda and others - expected and wanted. Recall that the main weapon with the 9/11 attacks were box cutters that should not have allowed aboard aircraft anyway. Now we see package bombs that failed on one level, but succeeded by formenting terror fears and a reaction to prevent another terror act. You also have too many in such groups who are willing to sacrifice their lives for a perverse cause. Of course, 60+ years of 'cold war' and post- cold war policy as to Israel, interfering with their countries, the need for middle east oil to much of the world, have cause the anger toward the USA and in part to Europe.

Until we find a better way to deal with the conflicts that affect people that makes them want to kill us, then terror will contiue and we will have to find new ways to prevent terror acts.


User currently offlineAGM100 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 5407 posts, RR: 16
Reply 20, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1991 times:

Quoting aviateur (Thread starter):
"The terrorists have won" is a refrain I don't like using. It's sensationalist and ignores inherent complexities. But for the moment, I can't think of a better way of putting it.


So they have "won" because you see our security measures... as incoherent? I disagree .... security measures are never perfect ..it is a continual process of errors , ideas , failures and successes.

I have stood in my fair share of security lines ... and I have been inconvenienced and searched by TSA and others who I may have not liked. I make a point when I am standing in a particularly long line and I feel the temperature level rising to be vocal about who is at fault ... "Islamic Jihadist terrorists". I say ... "Thank Bin Laden for this people" ... I have said it just like that and have voiced it openly to those around me . I want people to hear it ... I want them to remember who is to blame.! It is amazing the reaction I get ... usually people sort of get "mousy" as I call it. They just ignore it ... and look away from the crazy guy. I love it... you know they remember it ... every word of it.

The US and allies are killing terrorists .... and that is the way we fight them . We disrupt them ...we monitor and attack the cells they deserve nothing less . I hate having a introspective view of terrorism ... I like clarity ... they believe we are there enemy and I believe they are our enemy so let it be.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 11):
My nightmare scenario is this one:


We have discussed this before Doc ... and you are spot on with your point. I have said it on here before ... this is how I would carry out a real terror war against the US. It would have a devastatingly destabilizing effect on the population in the US ... and I believe that it will eventually happen. Like the DC sniper ( A Muslim by the way) ...simple guerrilla tactics are very hard to prevent and very effective.

If your scenario plays out....(and home grown Jihadists claim responsibility) the Muslim population in the US will be mighty uncomfortable unfortunately . But that will be least of our problems ... the ensuing chaos will cripple life as we know it .. and it be dust to dust.

Frankly ... I see the threat coming more from Latin American drug cartels in the future . The war in Mexico is unsettled to say the least ... and it could spill over into our streets. Think of the scenario being used in Mexico ... the decapitation of the local government and law enforcement ... imagine that in San Diego , El Paso , Tucson , Phoenix etc . It would have the same effect as a Islamic Terror attack.... makes one wonder about coordination between the Jihad and Cartels?.



You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
User currently offlinecannibalz3 From United States of America, joined May 2001, 392 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1951 times:

Dear Patrick,
I like your columns. I read them a fair amount. They're very interesting, and as an airplane guy I love having some really complex things explained to me and getting an inside look at airline work and piloting. But could you kindly write about something other than a) how much airport security sucks, b) how the media sensationalizes everything aviation, c) your favorite liveries, d) automation? I know these are all questions and comments you are frequently asked to address and certainly important, relevant topics, but your faithful readers -- this one, anyway -- have additional questions.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19806 posts, RR: 59
Reply 22, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1930 times:

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 20):

If your scenario plays out....(and home grown Jihadists claim responsibility) the Muslim population in the US will be mighty uncomfortable unfortunately . But that will be least of our problems ... the ensuing chaos will cripple life as we know it .. and it be dust to dust.

I bet some white supremacists might throw in a few attacks of their own and try to blame it on Jihadists, just to add fuel to the fire.

Quoting AGM100 (Reply 20):
Frankly ... I see the threat coming more from Latin American drug cartels in the future . The war in Mexico is unsettled to say the least ... and it could spill over into our streets. Think of the scenario being used in Mexico ... the decapitation of the local government and law enforcement ... imagine that in San Diego , El Paso , Tucson , Phoenix etc . It would have the same effect as a Islamic Terror attack.... makes one wonder about coordination between the Jihad and Cartels?.

I have a very simple solution. Legalize, legalize, legalize. Legalize the drugs, produce them here, provide clean stuff, clean needles, clean syringes, all at standardized concentrations. Prices will plummet, offsetting a possible modest increase in use. Purity and standardization will reduce deaths and accidental overdoses. But, most importantly, there won't be any criminal element associated with the manufacturer or distribution of these drugs, just like alcohol, tobacco, and coffee.

Besides which, in a free society, why is the government putting people in jail for putting drugs into their own bodies of their own volition? That makes no sense to me at all. It would have made very little sense to men like Ben Franklin, who definitely enjoyed a toke off his pipe here and there (as is noted in his records).

The cartels will collapse without income. They'll find SOMETHING to do (human trafficking, probably) but that's just not as high-volume or as lucrative.

Unfortunately, our country's false puritanism is too powerful a force. The slight drawbacks to my plan will be overempahsized and the huge advantages discounted.


User currently offlineeinsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 3130 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1911 times:

I wouldn't say that the terrorists have won, because it's not the end. They've won battles, but not the war. Terrorists are like viruses: when you find a cure for it, they mutate and evolve into something totally new, and all your work was for nothing. The same methods used to exterminate viruses must be applied here: isolate potential areas where terrorists are known to thrive; strike hard on central operations; no mercy on anyone who will not show it back to you. More pressure needs to be exerted on countries that aren't doing enough (ie. Pakistan).

That's why, in a way, I fear Afghanistan is a lost cause and will revert to a terrorist haven. Countries are pulling out from the coalition, leaving behind a fragile government incapable of defending people outside city limits. And what will our response be when that government falls? Do we repeat the same mistake when the Soviets left? Or do we intervene again?

The US is limited by the people, the very people that can one day be victims of an attack. That's not to say that endless war is the solution, yet somehow I think that eventually to keep terrorists at bay, one of two things will have to be made:
1. Do nothing and revert to an isolationist position, where if Pakistan and India nuke themselves, we won't do anything about it.
2. Continue the current stance or take a harsher one to try and eliminate this threat once and for all. This one will require international cooperation far more significant than currently. This isn't just about Westerners. It's about making the world safe for EVERY human being.



"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
User currently onlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12573 posts, RR: 46
Reply 24, posted (3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1897 times:
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Quoting Flyingfox27 (Reply 12):
They get foiled more than they succeed



But that's the whole point - they only have to succeed every once in a while. Even one successful terrorist act in every 1,000 attempts would be considered victory by them.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
25 DocLightning : Not yet, but they're on their way. Every single time we give up our rights to privacy (a pillar of a democratic society), every time the government i
26 Quokka : Sure, terror is the means but it is not the aim. Terrorists have goals. In Spain and in Chechnya it may be greater autonomy or even independence. In
27 einsteinboricua : And yet, eventually, there will come a time when only REALLY good guys, able to pass off as ordinary citizens, will be the ones to create fear. I'm p
28 aerorobnz : People have been killing each other for having different beliefs/skin colour/head attire/friends since we first walked upright. Why should we expect t
29 DocLightning : The aim is to get what they want. But the thing about terrorism is that it becomes a self-feeding monster. When the IRA finally declared a peace with
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