I have to be very frank here and state that even though war is all but imminent (which I still must support in spite of what I'm about to say), the reality is that whoever was responsible for last week’s terrorists attacks can already lay claim to victory.
Case in point: Our economy has been brought to its knees. The airline industry is fast heading towards insolvency, and is already being “bailed out”. People are living in fear and are afraid to travel. Liberties we once took for granted have vanished in the twinkling of an eye. So by any objective standard, the terrorists won. I would also like to add parenthetically that no matter how many bombs you drop, the long term effects will be minimal; most of these Muslim extremists not only have no fear of death, but they also see it as the “gateway to paradise”. The only other option would be to support a global “holocaust” of all Arabs and Muslims. Needless to say, that is an unacceptable option, to say the least.
So to the FAA and the US Government: What are you going to do? Quite frankly, I’m disgusted not only at these heinous acts against our country, but also in the abysmal, knee jerk reaction in how you handled it. That is to say nothing of your allowing the airlines to implement security systems that were “the most cost effective” that allowed this mess to happen in the first place. The fact that you are also talking out of both sides of your mouth also leaves me with much doubt as to your credibility and sincerity. On one hand, you are saying that we should revert to “business as usual”, and the other you are saying that we must make certain “sacrifices”. Well what are these sacrifices that you are referring to? We have to arrive at the airport 4 hours before departure. We cannot park our cars at the airport; we have to be bussed in. We cannot drop off friends/family, nor can we meet them to pick them up. You have stolen a lifelong hobby away from me; namely just going to the gates and watching the planes come and go, and taking pictures. According to you, I now constitute a threat to our safety. We are subject to random shakedowns in the terminal by US Marshals and airport police. Our travel habits are subject to being tracked and us being profiled. As a result of these “sacrifices”, the entire travel infrastructure is collapsing like a house of cards. These means that at least half a dozen airlines will likely go under (one already has, and another is expected to throw in the towel any day now), and innumerable thousands of people will be out of work. This will also spill over into the hotel, car rental, and other auxiliary travel industries as well. Guess who will have to pay for their unemployment compensation? Guess who’s paying for this spur of the moment bailout? That’s right, me, the taxpayer. With all of this chaos, and cutbacks going on, many low fare airlines will not be able to survive. These airlines were what kept the majors “in check” and fares low. With all of this competition suddenly abolished, what do you think it’s going to do to airfares from the majors? That’s right, they’re going to skyrocket. This will only further aggravate this vicious cycle; higher fares will mean still fewer travelers, which will still further damage an already precarious industry.
So I ask you again, what are you going to do? Do you think the public is willing to accept these new measures you’ve thrust upon us? Judging from what I’ve seen and read, the answer is no. While I understand and respect the need for security, it is your problem to figure out how to implement high security commensurate with minimal inconvenience to the American public. The system we had in place before COULD’VE worked, had it been implemented properly and run by competent staff. These terrorists played by the rules, and yet still pulled off their abominable deeds. Unless everyone is ordered shackled and blindfolded in the planes before departure, there is ALWAYS a certain element of risk. There will always be ways to circumvent the “system”. If a person, or persons has targeted an airplane or airline for destruction, it’s going to happen if they try hard enough. You can try and make it harder for them, but like putting an alarm on your automobile, it’s only an impediment, and not an outright guarantee of safety. The reality is that short of an outright ban on air travel, NO amount of security measures will ever be enough to trump sheer human will power and determination. Despite last week’s events, air travel is STILL BY FAR, the safest means of transportation. And please don’t make the comparison to European and Middle East airports, because that is a different culture over there. Those people have willingly accepted submission and “safety” in lieu of convenience. But the reality is, that those concepts simply will not fly (pardon the pun) with Americans. If you want to maintain the militant and draconian measures that you have, do you think that us, the taxpayers will be willing to pay for all of the inevitable unemployment as a result for any length of time? The mid-term elections are just over a year away. Do YOU still want to keep your job?
Well? We’re waiting.