Tuesday, January 05, 2010

How Government Worsens Terror Risk

By Ivan Eland
January 5, 2010

The botched attempt by a Nigerian, apparently trained in Yemen by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to conduct a suicide bombing on a plane as it neared Detroit has highlighted the U.S. government’s overzealous, ineffective and even counterproductive efforts to overcome terrorism.

Read on.

1 comment:

big em said...

Mr. Eland makes some good points about the politics of US reaction to terrorism -- at least terrorism AGAINST the US, as opposed to terrorism carried out BY the US (‘Shock and Awe’ anyone? to name just one of the more blatant examples). His point about the pre-9/11 hijackings is especially true, since as of the year 2000, there had been 1000 recorded hijackings of aircraft since 1948*, and very few of the US-related ones resulted in casualties, so in US hijackings the conventional wisdom/recommendation was unequivocally to go along with the hijacker(s) and a moderate inconvenience/'adventure' would be the expected result. Cockpit doors weren't secured and most of the public wasn't too worried about this - - accidental aircraft crashes were more of an air-travel danger concern. However, GW Bush was too feckless to be bothered -- even by warnings on 8/6/01 -- to look into information that this might well NOT be the case in an upcoming bin Laden plot, and 9/11 unfolded relatively unimpeded (contrast with the Clinton administration's successful obstruction of the 'Millennium Plot'). The militaristic right-wing in the US -- always looking for the military solution -- saw this as an ideal opportunity to setup military type of security, rather than looking for the least intrusive/most effective answers (i.e.; reinforced/locked cockpit doors, diligent enforcement of existing screening rules, etc). Long-since cowed Democrats and a sensationalism/materialism-distracted populace made it easy for right-wing demagogic factions to ratchet up a valid security concern into a generalized hysteria, where an unrelated political agenda could be shouted through Congress. And of course the BEST idea -- that the US should pursue a vastly less belligerent/intrusive foreign policy, slashing its world-record military budget and 700+ foreign military bases -- became heresy, because of course we were/are/will-be always just ‘protecting’ ourselves by invading other countries that have oil.

(* http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0UBT/is_7_14/ai_59576754/)