Ever since 9/11 and 7/7, both the US and Great Britain have put in a lot of effort to create an aura and belief that we are secure: stronger cockpit doors, taking shoes off, banning nail clippers and nail files and last Thursday banning liquids and gels.
This is all a massive kabuki and shadow puppet show to convince all of us that we are more secure. This all is based on a purely western concept ~ that all people have their survival instincts and desire for self preservation intact.
Terrorists who want to hurt us and destroy our way of life have no concept of survival or self preservation. Their concepts and deeply held beliefs are spiritual and religious. They believe that their martyrdom will result in divinity and eternal bliss.
We have hundreds of prisons in the United States and yet the highest incidence of drug addiction happens in the prisons. Weapons of all sorts manage to make their way into our nation's jails. Cocaine which is not made in the United States is abundant in the streets. All this contraband is smuggled to the jails or into the country by ordinary miscreants and criminal elements. Yet, they find numerous ways to get knives and shanks into jails and cocaine on to our streets.
Back to the terrorists: these are people who are willing to give their lives up for eternal bliss. So what would stop them from making TATP or any other powerful explosive and inserting them into body cavities or swallowing them while wrapped in rubber condoms? The answer is absolutely nothing. In fact, from a terrorist handler's point of view, it would signal the ultimate commitment to jihad.
So instead of scaring the American, British and almost the entire civilized world, we should focus our security investments into building real intelligence capabilities:
- Hiring and training real gumshoe investigators (like the British investigators that foiled the latest liquid plot)
- Building and nurturing language capabilities in Arabic, Urdu, Pushtu, Farsi, Bahasa (instead of firing people because they might be gay Arabic speakers)
- Developing deep cover capabilities
- Withdraw from Iraq and truly allow the Iraqis to figure out their national destiny be it one Iraq or three Iraqs. Whatever happens, it's their country and nationhood to figure out.
- Nurturing true democracy in the Middle East instead of propping up failed oligarchies and corrupt monarchies
- Fighting root causes of terrorism: poverty and the alienation of the Moslem youth in problem countries: Yemen, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, England, France, Tunisia, etc...
- Most important of all we need to preserve the right of Israel to live peacefully and guarantee the establishment of of a prosperous and secure Palestinian state.
Security spending has become a pork barrel exercise of buying useless technologies that are nothing more than symbols of excess and our paramount lack of understanding of who the real enemies are.
Ten thousand American citizen TSA personnel, baggage x-rays and puffer machines won't stop a jihadist with one pound of explosive in their bodies. On the contrary, it inspires the jihadist to go to a fully committed state of martyrdom which guarantees sick dreams of 48 virgins.
We should not be afraid of the terrorists. We should outsmart them with equally cunning intelligence, an understanding of their twisted minds and common sense spending. Using terrorism and fear for political gain is stupid, irresponsible and doomed to failure.
Billions of dollars will not stop peroxide and acetone or the next terrorists. Smart people with a deep understanding of the terrorist mind have better chance in ferreting them out than a billion dollar puffer machine.
Buying a Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert 2008 shirt has a better chance of stopping terrorism.
Million dollar snake oil is still snake oil.