Well, it’s that time of year again. Millions of shoppers out trying to get their last minute Christmas presents purchased in time to get them wrapped and under the tree or shipped in time for Christmas delivery. What better time to create chaos and uncertainty than to let a terror threat drop on the unsuspecting American public?
Yesterday the Department of Homeland Security issued a terror threat warning that it had credible intelligence of a plot to poison food at hotels, restaurants, etc. What is the primary goal of terrorism? First is to create fear in the enemy. Everything after that is only methodology. With the current threat, what do the Islamic Cowards have to do? The answer is simple. At most, create or find one situation for which they can take credit. After that they don’t even have to raise a finger. Their goal will have been achieved.
Let’s take a look as some examples of where this tactic has worked. This is a short list but the ramifications are huge. The “shoe bomber,” the “underwear bomber,” and the “copier toner bomb” are just a few examples of plots over the past few years. When you look at it from a cost-benefit analysis the bad guys have won in spades.
What have we done to counter these threats? The US government has given unprecedented power to the Department of Homeland Security. Where we used to be able to get to the airport just in time to get through baggage check in and run to the gate. Now we have to plan to get there at least two hours prior to flight time. Most of that time is spent waiting in one line or another. Once we get to the Transportation Security Administration personnel we have to almost strip down to our BVDs to get through. We have to go through a magnetometer and then still be eligible to go through an X-ray machine or be groped by someone who would be arrested for assault if he/she did this deed anywhere else
Please don’t misunderstand me; this is a dangerous world and there are a lot of people out there that want to hurt us. But as Benjamin Franklin said, “They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
I don’t know what the answer to the long lines at the airports is but there has to be something better. I just hate the idea that he bad guys are winning. They have brought us to our knees in many aspects of our lives.
Numerous courts, including the Supreme Court has determined that the police are not charged with protecting us. This is just not possible given the number of Americans and the number of police. It is therefore incumbent on each of us to take responsibility for being observant. We have to take responsibility for our own safety. I am in the business of teaching personal safety and as I observe my surroundings I am amazed at how unaware the average person is as they go about their daily routines. How much mischief would we be spared if we were just aware of our surroundings? How much safer would we be if Americans had the reputation for individually confronting bad guys instead of saying “let the police handle it?”
I have not addressed the issue of bad guys coming across our borders for that is a topic of another day.
As this is the season when we celebrate the birth of our Lord who came to take on our sins for our salvation, I leave you with another quote from Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richards’ Almanack” (sic), 1743; “How many observe Christ’s birth-day! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.”
As always, I welcome your comments and discussion.