I emerge blinking and disoriented from my Christmas-time battle with the Ravensburger Corp. to learn of this latest attempt to blow up a passenger plane.
It seems that our federal government is unable to locate its own rear end with both hands and a flashlight. What a surprise!
Planes are flimsy things. They have to be to get off the ground. If, as seems likely, we are in an arms race between, on one side, crazy jihadis fired up with visions of paradise, and on the other, bored airport-security personnel on minimum wage, it looks inevitable that sooner or later the jihadis will score one. What’s to be done?
• Stop issuing visas to citizens of Muslim countires? No, the jihadis are all over. This next batch is British-born.
Cops fear that 25 British-born Muslims are plotting to bomb Western airliners. The fanatics, in five groups, are now training at secret terror camps in Yemen … The British extremists in Yemen are in their early 20s and from Bradford, Luton and Leytonstone, East London. They are due to return to the UK early in 2010 and will then await Internet instructions from al-Qaeda on when to strike.
• Stop issuing visas to Muslims? Identified how? By name? What about this guy?
• Trust the feddle gubmint to maintain efficient databases on terror suspects? Ha ha ha ha ha!
• Trust the Department of Homeland Security to keep one step ahead of jihadi ingenuity? Woo-hoo hoo hoo!
• Vanquish evil at its source? Okay, how’s that going? Not so well.
It seems to me that the future of commercial air travel is not bright. The business is already part-militarized; and military protocols don’t mix well with commerce. A rash of successful terrorist bombings could kill off the whole industry. Perhaps we shall regress to each nation just having one national airline. Won’t that be fun! Or perhaps we’ll find some other way to get about.
One item missing from VDH’s list of lessons to be learned is the surprises you get from the second generation in an age of mass immigration from non-European countries. I can remember the first Pakistanis (which at that time included Bangladeshis) showing up in England. They weren’t much liked: As people have been noticing since Chaucer’s time, the English just don’t care for foreigners. There were some unpleasant “Paki jokes” going round in the late 1960s. It was distaste for people with strange habits, though; there was no element of fear. As the first generation settled in, a grudging acceptance developed. The local corner shop was taken over by a family from Pakistan, who seemed nice enough; and the fast-food place on the next block did a lovely chicken curry. I can’t recall anyone even thinking that there were Islamic terrorists in Britain’s future.
So there’s a lesson: Mass non-European immigration into the West has highly unpredictable consequences. The mass immigration of Muslims, in particular, seem like a really bad idea.