The Real Meaning of the Airport Grope

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Sun, 21 Nov 2010 20:34:23 +0000

eowyn2

I’m grateful to my friend, the writer Robert K. Wilcox, for allowing Fellowship to repost his op-ed!

~Eowyn

TSA agent gropes a non-Muslim old-lady terrorist.

The Real Meaning of the Airport Grope

By Robert K. Wilcox

www.robertkwilcox.com

The airport grope controversy is a metaphor for the administration’s inept homeland security – part of a general ineptness that, unless changed, might cause us to lose the war, and possibly the country. Like a blindfolded prisoner shoved at a gauntlet, the administration is groping for solutions to our country’s internal threats and instituting heavy-handed policies that ultimately don’t work. Thankfully, the enemy’s bombs, which have eluded our ineffective defenses, haven’t worked – yet.

Start with the concept of the War on Terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic, not an enemy. We are not fighting “terrorism” any more than we were fighting “Blitzkrieg” in World War II. There are terrorists all over the world. But the only terrorists who have targeted America and The West are Radical Islamists whose non-uniformed combatants are the same as spy-saboteurs in previous wars and as such not protected by the Geneva Conventions and subject to being shot on sight. But our administration insists on giving them the same rights not only of uniformed soldiers but of American citizens – and trying them in civilian courts.

What message does that give the ordinary American?

It says these are not enemies. They are just criminals. Don’t be on your guard. 

And we are not fighting just “Al Qaeda” or “the Taliban,” which are the only groups the administration names when speaking of the enemy. But they are only two entities among a huge, worldwide army of Radical Islamists with many different names and a singleness of purpose. All see it as their religious duty to conquer, convert, or kill us. Restricting our war to Al Queda or the Taliban would have been like limiting World War II to fighting only Nazi SS troops and German war ministers. There were millions more who were trying to kill us. Until the administration clearly identifies the breadth, scope and nature of the enemy, we will not be able to devise strategies and tactics against them.

Similarly, our policy to deal with threats to our commercial airliners is just as obtuse. It is misdirected, hugely expensive and disruptive, and largely ineffective. We do not anticipate the threat and thus hopefully prevent it. We only react to the last method. They send a bumbling shoe bomber and all travelers must remove their shoes. They send a fumbling underwear bomber and we administer massive x-ray strip searches or sensitive body fondles. We are always one step behind, dependent on the enemy’s next move to formulate our defense. The Radical Islamists must be laughing in their caves. They play us – the mightiest nation on earth – like marionettes. Drug dealers know how to beat the current x-ray machines. Put the contraband in condoms and swallow it. Prisoners use their rectum to conceal drugs, even weapons. That too is undetectable by the current machines. Will our next reaction be to the prophylactic bomber?   

There is a better way, one proven by the Israelis: Profiling. They look predominately for perpetrators, not bombs. It is much less disruptive and thus less of a moral victory for the Radical Islamists. They leave the x-rays and most of the disruptive searches for the suitcases. While random or called-for frisking should never be abandoned, it is far more productive to concentrate on people not things. They give off signals like sweat and nervousness. They buy one way tickets and, when questioned, give trained profilers answers that are suspicious. None of the bombers who have so far beaten our system and gotten on planes would have survived such profiling.

Yes, young Arab males would get a lot of scrutiny in profiling. They are the predominant bombers. But so would everyone else. The enemy is not stupid. It will find non-Arabs to help its cause. Good profiling would have to be mindful of that. The problem is that the administration considers diversity and anti-racism more important than the nation’s security. Profiling would open the door, they think, to racism and other problems for minorities. And they cannot allow that.

And so they grope, not only at the airports, but on our borders as well, refusing to name our enemy or point him out, preferring costly and harassing catch up to simpler, cheaper, more effective method of detection.

Heaven help us.

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