Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab - Christmas Day Bomber

Let’s get down to it –  this whole underpants bomber uproar. I have been so annoyed with the renewed fear mongering. My facebook status currently reads:

“Karina Stenquist wonders – if terrorism is meant to terrorize, and we’re now all too scared to fly, & the government’s scaring us into giving up more rights, & accepting more useless flight regulations, if we’re scared enough to suggest “pre-emptive action” in Yemen (Leiberman!), & scared enough to send more people to die to “protect our homeland” from incompetent amateurs with smoking undies, who is really ahead in this “war”?”

Osama Bin Laden must chuckle one of those evil  “everything is going exaaaactly to plan” laughs everytime Pat Buchanan finds a new reason to deny people their rights.

And though pigs appear not to be flying yet, I have found that the most reasonable thing anyone has said on this so far has come from “Gasp!” David Brooks. On PBS’s Newshour he says pretty much what has been screaming through my head the last week or so. No system is perfect. Ever. Get over it. Look at the big picture.

The crux of it:

The reaction, the proper reaction, should, seem to me, to be, listen, we get most of what gets through. There are always going to be things that get through. We have successfully degraded the amount even somebody who gets through can do, because they have to resort to this very inefficient means of trying to blow up an airplane.

But, folks, this is going to happen. And let’s keep our head about this and let’s not get — go crazy over this. So, I thought the Obama administration has gone from one extreme to the other, without finding any balance in between.

Let it be known, I can get over personal dislikes, and ideological differences to recognize a well put argument.

In other fear mongering – a good piece I came across on – a piece by Lex at Scholars & Rogues entitled “A Nation of 5 Year Olds

What i don’t understand is the idea that Americans are entitled to perfect security. Here we are (and for the record, all the troops stationed everywhere in the world are you and i) crashing around the globe and blowing shit up, yet those of us in God’s country should face no threat. And for the most part, we don’t face any threat. Nobody’s bombed any of the weddings i’ve been to over the last few years. I’ve never thought, “I don’t think i should go downtown, because somebody might suicide bomb where i shop.” I’m convinced that the Canadians will launch their plan for world domination any day, by invading the social and evolutionary cul-de-sac of America where i live. But as of yet i have not had to contend with RCAF close air support in the neighborhood. [emphasis mine]

Thank you sir! What are the real threats to our lives? Overeating? The health insurance industry? But of course solving those problems would cost big business money, while hyping smoking-undie dudes creates big business for the fear industry (security, the war industry, Glen Beck, etc..)

And how insulting must it be to the people who do live in those conditions – whose weddings do get bombed, who are justifiably afraid of suicide bombers, who do have to watch another country’s military in their streets, and over their skies –  to hear us whine about insecurity?

It reminds me of when, shortly after the Virginia Tech shootings, Jon Stewart had some middle east expert (couldn’t find the episode) on his program, who encouraged people to think about the fact that something similar or worse happens pretty much every day in Iraq. Seriously! We’re fiiiiine folks.

From Scholars & Rogues, Lex goes on to say:

I’m not being glib nor am i underplaying all those “very real dangers” that we face in the post-9/11 world. I’m saying that if we don’t want to live with the dangers then we might want to stop provoking them. I’m saying that there is no such thing as perfect safety and security; you are going to die someday and you probably won’t go to heaven. And i’m saying that our government consistently overplays any actual threats (and their probability) in order to control us through fear.

Which brings me to my last link in the rant of the day: On Larry King, Ron Paul (also someone I wouldn’t normally be super quick to agree with on many things) asked the question nobody was asking – “why?” Why do these bombers exist? Which could then lead daring thinkers to ask how can we prevent, rather than just react?

One thing that is missing here is never asking the question what is the motive? He said why he was — he did it. He said it was because we bombed Yemen two weeks ago. That was his motive. Osama bin Laden said that he has a plan for America. First, he wants to bog us down in the Middle East in a no-win war. He wants to bankrupt this country, demoralize us, as well as have us do things that motivate people to join his radical movement.

It seems like we’ve fallen into his trap. Why is it off base? Today, when the gentleman indicated that he did it because of the bombing, you know what the administration said? They dismissed it. It can’t possibly be so. If you dismiss motivations for why they hate us, we can never resolve this. There’s hate on both sides. You have to ask the question, why do they hate? And they usually come up with a reason. And we’re foolish not to take that into consideration.

And of Course Ben Stein responds that, “They’re terrorists and murders because they are psychos.” Yeah, that makes nice reasonable sense. They appeared out of some psycho black hole that has no connection to the world geopolitical situation. Sigh.