Losing The War of Terror

With news that BA gets security go-ahead after it's earlier cancelled flight, we also find that France used fighter escorts to some flights, and now has resumed previously cancelled flights, I don't think it's overly sensational to say we're losing.

Update: Oh for goodness sake...
For all of us who simply took trains or cars to get home, we were largely unaffected by this who episode. But those, who wanted to get to or from the US, lost the war on terror. This is the curious effect of terrorism - it generally affects small areas of the population, but it's very difficult to make it really affect the whole population.

Clearly, conventional military action has a far more profound effect. Afghanistan and Iraq are clear examples - the entire country is affected. Any fragment that wishes to remain unaffected has to go underground, occasionally at least "playing along" with the predominant regime.

Given that terrorists are in an incredible minority, possibly a hundred in a nation of millions, to have grounded a handful of flights, directly afftecting a couple of thousand people and indirectly affecting many more is a bit of a coup. Especially as those terrorists have used no 'assets' as such - they've not (yet) shown their hand, failed at any major attempt, or even been widely recognised. As such, they're doing very well.

I'm confident that the security services are well on their case. To have knowledge of a specific threat would imply that they have knowledge of who, when, where etc, so more than likely have made all sorts of moves against them. Of course, they're all secret security services, so we don't get to hear about it, nor do the people they nab, rightly or wrongly, get many rights (but that's another issue). What ever these security services know, there must be at least as much that they don't know. Again, the terrorists are doing well. The best the security services can hope for is to nab the top people in terrorist groups, in the hope that the the rest of the group is less radical, less educated and less motivated.

I seem to remember a number of years ago that the IRA set off a small bomb on a branch line at Clapham Junction station. No one was hurt, nothing much was damaged, yet the station had to be closed for hours while it was checked. Thousands of commuters and travellers were inconvenienced. Again, at that time, a bit of a coup for the IRA. (sorry, a bit of a digression)

The thing that annoys me is that I don't see anyone linking any of this stuff together. I mean, we get news of Iraq every so often (mostly when soldiers get killed in the numerous attacks). We also get news of flights cancelled, but these are somehow separate subjects. Both are utterly related - US foreign policy has effects on the rest of the world. Some people want the US to feel that effect. Other countries want to align themselves with the US, and so we get it too. The trouble is, no one wants to criticise, yet the debate that (could) ensue is exactly what everyone needs to hear.

So, the moral of the story is: Don't mess in someone else's affairs, and don't fly to the US ;-)

Submitted by coofercat on Sat, 2004-01-03 15:23


Losing The War of Terror

we are america!we CAN control your bladder...


Submitted by robert (not verified) on Thu, 2004-01-08 10:27.
Losing The War of Terror

Nicely found there, 'robert'. Incredible. Sort of like the one I read somewhere about the FBI being worried about "almanacs", because they contain possible terrorist material (such as which are the tallest buildings, which is the biggest bank, etc). I expect that bus spotter I saw on the way home the other night might be a threat too.

They're losing their marbles. Time for regime change ;-)

Submitted by coofercat on Thu, 2004-01-08 10:42.
Losing The War of Terror

now it appears as though kids can't even be trusted to play computer games.i think i've realised the solution to this madness, let's encourage the septics to turn their many thousands of weapons of mass destruction on the rest of the world, at least that way we won't have to suffer their stoopidity anymore.


Submitted by robert (not verified) on Fri, 2004-01-09 10:24.
Losing The War of Terror

And for more on fingerprinting, Prensa Libre, a daily paper from Guatemala has an article about it. It points out that 1) it would give the US a huge database of people from all over the world full of private information and 2) when the Brazilian government decided to retaliate and said they would finger print all US nationals coming into their country, the US embassy cried out loud saying things about the damage to tourism and violation of privacy of US citizens. Nice to see they actually understand all of this when it's applied to them! They might not be so daft after all :-) In the meantime, there's no way I'm flying anywhere near the US, even for transit. Transiting via Houston and New York to and from my Latin America holidays convinced me it wasn't a good idea. Not only did I have my luggage searched and had to answer questions about some dodgy stamps in my passport (not sure if it was the Australian one or the Saudi ones that annoyed them) but neither Houston nor Newark have any transit facility, which means it's a mess because you have to do the luggage lugging yourself and have to fill in the same stupid forms (the ones that ask you if you are a communist or a drug dealer) than when you are actually entering the US.

Submitted by Bruno (not verified) on Tue, 2004-01-13 16:25.