Here we go again. The new TSA airport security regs are now in place. Now, we can look forward to little old ladies in wheel chairs and children over twelve being scanned in a very revealing manner, or if they refuse, going through very personal pat-downs. Is this necessary? Is it effective? Not really, on both counts. These methods are for the people who are afraid. Not of terrorists, but of political correctness, i.e., that which is called racial profiling. This fear in the end, could kill us.
Funny, Israel, subject to more terror threats than most other countries and surrounded by enemies who have publicly called for her destruction, doesn't do that. And their security is pretty thorough, thank G-d. Their international airport, Ben-Gurion, is considered one of the most secure airports in the world (hat tip The Israel Situation).
What do we learn from this? That Israel is smart. That it faces reality and doesn't hide it's head in the sand. Israeli security has determined that most, if not all of the terrorists they have to watch out for, are Muslim. Facts are facts. How can we protect ourselves from the enemy, if we are afraid to name the enemy? The answer is, we can't.
Our methods smack of knee-jerk reactions: after a would-be terrorist tries to set off a bomb in his shoe, we order everyone to remove their shoes (Israel doesn't do this). Another terrorist tries to put a bomb in his underwear, we scan everyone (Israel doesn't do this). A third tries to bring a bomb in a gel pack, no one is allowed to bring in more than 3 ounces of any liquids or gels (Israel doesn't do this).
Barry Rubin says it perfectly, on his blog The Rubin Report (hat tip, Daled Amos). We think that we are stepping up our security measures and keeping ourselves safe. But we are not.
No doubt, the U.S. government will claim that it has achieved the goal of keeping terrorists out of airports. But this is misleading. The TSA has literally never caught a terrorist at an airport. And why go through an airport nowadays with any reasonable level of security when you can look for relatively unguarded targets? That’s what terrorists do.
What is the strategy of a smart warrior? Get his enemy to send all of his troops to guard someplace and then hit at a weak point somewhere else.We are wasting our time. And the terrorists will change their methods, watching our knee-jerk reactions. Barry Rubin writes (the bold is his):
That’s why the Underpants Bomber and the Shoe Bomber and also the Times Square Bomber, and yes even the Fort Hood shooter, and others were not caught by the security system. It was too busy paying for people to pat down or x-ray Americans randomly.Listen to this clip from Meet The Press about the new screening measures. Pay special attention to congressman-elect Allen West, when he states that we did not take the opportunity to meet with Israel and gain their knowledge on airport security. He is absolutely correct in his assessment.
We need to be smart. We can be smart, by rethinking our airport security methods. By profiling the people likely to be terrorists, and not wasting our time on the Chinese lady or the Jewish grandmother.
And we need to do this very, very soon. Before the terrorists outsmart us.