A not so simple primer on terrorism

I’ve read and watched a plethora of reporting on the Islamic State, and decided I’d set out to give a little base-line information on just what that group is, what they’re attempting to do, and why they’ve been so successful. The majority of information in the U.S. press is tainted by politics, with viewpoints, first and foremost, designed to damage a political party as opposed to informing the American public on the nature of the threat.

The Libyan Conundrum part IV: How do you like me now?

I’ve blogged about our incursion into Libya on three separate occasions, and the main theme threaded throughout was that getting rid of Ghadafi was only half of the equation.  Stabilizing the country afterwards is the other half, and, as I said back then, our foreign policy just doesn’t seem to get that.

Never Forget – Never Again.

            I was watching a 9/11 memorial program yesterday, and found I couldn’t stand to see the images.  It just makes me angry and awakens emotions I’d rather leave alone.  Ten years ago today the trajectory of my life changed forever, as did the lives of just about every single person I know.  I’m sure it’s the same for anyone reading this post.  I remember that day very well.  I was on alert status and doing some ordinary prep for training.  I remember walking through the squadron bay and seeing a couple guys staring at the TV.  They said a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.  I had little time to waste, and went about my day.  The next time I came through the bay, a crowd of thirty had gathered, and I found out that incredibly another plane had hit the second tower of the World Trade Center.  I watched as long as I could, finally pulling myself away to finish preparations for training downrange. 

I’m in Israel. Go ahead and touch my junk.

Over the past three days, I’ve heard a plethora of talking heads say we should forego scanners and pat-downs in the United States in favor of the “Israeli Model” of airport security, including profiling.  They hold-up Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv as the shining example of success, and I agree 100%.  Let’s do that, but we need to be honest about what that means and not pick and choose pieces of Israel’s security, which is what’s currently happening.  For the record, Israel’s security is MORE invasive than the U.S., not less.

Before talking specifically about security, let’s put the situation in perspective, because I don’t think anyone throwing around Ben Gurion airport understands the disparity of air traffic between Israel and the U.S.  The air traffic of the entire country of Israel is less than that of each of the top-ten airports within the United States.  Atlanta-Hartsfield alone handles four times the air traffic as all of Israel.  In 2009, Israel carried approximately ten million passengers compared to 700 million passengers carried in the United States.  That’s a whopping 6,900% difference in passenger load.  It’s like someone saw a man sculpting a bonsai tree and said, “That’s really pretty.  Let’s do that to every tree in Yellowstone National Park.” 

For argument’s sake, let’s say we DO have the ability to duplicate Israeli methods at all of our major airports.  Much has been made of how the Israeli security forces “profile” for terrorist threats, with the implication being that we should profile by race, targeting Arabs, because “Grandmothers didn’t bring down the towers”.

That’s not how Israel implements its profiling.  They aren’t targeting race, they’re targeting suspicious behavior, triggered by a screening process.  In 1972 they learned the limits of racial profiling the hard way.  In America, we see a Japanese tourist getting a pat-down and think, “Gosh, TSA is stupid.  That man is clearly not a terrorist.”  Israel used to think the same way, until three Japanese “tourists”, coming off an Air France flight into the Lod airport (Now Ben Gurion) pulled out automatic weapons and hand grenades and killed 26 people.  Until then, Israel had been screening by race, targeting Palestinians because of Palestinian hijackings of El Al flights.  The Asians were part of the Japanese Red Army, and had been hired by the Palestinian Liberation Organization to carry out the attack precisely to avoid racial profiling.