Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The latest attempted terrorist attack happened aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day. A native Nigerian man flying from Nigeria to Amsterdam to the United States tried to blow up an airplane carrying 278 passengers. The explosive was hidden in a pouch sewn into the crotch of his underwear. He set off the device when the aircraft started its descent into Detroit. A malfunctioning detonator apparently saved the airplane and passengers. Instead of exploding and/or blowing a hole in the aircraft, the device started a fire on board. Passengers heard a pop, which sounded like fireworks, saw a glow of flame, and then saw a rush of smoke. It was coming from the area where a quiet man had pulled a blanket over himself just moments before while claiming to have an upset stomach. A Dutch tourist named Jasper Schuringa seated several seats away acted immediately. His first thought was "He's trying to blow up the plane." Without thinking about his own safety, Schuringa extinguished the fire with his hands. With other passengers and members of the flight crew, Schuringa took the terrorist to the first class section where they stripped off his clothing and searched for more explosives. Schuringa was applauded as a hero by the other passengers as he made his way through the terminal. This story reminds us of the passengers and crew members on board United 93 when they leaped into action on 9/11. It also reminds us of the passengers and crew members who overpowered the "shoe bomber" on a flight from Paris to Miami just three months after 9/11. In fact, the attack on Flight 253 was the "28th foiled terror plot against the United States since 9/11. What is notable is that of the 28 failed plots, 26 were stopped by intelligence, military, and law enforcement agencies. Only two were stopped by citizens on the scene…. In both these cases, America got lucky - the plots were clumsy and the passengers and crew responded bravely and quickly" (The Heritage Foundation Morning Bell, Dec. 29, 2009). Passengers on aircraft are now much more willing to become involved when other people get out of line. One man who took off his clothes and punched and kicked a flight attendant was handcuffed by two off duty officers in June on a US Airways flight from Charlotte, NC, to Los Angeles. In April 2008, a drunken man who attacked a United Airlines flight attendant on a trip from Hong Kong to Los Angeles was duct-taped to his seat. You will, no doubt, notice that I haven't mentioned the names of any of the idiots involved, just the heroes where known. I do this on purpose in order to give credit to only worthy people. Airline passengers are no longer willing to tolerate aggressive actions on aircraft, but Americans continue to accept and make excuses for terrorist actions such as the Fort Hood massacre and this recent foiled attack. This is all done in the spirit of diversity and fairness. The problem with America being tolerant and fair is that the Muslim extremists who are attempting to destroy America are neither tolerant nor fair. They take full advantage of our willingness to overlook bad behavior. When Americans are willing to react to terrorist acts in the same way that Schuringa and other aircraft passengers reacted to on board threats, then and only then will we be able to overcome the terrorists. I get angry every single time I have to undress to go through security. Not only do we have to take off our jackets, shoes, etc. to get on an aircraft, but we can't even enter a federal building of any kind without going through security. This was all caused by the 9/11 attacks on our country. I wonder what the latest attempt will mean for us while trying to get through security. Are we going to be forced to totally undress? Every time I am denied one more freedom because of some action by a deranged terrorist, I become more determined to win this war against them - no matter what the cost! I have read that Yemen is the new Afghanistan, the new place to train terrorists. An official from Yemen was quoted today as saying that there are 300 terrorists in Yemen ready to attack the United States. If Yemen can't control the terrorists, I am not at all opposed to "carpet bombing" the entire nation. This applies to any nation that aids and abets the enemies of America. If countries knew they would be bombed if found sheltering terrorists, they just might work with us better. Israel has shown their willingness to be tough. When was the last time we heard of an aircraft from Israel being targeted? There haven't been any because there are at least two armed marshals on all their flights! We need to learn from Israel how to fight terror. Terrorists do not play fair; therefore, there is no reason why we should be treating them fairly! I say that we use all the power and strength of the United States of America in fighting terrorism instead of coddling them. There is no reason why we should be reading the Miranda Rights to captives on the battlefield or giving them access to our justice system. These are Rights that our government owes to its own citizens - not our enemies. I believe that we will continue to be plagued by terrorist attacks until we present a show of strength and actually win the war against terrorism. Muslim extremists are no different than the Germans, Italians and Japanese were during World War II who didn't surrender until they were beaten. Let's win the war against terrorism first; then and only then, can we show our humanity!