This is way off topic for us, but it is timely, and what’s the point of having a blog if we can’t occasionally indulge ourselves?
Everyone knows about the current controversy regarding the latest airport security measures being implemented in the US — very revealing body scans, or very intimate physical inspections. The press is aflame with the subject.
So what’s your Curmudgeon’s opinion? We think it’s the almost inevitable result of an administration that is — or pretends to be — totally clueless about the very real threat to the US.
The reality is that we’re at war with a malignant faction of Islam, and the threat comes mostly from a very specific portion of the world. But the Obama administration rarely acknowledges the nature of the war — or even the existence of the war — and instead proceeds on the confused assumption that bad things do happen, but they’re perpetrated for no identifiable reason by people with no identifiable commonalities.
When administration officials speak, they do so in painful circumlocutions suggesting that there is no war and no enemy. There are only random incidents brought on by random people. They are “man-caused disasters,” whatever that means. But despite the “baffling” nature of the problem, the administration assures us that they are bravely struggling to keep us safe. Yes indeed, they really are.
If it seems to you, dear reader, that the administration is, ah, groping with the problem, yet is somehow unable to determine what is happening or how to deal with it, we must ask ourselves why they’re having so much difficulty. Is it mere stupidity and incompetence, or is it a campaign of deliberate obfuscation? Either way, the effect is the same. By not recognizing reality, their responses are weird, unfocused, ineffective, and actually punitive — but in the case of airport security it’s Americans who are being punished.
The administration’s policy seems to be that in order to protect the American people, it’s the Americans who must be humiliated and abused. Why? Because it’s no one’s fault but ours. “The chickens have come home to roost,” so to speak.
Well, your Curmudgeon has the solution. There’s an historical precedent for this kind of struggle, but we’ve never seen it mentioned in this context. It’s generally known as the suppression of the Thugee, an operation conducted by the British rulers of India in the 1830s, initially under the supervision of Sir William Henry Sleeman. Here’s a very good article: [sorry, that link is dead].
The eradication of the Thugee cult is one of the greatest gifts the British Empire brought to India, because before them, the Thugee had secretly terrorized the population for centuries. The campaign was so successful that the Thugee are remembered now mostly in fiction, and few realize what a grip they once had on the subcontinent.
It’s arguable that some of the interrogation methods employed by the British would be upsetting to extremely sensitive civil libertarians, but it must be remembered that we’re not dealing with Americans. And although some will deny it, we are indeed at war.
Anyway, that’s our thinking on the subject. In the meanwhile, will your Curmudgeon meekly submit to the current security procedures now being imposed at US airports? If we need to fly somewhere, probably we will. But it’s crazy, it’s wrong, and it’s symptomatic of an administration that is out of its collective mind.
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