The weekend incidents on flights tell a strange story. Here’s a bit from McCLatchey on the Sunday incident:
The latest scare aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 involved what the airline described as a “verbally disruptive” passenger and triggered an examination of baggage on the Detroit tarmac to determine if there were explosives on the plane.
Although the passenger spent an “unusually long time in the aircraft lavatory” – an echo of the Christmas day incident — he was suffering from legitimate illness and is not viewed as a terrorist threat, the Department of Homeland Security later said.
Anyone in the world can disrupt a security zone. It could be Iraq, Texas, London, a small flight. Once the troops leave, one person can bring the old anxiety back simply by waiting. This is untrue of battles, which end, but may indeed erupt years later in a different form. Has the definition of war been changed to involve internal states of being?
But are you saying that because things cannot be foreseen but are always simmering beneath the surface that we not take precautions when we’re reminded of a vulnerability? It would seem to me that very often copycat acts follow the random (but planned) legitimate threat. In a case like this, where the real Christmas Day Danger was passed along without being caught, isn’t it human nature (and smart?) to follow the once burned, twice burned concept?
Strange how once again LeGuin’s Omelas comes to mind; the unsettling of many versus the suffering of the individual.
If this incident (prolonged time spent in a bathroom and verbal abuse) happened in a less tense environment, like a restaurant, or a mall, perhaps the idea of terrorism would never have surfaced. It seems like the airplane (the idea of flight alone gets many people on edge) environment is incredibly rigid, and even the slightest aberration is treated as potential catastrophe. It is certainly ridiculous though, that every individual’s luggage was checked on the airport runway because one man behaved strangely. This action forces me to agree that the war on terror is a “dumb idea”. How are security scans going to stop ideology? They won’t! The 9/11 hijackers were armed only with box cutters, according to the official story, and executed one of the most precise military attacks in history. (Piloting a 747 as a missile is no easy task, from what I’ve been told by a friend who is a commercial airline pilot)
Imho, the new regulations put in place by the FAA will only discourage travel for Americans and those flying to America. No bathroom, reclining, or movment in the aisle 1 hour before landing?! It seems that the definition of war has been changed to encompass natural states of mind, and with it the definition of “traveler” has been changed to “potential national security threat”.
The Random House Dict. claims war to be mainly a conflict but usually including weapons. Our weapon of choice these days seems to be intimidation = terrorism. So, it is war, but modernized and stylized to fit society.