Monday, December 28, 2009

Nigerian Scam

Bollocks to the song quotes for a while.

Here's a few thoughts on the recent terrorfail over the Christmas holiday...

- Terrorists are stupid. Apparently this guy thought that attaching an incendiary device - not an explosive, mind you, but an incendiary device, which is something that just makes fire - to his underpants was going to take down a plane. It's not. Only thing it'll do is catch your crotch on fire. Because it's a freaking incendiary device. Word has it this guy was an engineer... obviously a bad one.

- A commenter/contributor at the excellent conservablog Common Sense Political Thought points me to this interesting profile of the mad Nigerian bomber. Of note: the guy's own father had reported him to the authorities, and he was on a terror watch list. And he was allowed to fly to the U.S. why? We'll keep Cat Stevens out, but not a guy whose own father thinks he's a terrorist? What's wrong with this picture? Also, I thought the Department of Homeland Security and the new Directorate of National Intelligence were supposed to facilitate such information sharing. Looks like information sharing is just as bad as it used to be before 9/11. Speaking of the DHS being useless...

- The airplane security people have apparently decided that now everyone needs to stay in their seats for the last hour of a flight. Remember, the fire was set by a guy who was sitting down at the time. The TSA thinks this will help because... um... um... um... what the fuck are they thinking? See, this is the problem with the "OMG THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO DO SOMETHING" attitude. It leads to this kind of naked showmanship on the part of the bureaucracy that doesn't actually do anything and makes our lives that much more miserable. Better intelligence gathering and sharing is the only effective way to fight terrorism, people. All the rest is just window dressing. Yes, that includes wars and drone attacks on so-called "leaders."

(Sidebar: does anyone think that attacking so-called "al-Qaeda leaders" - and killing civilians in the process - would actually do any good? al-Qaeda is an amorphous group full of loosely affiliated individuals. Terrorists for al-Qaeda aren't foot soldiers being directed by some shadowy organization but individuals who are seeking help in carrying out their nefarious plans. Even killing bin Laden or Zawahiri won't stop Joey Jihad from trying to kill us. We ought to be concentrating on making sure the Muslim world produces more people who view America as benign and less Joey Jihads. And killing civilians is absolutely NOT the way to do that.)

In other news:

- The length of this list ought to be a comfort to anyone nursing a little Islamophobia.

- It's A Wonderful Iranian Life.

- Here's the news article for that last item. One wonders where all the conservatives' green website themes went. Perhaps showing solidarity with Muslims being abused by the Iranian regime is less politically correct right after a (poorly) attempted terror attack?

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