Guest Post: Why victimise everyone when you could name the threat?

A security scan, annotated by the F.B.I., of a laptop containing a bomb that was detonated on a Daallo Airlines flight shortly after taking off from Mogadishu, Somalia, on Feb. 2, 2016.

That did not take long, did it!  Nary but six weeks ago the U.S. government banned laptops being taken on board aircraft, in the carry-on, on flights to America originating in a few airports in the Near East.  It was obvious then that it was only a matter of time before the prohibition would be extended to other airports, and moves are indeed afoot to do precisely that.  It makes sense: Abdullah Al-Jihadi could easily circumvent the original rule by flying from, say, Istanbul to Germany (Germany famously lets anybody in), have a short layover, and proceed on to the States, an explosive-laden laptop always in his carry-on backpack.  The only way to forestall that possibility is to ban laptops, etc. in carry-ons on all flights to the U.S., which is almost inevitable to happen sooner than later.

Catholic nun being frisked by a Muslim security agent

It will not stop there though.  Surely, if America believes it necessary to take this step, then the threat must be real, and, betimes, all other countries will do the same.  For it is not enough that people get routinely harassed, humiliated, sexually abused, and generally treated like criminals by the jumped-up semi-literate clowns at airports’ “security” checkpoints.  “You, peasant, take off your belt and shoes!”  “What is this fluid in the baby-bottle, ma’am?  Your breast milk, you say?  Drink it!”  “Sir, yes you, the 90-year-old egg-timer with the walker!  Step on over here so we can swab your crotch for traces of explosives!”  “You, little toddler: Crawl through this body scanner!  Unaided!”  Evidently, even more ways to inconvenience travellers are needed.

The long put-upon passengers will now have two choices.  The first is to pack their laptops, tablets, cameras, etc. (soon enough it will be cell phones, too) in their hold luggage, cross their fingers and toes, and hope for the very best.  Mishandling of people’s luggage, with it being tossed around like throw pillows, as well as thievery among luggage personnel, are legendary, so putting in anything worth more than fifty bucks is a crapshoot.  The second option is to travel without.  Being that most people need Internet access and cameras to record their escapades even on brief vacations, it is unclear if that is a viable option at all.

Two things come to mind though.  Is this really about security?  The more conspiratorially-minded might suspect this is rather aimed to bolster the insurance industry.  Few people will put their $1,500+ laptops in their suitcases, knowing what fate might befall them.  What about those who travel only with carry-on to save on the costs of checked bags?  They will now have to spring for one, which could disincentivize travelling for some.  The elite tin-foil-hat brigade might even suspect there may be a desire to dissuade people from travelling at all in the name of combating “climate change.”

This though is the nub of the issue: It is clear why this is happening, even assuming it is motivated by genuine security concerns.  When the Western society and the wider world consistently refuse to even name the threat (that would be Islam and Moslems), let alone address it, the only alternative left is to victimise everyone.  Everybody’s convenience, time, dignity, and honour are routinely sacrificed on the altar of political correctness, which mandates that Moslems must not be profiled, even though they are the only ones carrying out terrorist attacks against airliners.

Here comes the worst part.  People take it.  They stand on line like pathetic sheep at T.S.A. checkpoints and let themselves be denigrated and dehumanised.  They then vote for the same managerial politicians, indistinguishable from one another, who enable it.  They partake in the vilification of those very few who dare to point to a better way.  Quite a few shrug and aver matter-of-factly: What’s the big deal, just buy insurance.  Many denounce the naysayers with that trite old canard “better be safe than sorry.”

But since terrorists have already found ways to conceal explosives inside their bodies, what will all these right-on Dudley Do-Rights say when, in a not-too-distant future, “security” officers begin introducing a probe into their backsides?  “I quite enjoyed that; thank you for keeping us safe,” most likely.  After all, people who are happily shafted by their “leaders'” policies metaphorically will surely not mind it being done physically.


Michael Steiner is an academic of more than a decade, including in several countries in the Near East.  He has four master’s degrees and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Manchester.  His interests include history, science, current affairs, and law.  He can be found under the handle @tzioneretz on gab.ai and minds.com.


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