The Wrong Message

I hope everyone had a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, or Winter Solstice (whichever greeting fits your fancy). My Christmas was wonderful…I got to see family I hadn’t seen in a very, very long time and have the opportunity to rebuild relationships that, a couple of years ago, I thought were gone forever.

On Christmas Day, however–December 25–we escaped tragedy by the skin of our teeth. 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded Northwest Flight 253 in Amsterdam with 80 grams of a high-grade explosive called PETN (Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate, which is also the main ingredient in Semtex) sewn into the crotch of his jockey shorts. When the plane entered the sky over Middlesex County (Ontario), Abdulmutallab used pillows and a blanket to conceal what he was doing: injecting a liquid acid into the packet of PETN in his underwear in an attempt to blow up the plane.

Thankfully, the good Lord had other plans, and they did not include allowing that passenger jet to be blown out of the sky. The Mixture didn’t react properly and instead of exploding, it merely set the would-be terrorist on fire. A Dutch passenger tackled him and dragged him to the front of the plane. All of the witnesses said that Abdulmutallab wore a completely blank, expressionless face, even though he had third-degree burns on his legs. He later crowed to investigators that he had attempted the attack at the behest of his Al Qaeda handlers in Yemen.

It has since come out that we knew who he was; his own father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab–former chairman of First Bank PLC and a prominent member of Nigeria’s high class–had gone to the American embassy in Lagos and shared his concerns that his son had become radicalized in Islam and might be working with Al Qaeda. British MI5 had a dossier on him because of his extremist activities while studying in London. He wasn’t a lone nut, nor was he poor; his last known address was a three-million-pound loft in the UK.

Not only did we know who he was, how he got on the plane should have raised every red flag known to the transportation industry. He had no luggage and was escorted by a “well-dressed man”. He had no passport. Nobody thought to question why he would be getting on this flight to the US. Not since Richard Reid has a Muslim terrorist been so brazen in any attempt to commit terrorist acts on American soil.

Al Qaeda claimed the plot. Then they promised that they had hundreds waiting to commit similar atrocities.

Richard Reid hatched his boneheaded idea just a few months after 9/11. At the time, we were still cleaning up and trying to figure out exactly what to do to keep ourselves safe from this sort of thing. Today it’s been a full eight years since the face of our world changed, and while Bush had already done all he could do by the time Reid was stopped, Obama has done nothing but tear down our defenses–and when his administration’s stupidity was revealed by this latest attempt, he stayed in Hawai’i. Vacation was more important. Seeing Avatar is, too, I guess, because that was on the agenda for today.

I’m not nearly as angry with Obama for staying in Hawai’i as I am angry that something so horrid nearly succeeded because Obama doesn’t want to “rush” any decisions. We can’t racially profile. We have to be careful about offending Muslims by targeting them for searches at airports. We can’t rush to judgement on this the way we are on healthcare and climate change. God forbid we stop the killers; it’s far more important to keep shoveling money into that bottomless pit labeled “hysteria.”

As I sit here at my dad’s place, listening to good music and celebrating the start of a new year, I wonder where we’re going. Did we learn anything from 9/11? Did we learn from the London and Madrid bombings? Did we learn from Richard Reid? Or will the next Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab succeed in killing hundreds of innocent Americans before we wake up? Worse, will the next four or five succeed?

I wonder what kind of world my niece is growing up in. What will we tell her and my soon-to-be nephew when they come of age and ask us about this decade? Will we tell them that the Hollywood elite led us around on a short leash? Or will we be able to tell them with pride that we fought our hardest and won?

Personally, I’d prefer the latter. Israel makes no bones about the fact that they openly profile Muslims in their airports. I think maybe they’re on to something. Who else is trying to blow us all to kingdom come? I hate to tell you this, but white supremacists (while menacing) are not the biggest threat. If we really want to stop the next 9/11 from ever happening, we’re going to have to swallow our pride and start doing things that aren’t politically correct. We can start by knocking off the whining about immigration reform, kicking out the offenders, and not allowing those on extremist watch lists to EVER set foot on American soil.

Thomas Jefferson understood what needed to be done with the Muslim raiders in his day. He read the Qur’an and used their own beliefs against them. To this day, the copy he owned sits under glass in the Library of Congress.

We here at gayconservative.org hope you all have a very happy and safe new year. I pray that our eyes will open this year before any more have to die. God’s grace, love and peace to you all.

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15 thoughts on “The Wrong Message

  1. Could not agree with you more.

    We need to take a walk back through our own history and see who began this PC correctness.

    I’m guessing it will lead straight back to the same people who are in power now. They were setting the stage. 20 years ago wasn’t it? About the same time that Bill Ayers sort of ran into Obama at Columbia, and not too much later introduced him to Axelrod,.. Ayers father was still in a seat of political power in Chicago…

    Happy New Year to the Gay Conservatives from another gay conservative!

  2. “We have to be careful about offending Muslims by targeting them for searches at airports. ”

    I guess this means extremist Muslims will only try to blow up airplanes once a year? Wow, I feel so much safer.

    I remember when the TV miniseries Holocaust was on TV. One of the Jewish characters finally learned the Nazi’s were attempting to murder every Jewish person in Europe. It was a watershead moment for him. After that moment he had no question in his actions towards the Nazi’s. He had no care about how many he killed or how he did it.

    When are we as a nation going to wake up and call it like it is? How many more people have to die?

  3. ” Obama has done nothing but tear down our defenses–and when his administration’s stupidity was revealed by this latest attempt, he stayed in Hawai’i. Vacation was more important.”

    Goddamn, conservatives make me sick to my stomach. Why the fuck is it that you people are always the first to try to politicize any and every tragedy and violent act? Really, what the fuck is wrong with you people? How you can possibly trace this back to our president is beyond me. This was a failure on the part of the Netherlands’ airport security. This man did not board a plane in this country. You are blatantly, wantonly, and transparently using an averted tragedy to suit your twisted partisan agenda. This is precisely why you people keep losing elections and respect. Not only that, but where was this indignant outrage when the previous president responded to fifty two specific warnings about terrorist attacks on US soil by taking a six week vacation, the longest vacation by any US president while in office? Conservatives are by far the biggest hypocrites walking this earth today. Tell me how the president has torn down any of our defenses. As a matter of fact, name just one…

    “Israel makes no bones about the fact that they openly profile Muslims in their airports. I think maybe they’re on to something. ”

    Really, you think it’s better to profile someone’s appearance rather than their behavior? How would you react if airport security started profiling lesbians that made no attempts to look feminine because they could possibly be members of ‘Bash Back!’? Would that sit well with you?

  4. “How you can possibly trace this back to our president is beyond me.”

    I didn’t…I compared the two very different responses.

    “Not only that, but where was this indignant outrage when the previous president responded to fifty two specific warnings about terrorist attacks on US soil by taking a six week vacation, the longest vacation by any US president while in office?”

    *Sigh* Specifics, Robert. How many times do I have to remind you? There was plenty of indignation on our part when Bush did things we didn’t like. Refusing to secure our ports and borders was among the things that made us angry. Tiptoeing through the Texas Bluebonnets hand-in-hand with King Abdullah was another.

    “Really, you think it’s better to profile someone’s appearance rather than their behavior?”

    It’s not just their appearance, Robert, but primarily, YES.

    “How would you react if airport security started profiling lesbians that made no attempts to look feminine because they could possibly be members of ‘Bash Back!’?”

    If Bash Back was trying to blow up jetliners, I’d have no problem with it at all.

    It is the MUSLIMS trying to kill us all. They’ve already succeeded in multiple lethal attacks since the 80’s. I have no problem with racial profiling if a certain group has espoused marked hatred and loathing for us to the point that they want to slaughter every single one of us.

  5. I saw the former head of El Al in an interview the other day, and what he had to say was quite interesting. He said that El Al profiles ALL their customers.

    For instance, when tickets are being sorted during check in, agents are trained to chat with the customers as the process unfolds. First, it relaxes customers and is good customer service (we care about you!). Second, it is the first line of defense for “trigger” behaviors. Is someone overly nervous? Did they last minute buy with cash a one way ticket? Is there any other strange or odd thing that sticks out and seems to invite further investigation?

    El Al then proceeds from there.

    I think that would be a good place for us to start, but our ticket agents don’t seem to think that security is their domain, when it is actually the responsibility of ALL of us. That is precisely the place where Israel has us beat.

    Too many Americans just don’t want to “get involved”. They are already “involved”, they just don’t want to admit it. But it takes all of us behaving rationally and being alert to get the best results.

  6. Well, liberals keep talking about the Civil Liberties here of profiling Muslims.

    Let’s observe the idea of full body scans where 2M people a day will have their full naked bodies viewed by airport security — nearly a trillion per year.

    How can one argue that this is not a civil liberty violation of theirs?

  7. I don’t like the idea of full-body scanners. Not one bit. We need to stop being persnickety about the reality of this beast and start doing what needs to be done. Exactly how does forcing an 89-year-old woman to submit to a strip search to get on a plane make it equal with violent jihad-embracing Muslims who are genuinely trying to kill us all?

  8. I agree. I am an ex-liberal who would have been the first person to stand up and condemn any proposal that involved profiling people who look Middle Eastern or have Muslim-sounding names. But we need to face reality here. These attacks are being done by Muslim men who fit this profile, every one of the last 20 or more people to commit a terrorist attack on an airplane has been a male who fits the profile (ethnicity, name, and religion).

    The only way that we can really stop these terrorists is to do a more detailed and thorough search of every one who fits the profile mentioned above. We need to pass a law saying that this will be done and you will not be able to board the plane if you refuse. I understand that it is inconvenient for them and they may feel singled out, but people are dying.

    Don’t get me wrong, I know many Muslims and people of Middle Eastern descent. They are wonderful people and they wouldn’t harm a fly. But unfortunately the men who are committing these terrorist attacks have the same type of ethnic profile. As I said, people are dying. This is not the time or place to be politically correct.

    If we continue to refuse to engage in ethnic profiling at our airports, that is our decision. But if we choose not to do it, we must accept and understand the fact that from time to time a terrorist will be sucessful and people will die.

    I don’t like the idea of having to do these things any more than anyone else, but I dislike the idea of being killed in a terrorist hijacking of a plane even more.

  9. “Exactly how does forcing an 89-year-old woman to submit to a strip search to get on a plane make it equal with violent jihad-embracing Muslims who are genuinely trying to kill us all?”

    All of that makes for great theatrics. Watching those busy TSA people view the scanners and sort through stuff is supposed to make us all feel safe. For most of us it does.

    But, the reality is it is one big waste of money. An 89 year old person is not going to blow up an airliner. But we waste money searching these people so we can be nice and fair.

    We have a funny trouble in America; when we do something and it doesn’t work, we automatically assume it can never work. Racial profiling was a means for some dishonest law enforcement folks to abuse people. But, that doesn’t mean racial profiling is always a bad thing.

    Finally, consider this. A white man approximately 6ft tall and weighing 200 lbs. is witnessed by 10 other people robbing a bank. White men who fit that description are suspects. It would be silly to consider black people or Asian people or women as suspects because none of them match the suspect’s description.

    But, at the airports none of that matters. We are all suspects even though few of us match the descrption of actual terrorists. I hope people really feel safe because a lot of time and money is wasted on making people feel that way.

  10. Very good points, both of you. I’ve brought your point up before, John, though I think it was before I came here to gayconservative.org.

    I know people who were born in the Mideast and have become naturalized American citizens after fleeing their home countries because their Christian faith–or, in a few cases, refusal to ascribe to any faith in any god–made them targets for violence within their own families. I went to school with a girl from Iran whose family fled that country and asked for political asylum because they were facing stiff persecution from the religious police and Sharia courts.

    One I know who was born in Egypt and converted to Christianity from Islam agrees with me that all men of Middle Eastern descent should be profiled. Coming from him, that’s pretty strong.

  11. “his administration’s stupidity was revealed by this latest attempt, he stayed in Hawai’i. Vacation was more important. Seeing Avatar is, too, I guess, because that was on the agenda for today.”

    Sometimes you just gotta wonder if someone’s joking….

    Let me remind you that Bush was the most vacationed president in history and sat reading a children’s book during the biggest terrorist attack ever on the country of which his job was to protect. Also, that the warning he got of 911 wasn’t enough to get him out of his Texas Ranch, a case in which he actually could have done something, unlike Obama who had no need to go back to work, having received nothing more than the information that a terrrorist botched an attack, at which point there was no need for action. Oh! And Obama actually had a REASON to be on vacation. You see, Dems understant that there are certain TIMES meant for vacation, such as Winter break. Bush went on vacation whenever he so much as got chapped lips. And yet despite him being the most vacationed president ever, even when he receives intel on what will be the worst terrorist attack ever, u neocons manage to summon the balls to attack Obama for going on one date night and one vacation on freakin’ Christmas, which for some reason you guys must no longer support the sanctity of I guess…

    Quit making this so easy Mel. You’re almost as silly as Steve!

  12. Tom,

    Bush had to be in office for eight years for you to craft that drummed up measurement.

    Obama took one at Martha’s Vineyard and ignored Cindy Sheehan when she protested him. (Somehow the media ignored her to in the case of this president).

    Then he took one in Hawaii just before the close of the year.

    Two major terrorist attacks on our soil in one year.

    The difference between Obama and Bush is stellar with the Sheehan comparison. You were too busy counting (as the media was) during Bush’s administration to realize the successes. Now, people like Mel and I have to make up for that.

    The easiest and silliest thing in this forum was finally getting you to use the word “Christmas” in defense of a liberal President.

    Congrats. Your intelligence is always welcome around here.

  13. “I didn’t…I compared the two very different responses.”

    That is not at all what I took away from your screed. I saw finger pointing and blaming, as I saw in the rest of the corporate media. If you say you aren’t doing any of those things now, I’ll have no choice but to accept that.

    “How many times do I have to remind you? There was plenty of indignation on our part when Bush did things we didn’t like. ”

    I applaud you for bringing up the port security debacle; most cons would like to leave that in the past. It just seems to me that (and I can’t single you out because this blog wasn’t around at the time) conservatives, by and large, are ridiculously hypocritical in this (and all, to be fair) area. Like, cartoonishly so. It’s almost as if the bank of people having short memories. Just take Rudy Guiliani’s gum flapping this morning. We weren’t attacked on Bush’s watch, but we were on Obama’s? That’s pretty astonishing, considering the polar opposite is what happened. And it’s the same people who were giving Bush a pass for what they now view as completely egregious.

    “It’s not just their appearance, Robert, but primarily, YES.”

    Well, I don’t know what a Muslim looks like, do you? Take this Nigerian kid, he looked just like any kid in any mall in America. Or how about the shoe bomber, Richard Reid? He was British and Jamaican, not sporting a turban and a two foot beard. I fully believe that profiling behavior is the way to go, because sooner or later, they’re going to start sneaking people on planes that look nothing like Osama Bin Laden.

    “I have no problem with racial profiling if a certain group has espoused marked hatred and loathing for us to the point that they want to slaughter every single one of us.”

    Yes, but you can’t RACIALLY profile someone based on their RELIGIOUS beliefs, which you would have no way of knowing anyway. Like I said, the last two examples of people attempting to blow planes out of the sky haven’t exactly fit the model of what you think we should be looking for.

  14. “Let’s observe the idea of full body scans where 2M people a day will have their full naked bodies viewed by airport security — nearly a trillion per year.

    How can one argue that this is not a civil liberty violation of theirs?”

    Everyone is arguing that, especially liberals. I’m a bit surprised that you’re taking a stance of being against it (if that is in fact what you’re doing)…

  15. “Bush had to be in office for eight years for you to craft that drummed up measurement.”

    How is the example that Tom (and I) gave drummed up? If any democrat were in office in 2001, and took as much vacation as the vapid moron that was actually in office at the time, and ignored as many warnings as he did, every republican and conservative would have been screaming impeachment from the rooftops within six months. I guarantee it.

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