the madness of
Solway is the author of The Big Lie: On Terror,
Antisemitism, and Identity. His editorials appear regularly
in FRONTPAGEMAG.COM and
Pajamas Media. He
speaks about his latest book, Hear,
O Israel! (Mantua Books), at frontpage.com.
The latest TSA scandal that has America up in arms was not only
entirely predictable but also clearly indicative of all that
is askew with the Obama administration’s foreign and domestic
policies. In the broader view, American officialdom has neither
the ability to anticipate a problem and so act to prevent it
from happening nor the capacity to respond in a rational and
effective way to the problems it has not adequately foreseen.
American policy in general is wholly reactive; further, the
reaction is always misdirected and serves only to aggravate
the quandary it is presumably attempting to resolve.
observe such bungling obtuseness on the geopolitical stage where
its reply to the Iranian nuclear imbroglio, the sporadic eruption
of violence on the Korean peninsula, clan warfare and endemic
corruption in Afghanistan, continued insurgency in Iraq, Venezuelan
belligerency and Palestinian intransigence is, in every case,
misguided and counter-productive. Iran continues to be 'engaged'
even as it sprints toward the bomb, sanctions notwithstanding,
North Korea bribed, Afghanistan botched, Iraq mismanaged, Venezuela
ignored, and the Palestinian Authority encouraged to persist
in its refusal to negotiate meaningfully with Israel.
this is an administration devoid of both common sense and even
minimal political clairvoyance, ensuring a more incendiary future
than we might otherwise have expected. It is an open question
which is worse: the inability to assess a threatening situation
or the incapacity to mitigate its consequences, though perhaps
it doesn’t matter since this administration is guilty
on both counts.
the home front, we see the same gross incompetence at work.
Perhaps the most glaring issue is the undeclared war of the
drug cartels on the Mexican border, to which the government
has responded by . . . not responding—except, of course,
by suing the state of Arizona for trying to do something about
it and fill the federal vacuum. Some reaction! As for the current
farce being daily enacted at the nation’s airports, this
is simply another sign of what we might call the administration’s
“structural ineptitude,” that is, the temptation
to apply every conceivable solution except the right one.
stuffs explosives and a TAPT fuse into his shoe; the reaction
is to have millions of fliers remove their shoes for inspection.
Terrorists pack explosives into gels and liquids; the reaction
is to confiscate every can of shaving cream or bottle of shampoo
while the lines of passengers stretch into the far distance.
The Christmas bomber stuffs 80 grams of PETN into his underpants;
the reaction is to introduce 'naked scans' and groping “pat
downs” whose invasiveness and vulgarity are enough to
deter people from flying in the first place.
while ago, a determined jihadist attempted to assassinate a
Saudi prince by detonating an explosive device secreted in his
anus. Fortunately for the prince, the terrorist on this occasion
was the only thing to hit the fan. But the tactic will surely
be repeated by yet another anal-retentive wannabe and, after
a passenger jet explodes in mid-flight and investigators figure
out what happened, the TSA may well react by instituting cavity
searches and instant colonics or devising new and more hazardous
radiation probes. What else can we expect from our authorities?
It gets even more interesting. We now know that Al-Qaeda is
planning to use surgically inserted bombs, which may or may
not be detected by high-specification X-Ray machines. Meanwhile
it will take longer for many people to board a plane than to
fly to their destinations, assuming they still want to.
can imagine the bouts of hilarity convulsing the terrorist circles,
for they have not only made fools of American officials and
held airline passengers hostage to their maneuvers, but with
every lame and cretinous reaction on the part of the TSA they
have won another battle in their war against America and the
West. The airline industry is suffering, Americans are changing
their travel patterns and the economy takes yet another hit.
Chalk one up for the terrorists.
is the fruit of a psychology of perpetual deferral, of 'solving'
a problem by moving it to the next level of magnitude, which
characterizes the current American rejoinder to every menace
it faces, whether abroad or at home. To be reactive rather than
proactive guarantees precisely the kind of result which the
administration is trying to avoid. Foreign policy requires political
discernment and evident decisiveness in confronting the nation’s
adversaries, either by foreseeing a looming danger in order
to circumvent it or responding in such a manner as to defuse
the possibility of its recurrence. Mere rote reaction is a losing
proposition and promises nothing except a more intense and complex
replication of peril. The same applies on the domestic front.
Simply to react like a Maginot general, putting measures in
place to meet the previous threat, allows the enemy to concoct
ever new and unprecedented means to carry out his purposes unhindered.
real solution, of course, is to target the enemy rather than
to react serially to his endless cascade of methods, procedures
and contrivances. The real solution is to touch the enemy’s
junket, not the passenger’s junk. The TSA, for example,
obviously needs to hire well-trained and dedicated personnel.
It must install fail-safe identity pre-screenings, a proper
interrogation system similar to that successfully employed by
the Israelis, and stringent profiling of the appropriate demographic.
There is no other feasible solution to the dilemma. Both the
wider civilian population and the terrorists know this. Only
an administration seeking to appease not just its avowed assailants
but its own radical base apparently does not, or, what is no
less disturbing, is frankly unwilling to activate whatever dwindling
resources of intelligence and dignity remain to it. From its
perspective, it is preferable to be politically correct and
dead rather than morally honest and alive—at least as
far as its citizens are concerned.
regrettably, what we see occurring in airports across the country
is only a local simulacrum of the failed policies of an essentially
reactive, helpless, possibly disingenuous, and massively incompetent
administration, unequipped to deal with the world as it is.
By refusing to act with foresight, prudence and conviction,
and loath to recognize certain home truths, it has prepared
the ground for inevitable catastrophe. This must be said, no
matter how indiscreet it may sound: It is not the mullahs or
the Taliban or the drug lords or the jihadists who represent
the gravest threats America now confronts. It is Obama, his
administration and his Party that pose the greatest danger of
all to America’s increasingly fragile security.
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Back to Talkbackers
Iran Go Nuclear
Reign of Mediacracy
the Heart of the United Nations
You Like It
the Terrorist Mind