Sunday, January 17, 2010

Terrorism without terror

Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek noted the panicky responses to last month's underwear bomber. Since the goal of terrorism is terror and panic no wonder the Al Qaeda branch responsible claimed credit even if the explosives didn't go off. Zakaria proposes something radical -- don't panic. That may be difficult to do with the GOP ready to pass judgment on Obama for any hint of trouble. But we have an example to follow. When any kind of airplane accident occurs the National Transportation Safety Board calmly and quietly figures out what went wrong and issues regulations to keep it from happening again. Death from air travel is now rare. Think of how much calmer we would handle things if, when terrorists strike, the NTSB (or TSA) calmly figures out what went wrong and issues regulations to keep that method of terrorism from working again. Along the way we might get airport screening procedures that actually address real situations instead of the current mess that leaves us wondering what they were thinking. No panic, no terrorism. And no political finger pointing.

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