Monday, December 28, 2009

Skiv Row

So much for the argument that poverty (and not religion) induces Islamic fanaticism. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the man (with self-proclaimed ties to Yemeni Al-Qaida) accused of attempting to detonate an explosive device on a flight to Detroit, is the son of the former head of Nigeria's largest bank- just another rich kid with too much time on his hands and plenty of manufactured ennui. However, the attack is a splash of cold water; a reminder of just how hollow our post-9/11 cries of "everything has changed" have become. In fact, a cursory glance at the story is enough to make you remove large portions of your hair: A Nigerian Muslim whose name is on a U.S. list of suspects with terrorist connections was was allowed to board in Amsterdam- with no passport. I guess authorities there are too busy subjecting college students to body-cavity searches for fear that a nug of Black Lady kush might be hiding in their nether regions. I suspect no one with more than 4 oz of shampoo was allowed on the flight, either. Good thing the rest of the world is still keeping air travelers safe from the horrors of Prell and bugging the flight attendant for more Funyuns. In their race to the 70 virgins finish line, the disenfranchised Al-Qaida wannabes are usually too long on fanaticism and too short on brains, resulting in blowing themselves up in a Hamburg hotel room or lighting their lap on fire on a plane bound for Detroit. (Sorry, Umar. I doubt even virgins would go near your charred junk.) But Flight 253 might also be a warning. Not to get all Glenn Beck on you, but can we be so sure that things like this are merely rogue fuck-ups? Vigilance (you know, that thing we pretend to have?) requires that we entertain the notion that bigger and badder things are being planned for us. Then again, this guy was an engineering student who couldn't even make an underwear bomb work. Had he consulted with any of the passengers who subdued him, he would have learned that Motown already looks like the victim of a terrorist attack and his would have merely been the tinsel on their post-apocalyptic Christmas tree. Go ahead and flip a coin on the future of our security.

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