99-year-old Granny isn’t the problem

Airport ‘security’ has to pretend all seven billion of us on this planet are an equal threat

99 year old granny isn't the problem

A couple of days after the Christmas Day Pantybomber tried to light up his gusset on the approach to Detroit, I was at a small airport in Vermont shuffling through the line to what they call the “sterile” area. Anyway, I handed over my driver’s licence and, as he had done with all the previous passengers, the Transportation Security Administration agent examined it. And examined it. And examined it some more. He had a loupe, one of those magnifying glasses jewellers use to examine diamonds for any surface blemishes or internal flaws. In this case, he was deploying it to examine how the ink lies on the paper. And when he’d finished doing that he got out his UV light to study the watermark on my licence.

And, looking down at his bald patch as he went about his work with loving care, I was overcome by a sudden urge to point out that nobody had ever blown up a U.S. airliner with a fake driver’s licence. Why bother going to all that trouble when a real one is so easy to get? On Sept. 11, 2001, four of the terrorists boarded the flight with genuine, valid picture ID issued by the state of Virginia and obtained through the illegal-immigrant day-workers’ network run out of the parking lot of the 7-Eleven in Falls Church. Almost two years earlier, Ahmed Ressam, the Millennium Bomber, had been arrested on the British Columbia-Washington state border travelling on a genuine Canadian passport. In that instance, the terrorist had been stopped because the guard thought he seemed nervous when she looked him in the eye. But in Vermont the guy didn’t look me or anybody else in the eye. He remained hunched over his loupes and licences—no doubt in part because if he looked me or any other regular air traveller in the eye all he’d see staring back at him was an expression of total contempt at the pointless and stupid “security.” So they avoid looking at you, and instead peer through their magnifiers, and amble back and forth barking out the rules about how the three-ounce containers of liquids and gels have to be placed in a one-quart zip-top clear plastic bag, and rummage through your carry-on for more and more proscribed items. But they never look at you. Because they’re not looking for terrorists. They’re looking for things, and an ever-growing list of them.


Oh, to be sure, you can still find the occasional nonagenarian spinster who thinks if they’re patting her down and making her unscrew her leg brace it’s a sign that they’re being extra-super-careful about security. Which, of course, they’re not. Every minute spent on the nonagenarian spinster is a minute not being spent on, say, a nervous 23-year-old Muslim male who’s a bit twitchy because his crotch is loaded with PETN. In the end, I forbore to mock the scrutiny of my driver’s licence, as most of us do, lest the TSA stick us on the no-fly list. Even by the standards of government make-work bureaucracies, they dislike being questioned, and they seem to believe they have the power to pull you off the flight for lèse-majesté. A week after the Pantybomber, a man broke into the “sterile” area at Newark. When I say “broke into,” that’s Homeland Security-speak for “strolled into,” while crack TSA agent Ruben Hernandez had wandered away from his post and had his back turned. He wouldn’t have noticed it, but a member of the public, whiling away an hour or three waiting for an arriving passenger, chanced to see it and brought it to the TSA’s attention. They immediately swung into action and checked the surveillance cameras to get a good look at the man. Alas, the cameras weren’t recording. They required a reboot, and nobody at the TSA had got around to asking for one. Still, it looks nice and reassuring having all those cameras everywhere, doesn’t it? Even if there’s nothing in them.

Fortunately, Continental Airlines at Newark keep their own surveillance video. Unfortunately, the TSA didn’t know the phone number to call or the procedures that had been agreed on for getting hold of the backup tape.

So instead they locked down the airport, stopped all flights, pulled everyone off the plane, prevented them from getting food or drink or using the bathroom, and rescreened them all, causing massive inconvenience and loss of time and money. All because TSA “model employee” Ruben Hernandez turned his back. In the wake of the Newark incident, I received a number of emails from airport workers suggesting this sort of thing happens fairly regularly. For example, one correspondent tells me that at Detroit’s North Terminal last year some fellow sauntered into the “secure” area through the exit, bought some food from Village Pizza, and was halfway through eating it before the TSA caught up with him. Presumably the cameras were working that day.

At Newark it took a little longer. After six days, they finally found the security breacher—a man called Haisong Jiang, a 28-year-old Rutgers grad student who’d decided to give his sweetheart one last kiss. New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg is furious that Mr. Jiang may only get a fine and not serious jail time. “It wasn’t some prank that didn’t do any harm,” fumed the senator. “It did a lot of harm because it sent out an alert that people can get away with something like this.”

Er, yes. But isn’t that the problem you should be focusing on? That people can “get away with something like this,” because the model employee turns his back, and your security tape isn’t running, and you don’t have the phone number for the backup.

But for a while they’ll be more careful. So the lines will move slower, and get longer. If you’re at a busy airport on a Friday afternoon, two thoughts occur:


First, this is costing a ton of money. Not just “model employees” as far as the eye can see, and the new full-body scanners that show you what all the Islamobabes look like underneath the burka for 200 grand a pop. But the money and energy drained out of the real economy by all those people who’d be doing something more productive if they weren’t spending so many hours standing around waiting to do the shoeless shuffle. Look at the crowd, figure they’re all on minimum wage, and it’s still a lot.

The second thought that strikes you is that the ever-longer lines to get into the “secure” area are now the least secure area in America. Why not blow up the security line? You could kill as many people as on an airplane, and inflict more long-term economic damage. But don’t worry. The TSA has plans to expand the “secure” area, so the insecure perimeter will be somewhere else, with even more vulnerable people standing around waiting to get into it.

I wrote a few days after 9/11 that the modern airplane cabin was the most advanced model of the progressive social-democratic state, the sky-high version of trends that, on the ground, progress more slowly. It was a statist’s dream on Sept. 11: no smoking, 100 per cent gun control, and no First Amendment either. The justification was a familiar one—that in return for surrendering liberty, the state will ensure you are safe. And so on 9/11 three out of the four planes followed all the 1970s security procedures and everybody died. Because in the end the state wasn’t up there with them.

It was the same on Christmas Day. This time it was the post-9/11 security procedures that didn’t work, and once again the state wasn’t up there. We’re told that Mr. Abdulmutallab wasn’t on the no-fly list per se—there’s only about 4,000 people on that—but on a kind of standby list for the no-fly list, with about half-a-million people on it. Whatever. Had he chosen to light up his panties in the bathroom instead of waiting till he got back to his seat, everyone would be dead.

Question: what do the 9/11 killers, the Shoebomber, the Heathrow plotters, the Pantybomber, the London Tube bombers, the doctors who drove a flaming SUV through the concourse of Glasgow Airport and the would-be killers of Danish cartoonists all have in common? Answer: they’re Muslim. Sometimes they’re Muslims with box cutters, sometimes they’re Muslims with flaming shoes, sometimes they’re Muslims with liquids and gels, sometimes they’re Muslims with fully loaded underwear. But the Muslim bit is a constant. What we used to call a fact. But America’s leaders cannot state that simple fact, and so the TSA is obliged to pretend that all seven billion inhabitants of this planet represent an equal threat.

I wonder how far out the “security” perimeter will eventually be drawn. Just as the micro-regulatory coerciveness of the pre-9/11 airline cabin has now spread to the airport, so eventually post-9/11 airport “security” will spread way beyond—all because the prevailing political culture cannot tell the truth about what’s happening.

Thinking back on it, I should have spoken up in Vermont, even if I get on the no-fly list. The more the merrier. And the sooner all seven billion of us are on it, the sooner we can start over.




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99-year-old Granny isn’t the problem

  1. Let me state a few things:

    I am amazed that you so easily propose racial (or religious) profiling as necessary just because you're peeved that the guy is checking out your license for an extra minute. Really, now?

    And you are also being a little (read: a lot) closed-minded. All the plane bombers have been men. Maybe men are the threat? Maybe you ought to be screened due to your gender, with all that testosterone-fueled rage increasing your propensity to violence just as you assume that Islam leads to bombing?

    Racial profiling will take us back to the dark ages. And once you're on the other side of it, you'll see why you shouldn't have ever dared to go there.

    • Not-profiling will take us back to the dark ages because the minute if refuse to identify the enemy, the enemy because unidentifiable and, therefore, unstoppable. Fort Hood comes to mind. Even Time Magazine questioned why the lengthy report on the matter never once mentioned Hasan's faith.

      As to your initial premise regarding the reason Mark Steyn suggests profiling is a must…you clearly illustrate your lack of understanding (and refusal or inability to take the threat seriously) when you claim that it is because he was peeved about having his license checked.

      Men are the threat. Muslim men. To suggest their gender is a cogent point further illustrates what I noted above. None of them shouted "I am an angry testosterone-fuelled male" before attempting to murder everyone. They did, however, shout "allahu akhbar".

      Now go read a book or find a wise mentor and quit wasting our time with your juvenile, PC nonsense.

      • Well put my friend, well put!

    • You miss the point of the article entirely – we know who are the terrorists, but it is politically incorrect to actually identify them. When middle age Lutheran women start blowing up planes or themselves – then we should be looking a bit more carefully at at group. Right now it is young, Muslim males.

      • As a middle aged Lutheran women, I agree whole heartedly

      • That is the very plain truth. And I thank you for stating it as it is. Political Correctness is killing us more effectively than any terrorist can. It is the ammunition that helps them get past all the bullshit we cannon- fodder have to suffer for. Our politicians are fools. And we are bigger fools for electing them.

        I have been told by many of my muslim friends that Islam is a peaceful religion. All I can see are active, aggressive killers and passive, non-aggressive killers. The 'peaceful' ones do nothing to stop the 'non-peaceful' ones. When I told them that I was called a 'soulless non-believer' who could not understand the "calling" (whatever that means). They did, however, tell me that they would pray for their god to save my soul (which apparently I don't have, according to them, go figure).

      • @ admin: Was my comment that bad!?

    • "So easily propose religious profiling". No Clarke, Muslim profiling. And it should have been done years ago. And not just on airplanes. Maybe you would like to list all the bombings, murders, riots, death threats by Muslims and any other categories you care to choose. Go ahead, you closed-minded denier. Oh, and the "man" idea would be good if the Muslims weren't already using women and children in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to blow people up. They haven't bothered in the west because its too easy to just show up and show your valid driver's licence and passport. Moderate Muslims? Why shouldn't they be inconvenienced, their adherents are the problem, not the Anglicans, Buddhists or atheists.

      • Clarke is so afraid he's gonna , oh oh, here it is, "OFFEND" someone, he cant stomach to face the truth. He's got more weighty issues to grapple with like global warming and putting his new Sierra Club sticker on Prius.

    • This might seem obvious to some, but Islam is not a race. Therefore profiling muslims is not racist. Islam is not even a religion, so much as it is a political ideology bent on world domination. This, too, should be obvious to anyone even remotely aquainted with the Koran. Saying that it is wrong to profile muslims in order to reduce the risk of gruesome death would be about as ludicrous as saying, 40 years ago, that it is wrong to profile people for their communist party membership and beliefs in the name of national security. Sure, there were probably a lot of genuinely well intentioned communists, but the fact remains that they were involved with an international organization with a hostile political program.

    • It's so amusing when those addled by multi-cultural pieties demonstrate their complete disconnect from reality.

      Yeah, to avoid the 'dark ages' that a rational look at nationality, religion, sex and age would drive us to, let's push for full cavity searches of every nonagenarian granny in a wheelchair, every toddler just out of a stroller, and every other traveller foolish enough to submit themselves to the mercies of the TSA.

      The male sex is one point of interest; the Muslim religion is another; youthfulness a third. Carefully scrutinise those who meet two of those three criteria and you've vastly increased your likelihood of stopping another attempt.

      BTW, learn to read. 'Profiling' wasn't being discussed as an anodyne to the annoyance of a license being scrutinised, but as an alternative to the deeply flawed and massively ineffectual practises of the TSA. If you can't tell the difference either you never fly or the security of your employment depends on misleading the public as to your effectiveness.

      • I am white, middle-aged, able-bodied woman who believes in the premise of my past teachings when it comes to religion and believes in the future exposing of our conciousness to space and that one doesn't contradict the other, and that though I've been scrutinized on eath by donating plasma, and buying alcohol, including annal cavatity research in the form of multiple surgerical excursions up my rectum or through my abdomen due to ill health at particular moments in my life doesn't make me less susceptable to a search whether I enter my local government courthouse or the requirment for getting on a plane. People just don't talk it and do not recoginze it as fact. So in fact we are part of the group that receives scrutiny and we don't get acknowledge for going through the process…and that friend is discrimination no matter how you look at it.

    • Close minded? The dark ages? Uh-oh!

      If applying security resources to people who fit the profile of 100% of terrorists qualifies as "the dark ages," then order me a cross-helm, tunic, and a stack of woven baskets from Amazon.

      • Timothy McVeigh.

        The danger in profiling is that of the non-profiled.

        • Timothy McVeigh didn't travel by airplane.

        • It does not make you safer to ignore the difference in danger posed by the 3 inch long mouse and the 8 foot long tiger. That doesn't mean you should ignore the scorpion – merely that you are inviting danger by refusing to acknowledge the shape of the threats you face.

          Opposing profiling is just that: willful blindness.

          • Profiling is simply another sort of willful blindness, except that it's worse because it provides a false sense of security.

            Rather than profiling based on race, religion, sex, or what have you, we commit to training our security people in identifying the likely suspects based on behavioral cues or other activities, and also to paying them a wage commensurate with the amount of responsibility we want them to take on.

            I mean, c'mon, airport security officer often pays less than a truck driver, and doesn't get much of a premium over a data entry clerk even. Yet at the same time we want these people to be highly dedicated and focussed for the entirety of their working hours. Is it any surprise we're having problems?

          • This point has been made many times here, but I'll say it again: you are positing the completely nonsensical claim that comprehensive profiling practices entail that no other security procedure will be used.

            Stop skewering straw men.

          • No, I'm suggesting that religious or racial profiling practices take away resources from profiling practices that actually *work*

        • Timothy McVeigh did not have a world-wide network of terrorist friends and Middle Eastern Islamic nation states for support. Oh, and last I checked, 9/11 wasn't carried out by Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, or Pentecostals. It was muslim zealots. That is the common denominator, like it or not.

          • Though they were the focus it seems -the EMBCP's. What's up with not letting Timothy McVeigh's family rest in peace? Or the ones on the plane's family. It happened. The energy spent should go to understand how the females in the families of these men are responsive to these young men. When did we stop blaming the mothers for everything and start blaming god or airplane security people.

    • The Air India bombing was done by Sikhs, other bombings in the U.S. were done by Timothy McVeigh and the Unibomber (both white). No one race or religion has a monopoly on bombings. Even women are now committing suicide bombings.

      Racial profiling is not the answer.

      • You mention 4 incidents vs. several thousand around the world involving exclusively Muslim bombers. Do you have any concept of probability?

        • Bang on Minaka.

          The Mcveigh meme is getting so old and tired.

        • Do you have any concent of reality? Several thousand? Seriously? Can you name 100? Can you even name 10 that aren't in an active war zone like Afghanistan?

          This is the problem, we get these ideas in our gut, and Steyn bases his articles entirely on that regardless of the facts.

          • Here are a few. And that's just this year–a year that's only 22 days old at that. This is reality, not that it will make much difference to you as your gut doesn't keep the truth down too well it would seem.

            2010.01.14 Pattani, Thailand
            A Buddhist couple is shot to death by Muslims while riding to work. Their bodies are then burned.
            2010.01.13 Shabwa, Yemen
            Two local soldiers are cut down in an al-Qaeda ambush
            2010.01.13 Pattani, Thailand
            Islamic terrorists ambush a group of electricians, killing one
            2010.01.13 Allaghane, Algeria
            Two security personnel are shot to death by Islamic extremists
            2010.01.11 Jammu, India
            Pakistani terrorists shoot an Indian border guard to death

          • Thwim, you've got the idea from your gut, the exit part of it that Muslims are not attacking every religion around the world in thousands of incidents that you could find if you looked. Several sites keep a running tally. You are defending the indefensible out of your own ignorance.

            I'll give you just one example. Muslim militias called janjaweed as agents for the Muslim Sudanese government have been carrying out a systematic campaign of killing Sudanese blacks in the south, mostly Christian and animist, but even some Muslims. The key word is black. It is a black genocide of helpless civilians carried out by Muslims. They have killed 500,000 so far. That's right, half a million including women and children. In addition, they rape the women and burn homes so that there are over a million refugees.

            Don't shame yourself again.

      • Giving the fact that the terrorists are overwhelmingly muslims, it IS the answer.

    • Dark, swarthy, Arab looking people. People in turbans. People in Bhurkas. Negroes with Arab sounding names. Other colored people with Arab sounding names. White people with Arab sounding names. People who give you a funny feeling when you look at them especially if they fir into any of the categories above. It is STUPID not to be biased towards a through search of anyone fitting that description. Not if what you really want is security. So, what does our government really want???? You to feel safe….not be safe……just feel safe. After all, don't feelings count more than deeds these days??

    • How's about this, jerk — why not put the muslims on a plane piloted by muslims and have an even passenger to air marshal ratio, so that if one of the stupid bastards decides to try and bring the plane down, they can be stopped?!

      Or, if you are so "sensitive" to being screened and profiled, THEN DRIVE TO WHERE YOU'RE GOING!!!!!!!

    • Clarke said: "Racial profiling will take us back to the dark ages."
      When did muslims become a race? I missed that little bit of history.

    • Since when is Muslim or Islam a race? If red-headed men were going around blowing things up we would be fools not to take this into consideration. Since Muslim men are going around blowing things up we should take than into consideration.

    • What you are proposing is unbelievably sexist.

    • Islam is not a race

    • Take us back to the dark ages? What dark ages would that be? And since when is Islam a race, last I checked it was a religion. And considering that since Muslims took down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, every attack on a commercial airliner has been committed by foreign-born Muslim men, how is paying attention to and doing something about this simple fact considered going back to the dark ages. You are truly delusional and far removed from reality if you can't see the pattern here. But if you'd rather be politically correct than enact a way to actually stop these attacks and save hundreds of innocent lives than I guess that's your chioce, but boy will you be sorry if/when a man stands up during one of your flights, shouts "Allahu Akbar" and attempts to blow himself up.

      • After reading your comment, the only thing there is left to say is we need to stop making airplanes. Then Donald Trump or any one individual that wants to build extravagant buildings to provide office space, fine dining and beautiful shopping centers can. Our senses will be indulged, we as a united nation can walk amongst each other knowing you are over there and I am over here and it doesn't matter what color your skin is or whether I'm in the front of the line or the back of the line.Cause there won't be any planes overhead to threaten our existence. Unless of course you shift your eyes away and look west I may need to be concerned about what you saw behind me so I'll need to look east. I blame the mothers in a comment previous to this. That's what we use to do. Father Knows Best!

    • 3 years ago I was in Phoenix airport and 3 TSA agents were harassing a blind woman , probably in hger late 80's in a wheelchair and with her seeing eye dog because every time they ran the medal detector over her wheelchair it beeped. I think that is what medal detectors do over medal. They would not let her through security. When I went through I asked to speak to a supervisor and pointed out what was going on with the poor lady and Curley, Larry and Moe and said she will probably miss her flight. He actually said thanks and went and got her through. The TSA man at he door said that I swhould be minding my own business. I replied, we can't be too careful…all those blind ladies in wheelchairs with seeing eye dogs can be a real threat to our national security. yikes!!

  2. Yeah, and what about converts? They happen to be on average more radical than born Muslims, yet they look like what you probably consider as normal humans. As if, anyways, islam was a country with its inhabitants clearly recognizable. Pretty smart for speaking abouta religion with more than a billion believers all across the earth.

    Defending generalized racial profiling is at best an intellectually lazy solution given the consistent reports on the manifest and repeated failures of the intelligence agencies in the Abdulmutallab case. At best.

    • Pretty dumb comment, saying do not focus on certain (well known) features because a few of them might not be a threat for now.
      Instead, keep body searching senior ladies. Dofuses!

    • Who said racial profiling? Steyn said Muslim. They would be easy to identify. Don't ask me to say how, you wouldn't like the answers. (here's one, I can't resist. Ask if they are Muslim. If they say no put a cross on a copy of the Koran and watch their reaction.)
      BTW, intellectually lazy solution is making granny turn over her nailclippers, etc. etc., to security people too stupid to know shampoo from Semtex.

    • Islam is not a race, doofus! And, in fact, given the current situation, I think it would make more sense to focus profiling resources on 'non-brown' muslims and recent converts to Islam.

    • It's easier to screen a billion than 7 billion. In North America, it's more cost effective to screen 2% of the population than 100%.

    • "Yeah, and what about converts? They happen to be on average more radical than born Muslims, yet they look like what you probably consider as normal humans."
      Simple solution seeing as the majority of radicalized converts take on a Muslim name, don't only screen those who are outwardly Muslim, also screen anyone with Muslim sounding names. Oh and if their name is flagged and on the 'no fly' list then… don't let them fly. Problem solved, airplanes now safe from being blown out of the sky.

  3. "they're Muslim. Sometimes they're Muslims with box cutters, sometimes they're Muslims with flaming shoes, sometimes they're Muslims with liquids and gels, sometimes they're Muslims with fully loaded underwear. But the Muslim bit is a constant."

    And, I would venture to guess, sometimes they are Muslim because it gives the US yet another excuse to occupy oil-rich Islamic countries and kill their men, women and children under the "Collateral Damage" column. I can't believe after all of the out and out lies told by Obama, the guy that was going to change things, the supposed saviour of the Western world, that people still have an ounce of trust in the US government. On what do you base that trust?

    cont'd

    • Americans have a healthy distrust for their government. But we distrust Islamic jihadists even more. Why? If you don't know the answer to that, you have not been paying attention.

    • Obama is trying to move America and American foreign policy in the right direction but he faces a lot of opposition from those making money from the status quo with some Americam and multinational companies exploiting anyone and everyone to make money.

  4. Yet here we go, still believing the government. "Yes, we did obtain the confession of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed by months of torture, but trust us, he was really the 9/11 kingpin."

    "Yes, the first six official versions of the underwear bomber story contradicted all of the eyewitness testimony, but we've got it right now, so you can believe us."

    Good lord people are stupid.

    Rather than racial profiling, a better way to stop few Muslims they may have legitimately acted alone or in concert with a terrorist cell from attempting to bring down planes would be to GET THE HELL OUT OF IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN, IRAN and YEMEN.

    • You know, there's ignorant, then there is STUPID. JimD … you are a certifiable jack-ass.

      The 'occupy oil-rich' Islamic countries comment has always been a red-herring and illustrates your total ignorance on where the U.S. gets it's energy, or could get it if the environmental freaks were moved out of the way … by the way dumfuk … the ENTIRE WORLD imports oil from the Middle East, not just the U.S. The U.S. has NEVER had the NEED to kill all those innocents you claim for OIL … OIL has never actually been the issue except in a global sense since the entire WESTERN WORLD relies on middle east supplies to one degree or another, ENRICHING THE MIDDLE EAST I MIGHT ADD. You spew leftist bullshit you were told in skrool. We actually import a small percentage of what we need from the Middle East you cock-sucking dick licker.

    • were we in any of these countries on 9/11? Also, not quite sure when we invaded Iran and Yemen. Good lord you are a moron. I would agree that the Us has f—up on more than one instance, do you actually believe that people who get upset over cartoons and want worldwide islamic control will stop attacking us if we meet this or that demand.

      • Thank you for saving me the trouble of pointing out the obvious to our good friend, JimD.

        • Eaxctly

      • I am not denying that Muslims carry out suicide bombings for religious reasons, and I condemn that. But if you think "Al-Qaida" or any other purported Muslim terrorist group is the root cause of losses to your personal safety, freedom and security than the US government, you are a fool. If you can't see that occupying a country that posed them no military threat, killing over a million of its citizens, destroying its museums, art galleries, libraries and schools, leaving untold amounts of depleted uranium in the environment to ruin the lives of generations to come, then you are a fool. If you can't see that dropping bombs from drones and killing hundreds of innocent people in Pakistan isn't a great "terrorist" recruitment tool, you are a fool. Unfortunately sir, everything in the world isn't resolved by just saying "Muslims are evil", and completely avoiding the contributing factors of their rage.

        • Jimd,

          You seem to have forgotten to answer the initial question.

          How many of these countries – IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN, IRAN and YEMEN – was the US in before 9/11 ?

          You sir are a moron.

          I also suspect you are a muslim using a non muslim nick.

          • I'm as white as the driven snow, but that's beside the point. I don't even know any Muslims. I believe in UNIVERSAL, NATURAL BORN RIGHTS. You know, like the antiquated notion central to the entire foundation of the USA and much of our western values that we've been losing for the past 50 years.

            To answer your question:
            The CIA overthrew the democratically-elected Prime Minister Mosaddeq of Iran in 1953, and they have been interfering there ever since. 1953 precedes 2001.
            In 1971, Henry Kissinger made a deal with Saudi Arabia's King Fahd by which all OPEC oil could only be sold in U.S. dollars. After decoupling the dollar from gold, the US basically controlled the prcie of oil and controlled the market. 1971 precedes 2001.

          • Saddam Hussein stated in 2000 that he was planning on selling Iraqi oil for Euros, which is the primary reason the US invaded Iraq based on the convenenient excuse of 9/11 and WMDs that weren't there. 2000 precedes 2001.
            The IMF (run mostly out of the US) began interfering in Yemen's economy in 1997, making their usual demands of privatization of public resources by western interests in return for backbreaking loans. Like practically every other country in which the IMF claims to be helping, they assisted in further desctruction of their economy, resulting in massive poverty.

          • The US provided arms and military expertise to the Afghans in their war against the Soviets during the 80's, but when they finally drove them out, just like they drove out every other naive invader for thousands of years, the US left them holding the bag. It was a proxy war in which the US used Afghani human capital for their own gain. They do that with Blackwater today, but at least the Blackwater guys get a pay check.
            There are lots of other instances you might know about if you'd ever read any history books that weren't spoon-fed to you by the western corporate media. After you do some studying up, then maybe we can have an intelligent discussion about this.

          • "It was a proxy war in which the US used Afghani human capital for their own gain."
            …or maybe legitimate U.S. interests paralleled Afghani interests so the States supplied munitions to assist. It's called foreign policy and it's neither simple nor straightforward. Quit coloring your opinions with your anti-colonial ideology, it doesn't fit with reality. (which isn't as black and white as you seem to wish to see it)

          • So you're pro-colonial? There's a defensible position.

        • Muslims have been raging against the non-Muslim world since the inventor of their ideology disguised as a religion Mohammed in the 8th century.

          They reached the Gates of Vienna in 1683 threatening all of Europe before Christians got organized and beat them back into their caves. They emerged again from their obscurity due to unearned oil wealth when the West invented technology requiring oil, found the oil situated under the sands of the most backward people on the planet, installed the machinery to extract the oil, and paid the lucky camel drivers top dollar.

          Mohammed's supremacist ideology is unchanged from the dark ages and requires that all non-Muslims be conquered, either converted, reduced to dhimmi with inferior rights or killed if recalcitrant.

          It doesn't matter how nicely you talk to your would be conquerors, those are still your three choices as demonstrated in all 57 Muslim dominated states. There is not a single one where non-Muslims have the same rights as Muslims.

          When you spew the line that Muslim attacks are justified on the basis of current events which you also get totally wrong, you display your status as what Stalin used to call a "useful idiot" for totalitarian causes. Exactly what have Buddhists and Sudanese blacks done to justify their slaughter by Muslims?

          And here's the kicker. The biggest killers of Muslims around the world are other Muslims. Theoretically by your reasoning, they should wipe out each other in reprisals!

    • So, how do explain the bombings in Bali? Are vacationing Australians and Kiwis 'occupiers'?

      • How does he, further, explain where the Iraqi oil is going? This innuendo about invading Iraq to steal the oil is an appalling indictment of our media's ability to report the facts. Yes, it was about oil: the oil wealth of an ambitious, mass murdering psychopath and his thugs. The thugs, incidentally, who are directly responsible for the vast bulk of the casualties. Whose militancy was responsible for the continued conflict which some of them continue to favor over constructive solutions. (With the complicity and cheerleading of backwards peaceniks in the west.)

        • That must be why at least 14 PERMANENT military bases have been built in Iraq by the US. Are they one of your 'constructive solutions". You must think the movie "Team America: World Police" was a documentary.

          • That's because it's a strategically important locale. They aren't stealing oil.

          • It's also the least Americans deserve for the chance they bought with their blood and treasure for Iraqis to build a better life for themselves than Saddam Hussein's murderous thugocracy.

            Those bases may help stamp out Iranian provocations that threaten the Mid-East powder keg.

          • Mendelbot and Minaka, you two need to get off Macleans and CBC and Fox and start reading some real news that hasn't been distilled into neo-con talking points. The US doesn't help anyone, including their own clueless citizens, build a better life. Did they at one point? Of course, the US was once legitimately the greatest country the world has ever known, but those days a long gone. The Amercian dream is dead as a doornail.

            But if you want to go on believing that the US has spent trillions of dollars bankrupting itself, killing over a million Iraqis and over 4300 of its own soldiers to help Iraqis "build a better life", keep it up. The sheer lunacy of your position is astounding.

    • Yes, and if we get out of those places, will the killing stop? No. And hell no. Who are you trying to kid? The jihadists will continue to kill. It's what they do.

    • What did the victims of the Bali nightclub bombs have to do with Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran or Yemen? And BTW, Iran is a Muslin theocracy. What did George Bush have to do with occupying Iran? You guys need to get a new anthem.

  5. How can you tell if someone is Muslim? Hmm, they could be of any race… even white. Many of them live in the UK or the USA, and, in fact have launched attacks from such places. Sometimes they have Arabic-sounding names, but not always, they could be called Jose Padilla, Richard Reid, or, you know, Mark Steyn. Muslim men sometimes have beards though, so that could narrow things a bit. In other words if a bearded white guy named Mark Steyn is on my flight I hope they profiled the hell out of him, for all I know he could be some kind of terrorist!

    • Actually, almost all of the converts change their names, too. The media insist on using their Western names to avoid the whole Muslim association. Richard Reid, for example, calls himself Abdul Raheem and Tariq Raja. That, ahem, may raise some flags. He also had the Muslim beard, hat, and Koran. Again, those are what some people call "signals."

      And Israel does this kind of profiling quite successfully. They haven't had an El Al bombing attempt since they implemented it.

      • Israel doesn't profile as Mark Steyn is suggesting. They ask everyone questions about what they are doing in the airport and where they are going etc. at various stages of your experience through the airport. Based on your answers and your behavior while giving those answers they ascertain whether you are a threat. That is entirely different from identifying you as muslim and then assuming you are a threat. I would be completely ok with someone taking a person aside because they see slightly nervous, can't answer questions on what they are going to be doing at their destination and has no luggage on an overseas flight and scrutinizing them a little more. That is different than looking at their ID and determining they are muslim and taking them aside. That is one of the ways you breed people that hate you, by showing them hate.

    • Ask if they are Muslim. If they say no its not hard to figure out something to do that would expose them if they are lying. Think about it Dan.

      • Moreover, there are probably increasingly sophisticated ways of linking people to militant mosques and militant mullahs. Yes, we should be tracking everyone who turns to preachers of jihad for spiritual guidance.

        Is this racism? No, it's common sense: find those who follow those who preach the ultimate destruction of our civilization. It's a no brainer.

        • You mean evangelical Christians and the coming rapture?

          • Over 500,000 civilians killed by Muslims in the past decade, half a million in Darfur, Sudan alone. Evangelical Christians' score: zero, same as Thwim's logic quotient.

  6. DanG: "Checking people who don't need to be checked"

    The entire argument here lies in the fact of differentiating who needs to be checked. Steyn suggests racism. True Canadians know that this is a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    • "True Canadians", now that's a funny one.

    • Er, the Charter protects both freedom of religion and freedom of expression. in other words, its your right to be a muslim and its your right to be a racist and its even your right to be a muslim racist. But the most ridiculous thing about your claim that somehow the Charter protects people against racial profiling (which it clearly DOES NOT) is that racial or religious profiling is not in and of itself racist. If a dark skinned man with a beard and turban robbed a bank, would the police start questioning all the light skinned beardless men from South America in the area or would they be better off starting out on the assumption that perhaps this man was a Sikh from India. Honestly, your cry of racism is only exceeded in its ignorance by your claim of protection under the Charter against racial profiling.

    • i'll be sure to wrap myself in the Charter on my next flight to protect me when it blows up, Clarke. thanx for the advice!

      (i'm moving to Texas if you represent "true Canadians")

      • There's a profile for WMD fear mongering Texans as well.
        Regardless…profiling is a necessary component of effective security and law enforcement. To deny this is naive.
        While I fully appreciate our Charter and the benefits it provides it has been twisted by Commissions and others to the point that we are no longer safe or secure in this country. Canadians, true or otherwise need to rediscover the benefits of common sense. FYI this doesn't exist in Texas either y'all.

        • Nice slam at Bush – here's a hint – he has been out of office of a year! And even after Mr. Hope and Change's world apology tour _ NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Because the conflict is a fundamental difference about our way of life – if you want to give up your freedoms and adopt Islam – go ahead, but don't assume anyone else will or that we should have to.

        • What do you care anyway? Last time I checked, “You ain’t gettin’ on no plane, foo”

    • This has NOTHING to do with Canada. Also, your Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a stupid PC parody of the US Constitution. Read it. Really. Try to read it with a straight face. It will be a footnote in 50 years.

      What Steyn suggests is profiling based on belonging to a group most likely to commit terrorist acts. There is no one race of Muslims. However, Muslims of all races share a tendency to spin off a higher percentage of fanatical and violent young men than, say, Lutherans.

      Also, read again. He didn't say to pull every 'Muslim looking' person out of line and strip search them. He suggested that they look people in the eye and check for signs of nervousness. That they check people who go on international flights at the last minute with no luggage and pay cash for their tickets. That when they see 'Muslim looking' young men, that they take a closer look than they would at, say, 'Jewish looking middle age women.'

    • And that's why America is the greatest and freest country on GOD'S GREEN EARTH and Canada has fallen behind in the running

  7. 'Racism', pheh, what a canard. Islam is a religion, not a race. It is an ideology, not a skin color. Accusing Steyn of racism is idiotic. Would that all Muslims did look alike; it would make it easier to spot and stop those willing to take the Koran seriously enough to kill infidels qua infidels. But failing to admit and deal with the fact that Islam is the constant in terrorism is infantile.

  8. While Mark easily makes the point that our drift into ever deeper security sterile areas (ie. areas totally free of security) it is obvious from the comments that nobody, including Mr. Steyn himself, has a clue about what to do. There are methods that might be more cost effecitve than screening 7 billion people but the true fight has yet to be joined. There are three things that have made America the GREATEST and most FREE place on the planet: 1) First Amendment, 2) Second Amendment, and 3) Article I, section 2 which allows us to remove the tax writers EVERY two years http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#A1Sec2. Stopping ANY aid or travel from countries that refuse to enact these proven cornerstones of freedom would put the ideological battle on the front lines instead of in the back corners of some free trade debate where the free West just must tolerate the occasional "human-caused disaster" to make a buck. Let them all fall back into the mud without us as we advance into the 22nd century!

    • "There are three things that have made America the GREATEST and most FREE place on the planet"

      America hasn't been that place for at least 47 years. Ever heard of Guantanamo? Extraordinary rendition? Illegal wiretapping? "Free Speech" zones at protests? The US Legislative, Executive and Judicial brances have been using the Constitution and Bill of Rights as toilet paper. Wake up and take your blinders off.

      • "Ever heard of Guantanamo?" Oh you mean the prison that keeps the terrorists who want to destroy America (a.k.a., the greatest nation on GOD'S green earth) from doing what they want, destroying our nation. The prison that holds the exact people that we are at war with? Is that the Guantanamo you speak of? America, like any sane institution, is free for its law abiding citizens not the insane wackjobs who want to pore boiling oil down our throughts and cut off our heads. Duh!!

  9. When are the politically correct going to learn to use another adjective other than "racism". Muslims come from all races and genders. The Israelis can determine their existence in an airport security check with a quick couple of discussions as could almost anyone else as well. Someone intent on self detonation would, in all probability lack the skills of a professional actor in being able to hide their Islamic pathos in the first level of screening, after which the intensity of security could be prioritized accordingly. The existential threat to Israel from Islamic Jihad is no more than the rest of Western civilization, simply more advanced.

  10. That all the terrorists to date have been Muslims is a demonstrable fact. That profiling Muslims is "racist" is a subjective judgment based solely on a person's political leanings.

    Those who are attacking Steyn are actually proving his point: that they are willing to shut their eyes to reality in order to promote their ideology.

    • Timothy McVeigh and the Unabomber thank you for letting them go without suspicion

      • Thwim.

        I'll trade on one Mcveigh for one Pantybomber and one Unabomber for one Shoe bomber.

        Now its your turn.

        • Montreal Stock Exchange, Columbine, Montreal Ecole Polytechnique, Randalstown, etc.

          Now it's your turn to get the point. Profiling based on religion or race opens us up to attacks from other religions, races, or disgruntled yahoos. What are y'gonna do, start a profile against every race or religion that makes an attack? Sooner or later we're right back where we started, only having suffered a lot of attacks that we wouldn't have needed to if we were using sensible measures to begin with.

          • "Profiling based on religion or race opens us up to attacks from other religions, races, or disgruntled yahoos."

            And your evidence for this claim is what exactly?

            "What are y'gonna do, start a profile against every race or religion that makes an attack?"

            Somehow I don't think we need to worry about Buddhist or Presbyterian suicide bombers. Just guessin' here.

          • Indeed, you are just guessing. Perhaps you should to do some research now.

          • Talk about "Do as I say, not as I do".

            The person needing to do research is Thwim.

          • Steyn is discussing airport securitues, not events that transpired to to insane gun-control laws that make it extremely difficult to be able to carry a fire arm that would have prevented those events. And yes we will profile based on any major religious threat such as the radical Muslims that we just so happen to BE AT WAR WITH. I think that's the key element that you are missing here.

      • And if either of them had tried to blow up an airplane you might actually have a point to make. We're talking about airport security and profiling. Can't you read?

        • I can. You wrote "all terrorists to date have been Muslims is a demonstrable fact"
          Don't blame me if what you write isn't what you mean.

          • What I wrote was in response to the above article. You know, the one we're all commenting on? About terrorism and airport security? In the official comments section?

          • Don't get into parsing anything with Thwim who misses the entire forest because he's stuck on his little acorn of 2 white bombers. These men were domestic terrorists and are known by their name and nickname because they are so rare in a country with about 180 million whites. These are the "black swans" of probability, named for their very rarity.

            They are in no way comparable to the Muslim terrorists attacking non-Muslim countries which are acts of war. The correct comparison to McVeigh and the Unibomber are the Muslims who kill their fellow Muslims who voted in a different form of government to the one the killers preferred (murderous thugocracy). Iraqis and Afghanis for example can't list all these killers by name because they are simply too numerous in smaller nations. Unfortunately, they're garden variety, not black swans.

            But Thwim has no concept of probability. For him, 2 is the same as 2000.

      • There's better than even odds that a lilly white individual, weather their name was McVeigh or Pope John, showed up at the baggage check with a half ton of deisel soaked fertilizer some red flags would go up. No one seems to be suggesting that if certain individuals who happen to fit the profile of those who are attracted to hiding explosives in their underwear are given greater scrutiny everyone else be given a free pass.

  11. The simple fact is that the people currently blowing up airplanes, or trying to, are Moslem. The simple solution is to keep Moslems away from airplanes. But that's not only too politically incorrect, it also doesn't provide enough McJobs for politicians' knuckle-dragging friends and relatives. Not to mention not enough graft and patronage for businesses that manufacture all the useless "security equipment".

  12. Terrorist profiling is no different in principle than criminal profiling. It means looking for the culprit based on established patterns of personal history for the crime in question. For the Islamic terrorist it means taking his religion into account, but also his known associations. There are a finite number of Islamic leaders/mosques/madrassas out there advocating jihad and they are easily identified. Anyone associated with them in any way should be subject to an elevated level of scrutiny at the gate. There is no terrorist I have heard of who did not have prolonged and repeated contact with known jihadis before strapping on the bomb. This especially includes the converts.

    • Also, profiling can include looking for suspicious behavior like nervousness or situational profiling like NO LUGGAGE and ONE WAY TICKETS. All of these are clues that a trained, educated investigator can apply to a decision to further scrutinize a passenger. Israel has used this approach successfully for years. Why can't we? “Profiling” is not a bad word.

    • Well said Phil

  13. Profiling is good. Discrimination is good We discriminate every day. We choose who our friends are and who we like to hang out with because we are discriminating. We choose to not associate with certain people, simply because don't like them. It's human nature. Anyone who says he does not discriminate is patently dishonest. Personally, I am sick to death of apologists and condesending elitist politically correct people such as Clarke who somehow feel that they are above all that. GET A GRIP ON REALITY. Experience teaches us many things. One of the most important thinsg we learn from a very early age is knowing who to avoid based on their appearance or what they profess to believe. It's simple. Case in point. Little old ladies from Kansas don't blow up airplanes.

    • Very well said Ionamic.

    • Learning who to avoid based on their appearnace isn't an important thing to learn or even a good one. Have you never heard the phrase don't judge a book by its cover. Yes I choose who my friends are, but not based on what they look like or what they believe, but rather what they act like. I associates with lots of people of varying appearance and beliefs.
      That is what security should do, assess threats based on what people are doing or did (ie check no bags for a trip from Europe to the US, that is suspicious BEHAVIOUR).

      • Yeah well, you usually have days, weeks or months to observe actions of suspicious looking characters and are voluntarily taking that risk in hopes that some of them turn out to be pure gold.

        Why compare that situation to a completely unlike situation of being charged by society with keeping them safe by giving a stranger a once over at the airport security? There are certain shortcuts that increase your efficacy and profiling is the best. Only certain books with certain covers have been self-detonating.

        • First, I was replying to Ionamic's comment that we choose our friends based on appearance. Not all of us do. Second it doesn't take days to assess behaviour, ask the people in Tel Aviv. They ask questions at the airport through the whole process and determine the threat you pose based on what you answer and how you answer. I would rather have people ask questions than the current security measures. Also, that way when someone determines people are a threat it is based on more than just religion.

          • "First, I was replying to Ionamic's comment that we choose our friends based on appearance" ionic's actual comment, "We choose who our friends are and who we like to hang out with because we are discriminating" Nothing about appearance in there. Secondly if I don't judge a book by it's cover, read it, and it turns out to be the worst book I've ever read, what sense does it make to read another book that looks just like it or that is by the same author. Do you get the metaphor? Sometimes when an obvious pattern emerges like, say, the only airplane bombings/ attempted bombings since 1988 have been committed by Muslims, it shows your delusion, your total lack of commen sense and how removed you re from reality if you don't think judging that book by its cover is the safest bet.

    • Little old ladies in Kansas or any other part of this world have been known to be abuse in their form of diciplining children. Spanking children to some is considered admonishable and worth shunning in public. To others it is considered the proper thing to do when some behaves badly. Personally, I like helping an individual seek a different thought process to distract them for the obiviousness of their bad behavior – like lets see if we can build you a nice comfortable place to reside and lose yourself in your thoughts of exploring your own mind rather than the training that would be performed by sending one so young away to learn from a master -that is a choice for some and not for others. Pssst! Little old ladies can be mean…and I'll leave off the color of skin because you didn't specify.

  14. And all along I thought the movie "Idiocracy" was fiction. Little did I know that the title was inspired by airport security

  15. If you are really worried about getting blown up in an airplane, you are probably going to be the type that is going to be demanding what went wrong if an angry suicidal white boy decides to blow himself up on a plane.

    Planes are a popular target these days, because everyone wants to emulate 9/11. If you want to fly, you have to deal with the inconvenience of people trying to blow up the planes, and the inconvenience of wussy bourgeois who want to be reassured.

    Otherwise, one can chill out and realize that the security measures have worked so far, and that they will fail eventually. It is more security than you get on a train or a bus, or even in your own car. Death will come and there is nothing you can do about that except lose the extra 20 lbs, which is far more likely to kill you than an islamic terrorist.

    • As long as the incidents of angry suicidal white boys who blow up innocent civilians are outnumbered 10,000 to one by angry suicidal Muslim boys, no rational person would extend screening measures to white boys (unless they're Muslim).

      • Oh, It might only happen once that a suburban snot blows himself up on a plane. If we didn't screen everyone though, everyone would bitch and moan about a "security failure" when it happens.

        • You still don't get it, neither Steyn's article or my comment.

          The time and money you waste trying to avoid your hypothetical very unlikely scenario of the white boy means less chance of intercepting the risk that's 10,000 times greater.

          I'm forced to ask of a second person on this thread, do you have any understanding of probability? It is higher math but most people get it on an instinctual level. You do not.

          • Sure, but let's say we ban muslims from flying at all. You're still going to do all the same security procedures you do now because it isn't really about security. It is about protecting people from their own lack of gravitas and inability to realize that the risk of death from a bomber or highjacker on an airplane is less than almost everything else they do.

    • Amen. A bomb almost goes off and people fall over each other trying to hand over the freedom it took about 800 years of struggle to achieve.

  16. Well, geez, I hate to say this but it seems to me history is showing that MEN are the problem, as usual, ha ha! I could be wrong, but has there been any documented cases of WOMEN trying to blow up planes? I don't recall any although I know Isreal has experienced female suicide bombers on the ground. Anyway, I agree 100% with Mark Steyn, profile, profile, profile. Isreal's airport security is top notch and I believe this is one method they use to keep their planes safe. In the meantime, the grannies, get a free pass because it's hard for them to stand in long lineups.

    • "has there been any documented cases of WOMEN trying to blow up planes?"

      Yes a few years ago in Russia a couple of airliners were brought down by women, they also attacked a rock concert with a woman suicide bomber, there have been several women suicide bombers in Israel and in Iraq.

      You're not going to believe this but by a remarkable coincidence all those aforementioned women bombers belonged to the same religion. Guess what the religion was, go on just try a guess.

      Any other questions?

      • Thanks for your info, I forgot about those two Russian planes going down in 2004. I should have Googled women suicide bombers before I typed my stupid comment above about men being the ones to blow up planes. I humbly apologize. After glancing at headlines of female suicide attacks on the ground in countries around the world, it seems they are more deadly than males, esp. Iraq, Sri Lanka, Chechnya etc. in recent years. So, maybe a little old granny might be a problem also. Agree, 99% of the suicide bombers belong to the Muslim religion.

    • There have been many women suicide bombers and airplane hijackers. The first one I remember was Liela Khaled back in the early seventies, and yes she was (is) a muslim, what a surprise!

  17. As usual, Steyn draws upon straw men, lies, and out-of date facts to make a pseudo point, and to demonize muslims.

    Yes, it is correct that most terrorists these days are muslim. But that does mean that most muslims are terrorist. In fact only a tiny number are terrorists. But that's good enough for Steyn to demand that they all be singled out and treated like pariahs.

    In any event, a little research would have told him that the TSA has recently introduced screening criteria which Canada and other countries seem likely to adopt, that identifies higher risk passenger (but logically, not all muslims) for additional screening, so his 99 year old granny would likely not make the cut.

    This is not to say that all airport security measures are perfect, but Steyn undercuts whatever point he is trying to make with his one trick pony fixation with Islam.

    So Steyn, on to your next muslim bashing piece!

    • Most Y are X although most X are not Y. But we must be careful of treating Y's as though they are mostly X's in case some X's misunderstand us for assuming most X's are Y's.

      • Most politicians are rich "Christian" men, and they have done more to lower our quality of life and subvert our freedom and security than any Muslim ever dreamed of. I don't hear you complaining about them.

        • Jimmy boy,

          And your point is ?

        • Brother, you aren't listening. And " "Christian" " indeed. With their lack of integrity, honesty, their views on the family, life and personal responsibility, their unfaithfulness is obvious.

          I never disputed that secular materialism is by far the greatest threat to our civilization. For instance, the idea that wealthy christians are comparable to terrorists is a line borrowed straight from the Frankfurt School. Clumsy thinking like that is authentically dangerous to our culture in a way that a few Allah Nutbars could never be.

          The presence of other civilizations with the integrity to fill our spiritual vacuum is a different issue.

  18. There are billions of muslims in the world. Very few of them have tried to blow up planes. Just scrutinizing muslims makes no sense. I agree that we can use profiling to help stop people from trying to blow up planes, but as others have mentioned, use it an investigative tool. Look for people that paid in cash, have no luggage, are nervous, don't have responses to simple questions etc. However this involves scrutinizing behaviour not race or religion as Steyn suggests. This might actually help solve the problem of safety and stupid security procedures at the same time while avoiding stereotyping a ethnic background or religion.
    For those that said Steyn isn't being racist your are right, he is just stereotyping (that isn't any better).

    • You just stereotyped the terrorist as follows: one who is nervous, has no luggage, paid for ticket in cash, can't answer questions, etc. Profiling is when you – scientifically – create a system that seeks logical and real traits of Muslim terrorists and then seek those traits in travelers. Profile! Leave granny and her leg braces alone!

    • First off, there are approx. 1.2 billion muslims in the world, so using the term 'BILLIONS' makes it look like your trying to pad your non existent argument.

      And then, there are actually BILLIONS of non muslims in the world, the majority of which haven' t tried to blow up aircraft in the air. at least not in the last 15 years.

      • Even if there are only 1.2 billion muslims in the world, a majority of them also have not tired to blow up a plane so whats your point?

    • You know what's really strange?

      The people so intent on blowing up planes, subways, and resorts, are the same people who have never had the capacity to design or build a plane, subway, or resort.

      They only know how to destroy. What they seem to forget, and what we should consider…..is that we could end it all very quickly if we could find someone willing to push the right buttons. Thank god for them…..we in the West are all civilized and such eh? (That will last until some Muslim nut-job sneaks an Iranian nuke into a US city….then all bets are off, and the middle east will be a parking lot)

  19. The problem with airport security is that they set up the criteria for entry, tell everyone about it, and then basically have to sit back and wait for someone to bypass the security. The terrorist gets to learn what security measures are being taken and then can come up with a way to beat the system.

    For example, how would you possibly screen Muslims? Stop all bearded men? All the terrorists would have to do is get a white Muslim, make him clean cut and put him in a priests outfit. Checking things like no baggage just means they have to pack a bag. One way ticket? Buy a return flight.

    Profiling is likely the best chance we'd have to help root out these threats. However, "being Muslim" is a horrible measurement to base it on.

    • I love you right now… back in '81, right after graduation, I went to Texas with a couple of bags. I think one checked and one carryon. And a one way ticket. Because 'MY MOM' bought me the suitcases and a one-way ticket out of town. Saying get a job and I'll think about ya. I was white back then and still am. Top it off I'm a female. I did not have chin hair at the time but I do now. When I read all of these comments about racial profiling I recall my nephew is supposedly Saudi Arabian, but we don't know for sure cause when the dad finished his education at the U of M back in 1979 or 1980 he went back to SA supposedly. So we just let him, my grown nephew, be and then if does something we don't know about and find out about we never say do you think someone thinks he's black OR Saudi Arabian?

  20. Profiling seems to work damn well for the most hated target of Muslims — Israel and EL AL Airlines. Furthermore, Israelis are on constant alert in their own country for suspicious activity — based on profiling. They primarily use behavioral and psychological profiling, something we need to do. Oh yeah, I forgot, the pissant ACLU would pee in their collective panties if we were to do any kind of profiling. Guess we sheeple will just keep on shuffling, shoeless, liquidless, soon pantyless.

    • Behavioural and psyhcological profiling I'm all in favor of. That's a method that makes sense, and doesn't waste as much effort on all of the moderates of whatever your religious profiled choice is.

  21. And you don't profile in your personal life….?

    Last week driving home from college at night.my daughter's got a flat tire. She pulled off the freeway in an industrial area of Los Angeles She called me about the same time a car pulled up behind her. As a father who would you want her to report just pulled up?

    1. Two young men in a lowrider with Hip Hop music blaring.
    2. Two young men coming home from a bible study.

    If you answered 1, you're either stupid, hate your daughter, think its a trick question, or you're a liar.

    The second group pulled up behind her, changed her tire, escorted her to a gas station to put air in her tire. One of them asked for her phone number, because after all, he's a man and she's a cute girl.

    The only reason that the posters aren't serious about profiling and real security is that they don't actually travel. For them security is a abstraction in which they pose as being morally superior. Try flying 40 weeks a year and see if you want profiling.

    • You hit dead on. You're right that those who find all sorts of reasons for minimal security or who refuse to admit that the western world has a big problem with some muslim men and refuse to find a real solution because of political correctness are unrealistic, naive and live in a morally superior fantasy land.

    • Here is my problem with profiling based on appearance. My brother has a lowrider and listens to Hip Hop loudly in his car. Its his style. He is one of the nicest guys you will meet, would give the shirt off his back if you needed it. He is currently a university student and is working to pay for school but still finds time to volunteer as a soccer coach with kids. Most of his friends listen to Hip Hop, they are all stand up guys that do similar volunteer activities. They all would have helped your daughter out in that situation.
      I don't think profiling is a bad thing, police use it all the time, I just think there has to be more to it than "your Muslim" just like there has to be more to police profiling than skin colour. It isn't about being morally superior, but rather ensuring that good people don't get treated badly because they study the Koran instead of another religious text.

      • It's about ensuring that good people don't get treated badly because they study the Koran?

        Hmm, I thought it was about ensuring my plane doesn't get blown out of the sky.

        Given the realities of today's world, these good people (and they overwhelmingly are) will understand. They don't want to die either.

  22. While you guys are obsessed with Steyn's perfectly accurate claim that all of the plane bombers (both successful and unsuccessful) have been muslim, you conveniently ignore the rest of his column, which in no way depends upon that claim. Steyn's point is that airline security is incredibly stupid and inefficient because it wastes time and resources checking people who don't need to be checked, and in ways that aren't very effective (e.g. checking driver's licenses).

    • I agree that Steyn makes a good point about airport security. It is stupid in a lot of occassions, like banning carry on luggage after the "pantybomber" even though carry on luggage had nothing to do with that incident. That however doesn't excuse his comments on Muslims. If you exclude all non muslim terror attacks (Oklamhoma City bombing, the unibomber, and others) from the list then it isn't surprising that you end up with a list of muslims. That is like eating all colours of Smarties but red and concluding that all Smarties must be red based on what is left. I think the problem here isn't that people can't racial profile but that people don't coordinate information. The "pantybomber" used the exact same MO as the shoebomber (flight through a European capital, no luggage, paid in cash, even his father turned him in), if this information was shared or actually acted upon maybe he wouldn't have made it to the plane. Lets work on things like that instead of wasting ziplock bags on holding my tiny bottle of hand sanitizer and lip gloss.

      • Here's the deal Casa.

        You put all the non muslim terrorists (Mc'veigh, Unibomber, etc) in the left hand column and all the muslim ones in the right hand column and add them up.

        Let me know your results.

        • How about this instead.

          Compile a list of all muslim people in the world that have no connection to terrorists and have never committed an act of terror and compare that to a list of ones that do and have.

          I would rather not ostracize good people for no reason and risk creating more terrorists in the off chance that scrutinizing all Muslims at a airport will stop terrorism. I doubt that limiting the security measures to apply only to a certain subclass will really be that much more affective than applying the measures to everyone, especially considering you can't identify Muslims without them admitting they are Muslim. How about instead we create a mechanism that connects the seemingly obivious dots that predicate these types of attacks, that way we leave the good people alone and increase the chances of catching the bad people. No blanket discrimination required.

  23. Once again Steyn tells the truth the lefties hate to hear. Go Mark!

    • I am a lefty and I found most of Steyn's remarks right on target. I do have a few differences; however, I also want security in airports realistic and effective.

  24. The self-righteous twerps bleating about how profiling will "return us to the dark ages" or some-such melodramatic nonsense have no idea what they're talking about. Israel has always used ethnic and national profiling to maintain security, with very little public outcry.
    The dark ages, I'm afraid, will be hastened in by those who put fashionable ideas of cultural sensitivity above pragmatic concern for safety.

    • Actually, the Israelis' use Behavior screening primarily. They do not believe that ethnic profiling works. Their security people are well trained, and are constantly tested. They have zero tolerance, and if you do not catch a tester you are fired.

  25. "Profiling?" Great idea!!! But I suggest it be called what it is, STATISTICAL PROBABILITY. Since all terrorist airline bombing and attempted bombings were initiated by Muslims/Islamists, who can make a logical argument that Muslim/Islamists should be the focus of airport screenings? CAIR? ACLU? Whoops….. Remember, I said a "logical" argument!

    • Question… How do you identify a Muslim ?

  26. I thought Steyn’s initial point was simply that the TSA screener should be trained to look at the people. Do they look uneasy, scared? Can they give the address shown on their driver’s license? Can they answer a few questions about their trip?

    The next step might be the kind of profiling the Israelis do–not based on race or religion, but on certain facts such as: purchased one-way ticket, didn’t check baggage, purchased ticket with cash.

    Finally we could get down to profiling those whose fathers have reported that they are radicalized. This is culturally sensitive as well as effective.

  27. Profiling is a partial solution, as is intelligence gathering. If you want perfection, you're in the wrong place.
    However my preference is for better intell as it is more precise. Abdulmutallab was known, and nothing was done with this knowledge. This would be equivalent to TSA seeing his panties and waving him through. This was a massive intell failure pure and simple, yet all we see is the heads of Intell indulging in public hand wringing. These heads need to be rolling. A message must be sent to the Intell "community" (as it is quaintly called) to lift their game, incompetence won't be tolerated. The meally-mouthed platitude of "systemic problem" does not excuse failure. Let their replacements address the systemic failures, if they do in fact exist.

    • A big part of the intell failure is systemic political correctness so you just circle back to the underlying problem of being unwilling to profile or in the case of intell connect the dots when they involve the group that to date yields 99.9% of terrorists.

  28. Why all the liberal outrage on behalf of Muslims? It's beyond foolish, the suicidal kind of foolish.

    If people with my group characteristics were causing the mayhem that Muslim jihadis are responsible for around the world in thousands of documented incidents killing thousands of people, then I would expect to be searched very carefully and submit to it gracefully because I do not want to be blown out of the sky even by someone who looks like me or says they believe the same things except for that niggling detail about killing innocents.

    If I wanted to mutter under my breath about the unfairness of it all, then my mutterings would be about the horrible few giving a bad name to my group and THAT's the direction my criticism would take, not toward people trying to defend us all against attacks by the crazies.

    Presently so-called moderate Muslims are not behaving this constructive way at all. Those who speak up on the issue are overwhelmingly whining about the inconvenience to them and doing everything in their power to guilt the authorities into minimizing it thereby increasing chances of jihadi success.

    This is the behavior of people who are at best narcissistic and cavalier about their fellow citizens' well being, at worst sympathizers and jihadi enablers.

    Why the big concern about merely bruising such people's feelings when they are unconcerned about increasing your odds of dying?

  29. When a policeman arrives at the scene of a crime, the first question asked is, "Can you describe the perpetrator?"

    Is this "profiling"?

  30. On the money once again, Mark.
    Too many posters above focus too much on the racism/descrimination screed and miss the point: The forces of political correctness are achieving dhimmitude in that our TSA employees are more terrified at being called "racist" than they are of missing a terrorist.
    Abdulmullatab might as well have had "terrorist" tatooed on his forehead; since nobody in security was actually looking at a nervous young muslim man flying without baggage on a one-way ticket purchased with cash, that wouldn't have been a deterrent.
    Political correctness subverts the mission of TSA from stopping terrorists to "respecting diversity."

  31. The Americans are so moralistic and self-denying in matters of their own security, letting their rulers and their rulers' servants put them through hours of pointless waiting, rather than insisting that their rulers subjugate their enemies. The Americans could take possession of the wealth of their enemies; instead, they take off their shoes. I've come to despise the Americans and to look forward to those occasions when you will suffer for your stupidity.

  32. The Israelis have it right, of course, but we have gone to the usual bureaucratic solution of setting it up so the least capable people in our society can do the job. What's needed is smart people looking for nervous, anxious, men, women, declared or undeclared Muslims,……. The key is smart people looking. We have dumb people following rules. I, for one, pay a lot of attention to the other people flying with me and I will turn in anyone I think looks suspicious. I would also choose to miss a flight if my concern was not treated seriously. I know the odds are small and there is more danger driving to the store but I also drive defensively and avoid putting myself in jeopardy AS MUCH AS I POSSIBLY CAN. I am sorry if I upset someone but we are all still alive, upset or not.

    • "The key is smart people looking. We have dumb people following rules".

      That could be expanded to: "The key is smart people looking (at people for certain clues both behavioral and in appearance) . We have dumb people following (dumb) rules (looking for things).

  33. Let me tell you, they must profile jewelry designers, because when I went to L.A. in October for a jewelry show, I had a carry-on filled with handcrafted designed jewelry, and there were 145 pieces in zip lock bags…I had a business card, I was well dressed, not nervous, no bells went off when I went through, but the security agent looked through 145 bags of my handcrafted jewelry and then ran it through the explosive machine…Yes,all this scrutiny while a Fruit of the Loom Loonie who is a terrorist and hates us and wants to murder 300 passengers, is allowed to go through without any examination, he had no luggage, no passport…Unbelievable and to top it off, I got the same scrutiny at LAX on my return to NY. Yes, I was a little annoyed, but these underpaid security people are doing their job, but they are scrutinizing the wrong people…Did you ever see a 60 year old attractive woman, an American citizen, with a legitimate passport and license, who is a wife, mother of 3, grandparent of 7 kids, want to blow up a plane? . I don't think so…I took this imposition good naturedly but they didn't search that vermin who had all the signs of being a terrorist, and they let him get on a U.S. plane! Unbelievable.

  34. Nobody mentions the fact that islamic fundamentalist all believe that we are infidels and that they have a duty to kill as many of us as they can.The adherants of any religion that prescribes that type of action deserve to be marginalised. We cannot lessen their hatred nor reason with them. They are believers and know they are right!!

  35. If you are mooslim/arab you have to have a bio-chip implant..and we will put you on your own plane. You may then jihad all you want at 30,000 feet….and you will thus be closer to your 72 year old virgin that you have been promised. I approve profiling anybody and everybody…and if you whiney types don't like that…tuff.

  36. The way to go is back to the hydrogen filled dirigible when a man with a book of matches and malcontent could instead of lighting his cigar have made the skys flash like heaven had suddenly descended on us all.

    • This demonstrates the limitations of the thumbs up/ thumbs down model. Where's my question mark?

  37. Ah, reading this article brought back memories of the TSA stealing my fingernail clippers and toothpaste. They must have confiscated 4-5 pair of, not just any make of clippers, but Revlon. Checked the price of Revlon fingernail clippers lately? They ain't cheap. And then there is the toothpaste. Why have they taken so much of my toothpaste? Not to worry you say as when you get to the hotel just ask for a complimentary tube. I have lost count of how many times they were out. Any quess why they are out of toothpaste? It is because TSA is stealing everyones' toothpaste and the hotels can't keep it in stock. A number of years ago I made a command decision to become a pilot. Will have my Commercial license by this summer and will be flying myself and my family on trips. Now, what are the odds that the stealers of toothpaste and fingernail clippers will show up at my plane as I am boarding??

  38. So Oklahoma City was due to Muslims? Air India? If I fly out on a Spanish airline and the security forces are focused on Muslims, it's not like the Basques don't still have some extremists around who might try something.

    Profiling has it's place if what you want to do is balance the odds against wait times and costs, but comprehensive security still strikes me as a better alternative – even if that means that you too have to wait a bit while your documentation gets checked.

  39. It is indeed not about the grannies. It is also not about checking passports but not looking in the eyeballs of the person. If you are about to blow up a plane and yourself, surely there would be some sign?
    I do not fly if I can help it. The goal is to bring down the economy, well, it's beginning to happen quite well and Steyne certainly has explained a great deal of this to me.

    • Oh don't worry, we'll managing quite well in ruining the economy with deficit financing.

  40. Mark ,see the trudeau, lib, bare naked ladies, CBC, PC raised sesame street types that comment here. It's the reason I can't for the life of me subscribe or pick up a Macleans magazine let alone read a Canadian paper. Bunch of Moonbats. I went to your site as I usually do, so was linked here. I'll stick with the big guns National Review,Hot Air, Big Government, WSJ,. Man it's like an alternate universe after coming off the grownup sites. Hey the grownup commentators can head over to Moonbattery for some real reviews of the day's news, they LOVE Steyn . Oh and yes I meant to write trudeau with a small t. Never met a commie he didn't like.
    So chris, Rob H, patriot one, CDJ, ionamic for some great stuff check "Moonbattery" daily and any other cool conservatives I may have missed.

  41. Never mind the inherent bigotry in this article, stereotyping opens up a massive, gaping hole in airport security. If the only requirement to avoid real screening is to look non-muslim, any half-competent terrorist is going to see that loophole and run right through it. A little hair dye, a few colour contacts and a suit, that's about all it'd take. And since this stereotyping already takes place to an extent (with light hair, skin and blue eyes, I have never been through screening more intense than stepping through a metal detector or being asked a few quick, pointless questions), making such a policy official would be laying a road map for potential terrorists.

    As per usual, Steyn has taken a preconceived notion and developed a way to push that notion on others under the pretense of something else, using impressive writing skills, but a complete lack of rational thought.

    • For someone so open minded and dedicated to the mental backflips inherent in multiculturalism, you have a strangely polarized reasoning process.

      According to you,
      (Support of profiling) –implies->
      (racism) which –implies->
      (the total neglect of any factor outside of race.)

      If this is your perception of steyn "As per usual" perhaps you should consider your monochromatic perspective might be a function of your unimaginative and illogic perception.

      If you can't do better than "Hair-dye and color contacts, therefore we should abandon common sense", I don't know if you even take your own nonsense seriously.

      • And how do you suggest profiling someone besides their looks? Muslims don't walk around with a giant sign saying "Hey, I'm Muslim, please subject me to extra screening". Names can easily be changed, disguises can be worn for photo ID as well. What then? Are we going to ask them whether they're Muslim and count on the terrorists to be honest before they try to blow an airplane out of the sky?

        Yes, there are other factors, and those other factors are what actually matters. Most Muslims aren't going to blow up jack and if we preferentially screen people who look like Muslims than the easiest thing for terrorists to do is appear non-Muslim and skirt the process. Rather than profile, we should be training our airport to security to properly identify and respond to those other factors, without that, superficial judgments about a person's religious views aren't going to make a damn difference except when catching the dumbest of terrorists (who, we would expect, would be easily identifiable by those other factors anyway!)

        • Every single airline bomber, including the 9/11 hijackers, travelled on valid passports, under their legal names. The underwear bomber had an arabic name, bought a one way ticket, paid for at the counter, and didn't check any luggage. These guys are not that smart. Unfortunately, our security system is so paralyzed by political correctness, we can't even bring ourselves to provide extra scrutiny to somebody who is a perfect match for the profile of an islamist terrorist. I completely agree that behaviour should definately be one factor that also attracts extra scrutiny. To do that, we'd have to have properly trained, well trained security professionals rather than the minimum wage, mouth breathing rent a cops we presently entrust our lives to. It is to weep.

  42. The solution seems apparent. Hire the Israelis to train a cadre of real security. Such as they employ, including of course their methods. Why punish or humiliate the flying public? For the feeble protestations from the PC fanatics with no survival instinct. The self flagellate, who make airports like the palaces of the Spanish inquisition.
    Wrenches like self mutilates who glory in the belittling of others while carving themselves up for pity. All for the illusion of mass culpability. When its a discernible band of Killers of a religious ideology that trumpets its beliefs in blood mixed with murder.
    One the Marxists have fallen in with.
    This is why the pubic is endlessly hounded. To mitigate the guilt of savages with Twitter, barbarians with MOney
    Meanwhile our courts become Infected with anti-democratic memes while our politicians play footsies with Saudi oil Barons pushing Sharia law faster than the bribes to our pols.
    JMO

  43. TSA is like those who say "Guns kill." It's people using guns and terrorist using bombs. Look for the bad guy not the tool. #hhrs

  44. Intelligent profiling means making probabilistic inferences from relevant data. As it happens, we have more than enough data to make legitimate inferences about those who pose the greatest threat to the civilized world.

    They are Muslim males of middle eastern or African extraction who come from wealthy families. They have been schooled in western institutions, mostly in technical, scientific, or vocational trades. They are frequent international travellers whose credit card transactions record certain spending patterns in foreign countries.

    Profiling does not make one a racist. Islam is an ideology, not a race. Profiling does, however, commit one to empricism, and making probabilistic inferences based on relevant factors, of which adherence to the Muslim faith is one.

  45. It is the fact that the root cause of air terror is this: Muslims. Nobody can deny this.
    The solution is obvious and simple. Let the authorities create two classes of flights: "For Muslims Only" and "For Others Only".
    If the Muslim terrorists want to continue their suicidal business, let them take with them their brothers and sisters in faith.
    Let us (the others) have safe flights.

  46. "…everybody died. Because in the end the state wasn't up there with them."

    Valid observation. Instead of air marshals, perhaps making a congressperson (or other "valuable" pol (forgive the oxymoron)) sit on some flight daily would inspire a difference.

    Telling would be allowing the person to choose the airport and destination on which he/she will fly.

    With the risk of less than 1/435(+) per day (assuming one lucky "leader"/day and a rotating schedule), the work of government would (sadly) not be affected (that is not the point of this exercise) and the info + impetus for change could be valuable.

  47. I don't know about anyone else, but when TSA tells my 80some year old in-laws, one with parkinson's, the other with parkinson's AND Alzheimer's, to take off their shoes with no offer of a chair, I feel comforted that everything is being done for our security. I feel extra virtuous in knowing everyone is being treated the same.

    It's nice the TSA employees watch my in-laws do a balancing act as they struggle to obediently take off their shoes while the young, healthy Muslim guy strolls on through.

    I think we should bring this fairness into all areas. If the police are hunting for a rapist who is white, I think everyone; whites, blacks and Asians, including woman, should have their DNA checked to make things even MORE fair.

  48. Steyn is absolutely correct. When 60 year old Irish nuns start carrying bombs and other weapons onto aircraft they should be profiled too.

  49. To Ed D We wernt in iraq or anywhere else on 9/11 whem Muslims blew up the planes!

    • Get a clue, or at least some facts.

  50. Profiling a la Israeli is necessary and overdue, should have been instituted when the Israelis did it and the hijackings of the 70's could have been reduced or prevented. The comment about bombing the waiting lines is pertinent, reference the Red Brigades and the Rome airport. Muslims and the citizens of Muslim nations should have the security perimeter moved far away from the rest of us. It might act as an incentive to change at home (not), it will render up real candidates for the No-Fly list and having to check the Muslim list first would save time!

  51. The evolution of my airplane mindset.
    1. young, happy, drunk, smoking – party!
    2. can't smoke, older, working, working, working..
    Then came 9/11.
    3. anxious, compliant, dependent, no free snacks?
    4. impatient, frustrated, really . . … no free snacks?
    5. eyeballin' all praying, sweating, shoe fidgeting believers.
    Now – angry, wary, ready to tackle the next panty-jihadi!

  52. Part two:

    2010.01.10 Kulgam, India
    Hizb-ul-Mujahideen gun down two former members who had renounced violence.
    2010.01.10 Narathiwat, Thailand
    Two men sitting in a tea shop are
    blown away by Muslim terrorists with automatic weapons.
    2010.01.07 Nag Hamadi, Egypt
    Six worshipers and one guard are gunned down by Muslim radicals as they leave mass at a Christian church. A 14-year-old is among the dead.
    2010.01.07 Yala, Thailand
    A man is ripped in two by a Religion of Peace nail bomb.
    2010.01.06 Srinagar, India
    Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen militants toss grenades and fire into a crowd at a shopping center, killing at least three people.
    2010.01.06 Makhachkala, Dagestan
    A suicide bomber murders six Russian police officers.
    2010.01.06 Egypt Rafah 1 0 Hamas snipers take down an Egyptian soldier.
    2010.01.02 Dhusamareb, Somalia
    al-Shabaab Islamists assault a small town. At least four dozen people are killed in the fighting.

  53. Does everyone see that old guy in blue wearing the rubber glove on the right side of the picture? He's got the same evil glint in his eye that my proctologist gets in his eye when I walk into his office.

  54. Not long after the inception of the TSA, an Israeli security expert stated: “We have a system for detecting terrorists. You have a system for annoying people.”

    Newsflash for all of the idiots who kvetch about "profiling muslims". Had we profiled prior to 9/11, 3000 people would still be alive.

  55. Alas, fella's, STOP complaining about the TSA, do your part to HELP them ! I have the solution to Airport security line stress > This method works, I use it in every airport security line > You a man right ? Well act like a man and start scanning the many other human beings in the other security lines. Surely there will be several VERY attractive beautiful females also waiting line for you to do your own visual security check.

  56. I suspect that well-intentioned, naive, Clarke has had little, if any, direct experience or contact with Islam. I choose not to use the term "radical Islam" because after living 36 years in southern Europe and traveling extensively throughout many Muslim nations, I have seen first-hand that all Muslims who follow the dictates of the Koran to the letter of the law are hell-bent on the subjugation and destruction of all non-believers. If Allah commands it, the true believer obeys…. there are no two ways about it.

    If out of some insane obedience to political correctness we stubbornly refuse to recognize the problem for what it is, we do so at our own peril.

    Last year an imam at a mosque in a town of approx 25,000 in northeastern Spain issued a fatwa calling for jihad against the regional Catalonian government and the central government in Madrid. Why? Because most of the Muslim males who reside in the town worked in the construction industry and had been laid off when Spain's economy tanked and building and real estate development screeched to a halt. Rather than viewing this as an unfortunate consequence of the world-wide recession, these lay-offs were interpreted as blatant prejudice toward Muslims, an insult to Islam and worthy of death.

    Still think it makes no sense to profile Muslim males?

    • Do you any actual news sources for this fatwa in Catalonia? Links please.

  57. Jim D's comment : "Unfortunately sir, everything in the world isn't resolved by just saying "Muslims are evil", and completely avoiding the contributing factors of their rage" reveals great depth of ignorance of both history and the Koran.

    Muslims have been raging against the non-Muslim world since the inventor of their ideology disguised as a religion Mohammed in the 8th century, a pillaging warlord.

    They reached the Gates of Vienna in 1683 threatening all of Europe before Christians got organized and beat them back into their caves. They emerged again from their obscurity due to unearned oil wealth when the West invented technology requiring oil, found the oil situated under the sands of the most backward people on the planet, installed the machinery to extract the oil, and paid the lucky camel drivers top dollar.

    Mohammed's supremacist ideology is unchanged from the dark ages and requires that all non-Muslims be conquered, then either converted, reduced to dhimmi with inferior rights or killed if recalcitrant.

    It doesn't matter how nicely you talk to your would be conquerors, those are still your three choices as demonstrated in all 57 Muslim dominated states. There is not a single one where non-Muslims have the same rights as Muslims.

    When you spew the line that Muslim attacks are justified on the basis of current events which you also get totally wrong, you display your status as what Stalin used to call a "useful idiot" for totalitarian causes. Exactly what have Buddhists and Sudanese blacks done to justify their slaughter by Muslims?

    It doesn't matter one iota what you do or don't do. All that matters is that you're not Muslim.

    And here's the kicker. The biggest killers of Muslims around the world are other Muslims. Theoretically by your reasoning, they should wipe out each other in reprisals!

  58. I was on a flight out of Pearson just a few days after the Detroit boy set his crotch on fire. Not only was airport security hell, but I was randomly selected, me, a 22yr old pasty white, born and raised, Canadian boy. Was I wearing outlandish clothing? No just your standard blue jeans, t-shirt and a university logo jacket. The guy behind me was in full out middle eastern traditional garments (gown/dress, w/e) and he sailed right through… wait it gets better. The flight I was on was on an AC777-300 (Air Canada's largest jet) to Beijing via Vancouver. I kid you not less then an hour before we were set to touch down in Vancouver, he gets up and goes to the bathroom…the first thing that went through my mind was "dear god he's wearing pure cotton".

  59. I am all in favor of racial/religious profiling for the simple reason that young Muslim/arab males are statistically speaking much more likely to commit acts of terrorism, thus it only makes sense to screen them more thoroughly than 99-year old grannies.

    I realize this may not be politically correct in this day and age, but unfortunately we do not have unlimited resources, thus we should put the resources that we have at the best possible use and focus on common sense and passenger safety rather than wasteful political correctness.

  60. No amount of rationalization can trump good judgment. One should do what works not what is politically correct. Those with poor judgment are always good at making "rational" arguments primarily because they are devoid of original and creative thinking. Those with good judgment need no rationale as the results of their judgment speaks for itself. We live in an age where ridiculous conclusions are drawn and the drawers of those conclusions are clueless.

  61. Finally someone with the guts to point out the obvious. All the scanners in the world cannot protect us from the twisted minds of people who place no value on human life. It should be clear by now the way we have approached this "war on terrorism" isnt working. Forget about being politically correct. These radical thinking Muslims dont care about our ideals or way of life so why do we feel the need to tiptoe around them? Forget the scanners, and the plastic cutlery and find a way to identify these radical Muslims and we may yet have a future for our children.

  62. On a flight earlier this month, the RCMP officer who searched me (a middle aged white guy) agreed that they were wasting time in the effort, that they should be looking more closely at the likely suspects – young Muslim males.
    I find it interesting that the overwhelming majority of posters here are in favour of profiling – in oh so politically correct Canada, I would have expected the reverse. Only a few dunderheads like Clarke don't see the rational in Steyn's argument for targeting the obvious.
    What I DO find disturbing is that our politicians are NOT listening to the voices of the majority as expressed here. Along with posting our thoughts here, we should be emailing our Minister of Transport in Ottawa and demanding changes to airline security that actually work – starting with profiling.

  63. How exactly do you profile a religion?
    All brown men with beards maybe, go through special screening?

    Aren't 50% of Muslims white?
    Good luck with that. Maybe we should hand out pork in the security lineup, and if you refuse to eat it, secondary inspection.

  64. And furthering the thought with, do you think if he stayed home and watched TV, so his girlfriend can work and pay the bills constituents a violation to his white skinned relatives. Who would do the same for their men if they would have been allowed. Hm what do I mean by that? And then I think, wow! If you paid me more money and I could buy, well you time to lie around, would you talk about it appreciatively? But then since I have existed with a priest and a nun in the ex's family, even with my own political thought process, I was able to exist without feeling victimized, and more found certain individuals lacking the ability to communicate.

  65. And truly, what I am thinking about is how we enabled the 'Muslims', and as it were, seems to be the theme, to let these individuals perform to their best. Did they receive sticker rewards from their teachers. Did they received special recognition in schools? Why wreck a good thing. We used to have to depend on the good guy and bad guy wearing white or black and going into town to shoot up the place, but we leave that to the neighborhood gangs in my town. Oh wait, no now, we have Satellites on the schools and other popular places where the government can 'dial down' into a person's home and watch their every move. So we don't have to open up space at the airport we can lock down the suitcase and cavity check right there before they leave home.

  66. And to if, the Department of Motor Vehicles would get their IT department to add additional drop-downs so the person behind the counter can select the race so it shows up on the driver's license then it will save the security check point guards a lot of time and energy. They'll be able to look on your DL and see the color of your skin. Look into the religion drop down next. And then, hmm…what maybe we do the drop-down on your license, just for the rest of us to know whether you're a meat eater or a vegan. I hate that not knowing whether you eat meat and I have to ask with trepidation. :)

  67. What about the Sikhs? The Air India tragedy?
    We can profile the possibles and the most likely.
    Muslims. Sikhs. People from countries who have terrorist cells, with political agendas, with no reason to live.
    I don't mind having to go through body scans.
    Suggest that no-one should be able to fly without showing their full face. And hair. And without beard. Sorry if this isn't cultarally/religiously correct … if I can't identify you, I don't want you on my plane.
    Get with the program. Shave. Uncover your faces. Or take the camel.
    My ideas on staving off terrorism?
    If you won't shave, won't show your face, you won't be allowed to fly.
    If the new scanners show everything without facial hair and can identify women without facial veils, OK. It will still make the rest of us very uneasy.
    Statiscal probablity is that a 65-year old white woman is not a threat to any airline or any border anywhere.
    That would be me. Give me my nail file and nail clippers and let me go.

  68. Profiling is needed, for reasons of efficiency of the controls and also to save much time and money.
    Definitely islamism is the most likely ideology for suicide bombing on an airplane, so profiling must focus on detecting islamists.
    Moderate muslims may not be terrorists, but they must nevertheless face their responsibility for holding to, and propagating, a religion which has a sharia: Sharia is a form of ruling, and therefore requires a territory, and therefore a war. The jidah is an inevitable consequence of the sharia.
    Freedom of religion is still essential, but islam does not qualify to benefit from it for 2 reasons:
    - It promotes a political system, the sharia;
    - It islam very clearly opposes freedom of religion for the muslim-born, and therefore cannot be protected by a principle that it denies.
    To focus on the muslims is not a form of racism since islam is but an opinion, a choice. Thousands of people chose to become muslim every year in the West. Many muslim become something else, or rather would like to become something else if they could, but in muslim countries it is a right that people don't have.
    How we can tolerate islam in the long run if the political agenda remains tied to the religious belief is probably one of the most important issues facing us in the near future.
    If we do we'll probably lose our freedom of religion anyway, since this freedom is denied in islam (ref. fatwa from the Al Azhar mosque regarding Mohamad Hegazi, in 2007; the Declaration of Humans Rights in Islam; and many others)

  69. I agree that the excessive security is costing us dearly, in time, money and convenience. While we need some measure of security to eliminate easy threats, such as guns or knives, there is no real way to protect against all threats. All this expense is a charade to give an illusion of security. A determined terrorist will find a way. I also agree that it does not make sense to screen everyone the same. We need trained personnel who can spot and question those that appear nervous or in some way suspicious. This of course is not infallible, but has been the method that has worked to stop, at least the well publicized, bombing attempts. I fly frequently, and I certainly would not want to be on a plane that someone decided to blow up. But I have no illusions that the security we have can prevent this absolutely. Stop wasting everyone's time taking the nail scissors and water bottles from the granny, single mom, or honeymooning couple.

  70. Sheer genius ! You wrote what I have felt for years. The simmering resentments at being ordered around by non-entities with a bad attitude and which led to me being detained by armed police at Manchester airport because I objected to being insultingly treated by fag-ash Lil from Coronation St , some minimum wage part-timer with a grudge against middle-class men in suits or as she so eloquently put it , when she reported me to her superviser for speaking up for myself : …' we've had your sort in here before… ' . Bet she wouldn't have said that to me if I was tanned and with a long beard …

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