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Sunk In

By Roy D. Follendore III

Copyright (c) 2001 by RDFollendoreIII

September 14, 2001-September 20, 2001

I think it has sunk in now.  There is no World Trade Center.  America is in a crisis and the middle of New York is the remains of a battlefield. 

We obviously need to change the way that we do things.  

But first we need to spend some time to rethink about the way we think about things.

Case in point...

Airline safety and the issue of disarming passengers.  Let us consider it.  

Who were successfully disarmed during the recent hijacking?  

Was it the hijackers? No. 

It was the good guys.  

Does this dilemma sound familiar?  It should.

This is one of the fundamental issues on which the Presidential election of last year pivoted. 

Should we disarm the citizen so that we can create a peaceful utopia?  I have had heated arguments with well meaning people about this particular subject.  My knowledge on this subject has been predicated on the fact that I have lived overseas and I know how people feel about America.  I know that America is a country almost exclusively made up of former immigrants.  I know America remains the "New World" to the Old World.  I know that American are constantly identifying  who and what we are, thereby clashing with who and what everyone else is.  

But we Americans have simply not been thinking about this problem we have been facing.  The failure of the Airline security to protect passengers is not about ideals, religion or the rights of ethnic groups.  It is about the rights of passengers.  

Consider a random selection of people boarding an a random commercial aircraft. We can only assume that in every so many aircraft, there are people with different sets of motives.  Some number of people will always be potential hijackers.  Now assume that we successfully disarm every single person on the plane prior to their boarding.  

What makes us then assume that some critical number of coordinated but unarmed people could not take over an aircraft?  Have we forgotten the tactics that organization of people can bring to coerce and induce others? Have we all forgotten the nature of basic human combat? Who runs a security system that should not understand this?

I have studied martial arts.  Ask any martial arts expert, or for that matter any ex-con about what I am about to say.  The fact is that almost anything can be used to as a weapon.   It is said that a famous martial arts master would fight and kill experts with swords with a simple paper fan.  A finger, an edge of a book, the tray table on the aircraft, a shoe, a belt and buckle, all can become weapons.  So it simply is  not true that weapons like plastic butter knives and fingernail clippers are the real issue here.  Weapons are as usual simply the easy scapegoat to make us all believe the Airlines are doing something.  The fact is that the total paradigm of airport security failed.  It failed not only because the system failed to disarm the terrorist but because the paradigm completely disarmed the good guys.

Airline security trusted the system because it lumped all passengers into the same category of untrustworthiness and then forced that trust of the system on the passengers.  

The horror of the recent terrorists attacks actually began when the first person could not protect their selves and their family, not when the first aircraft plowed into the first skyscraper. 




Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved