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Would you prefer TSA pat down or body scan?

November 22, 2010
X-ray machines and metal detectors are used to...

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I have no idea what to make of the craziness going on with the Transportation Security Administration and the new pat down/body scanner rules.

But I do have two thoughts…

1) Lets just do whatever El Al has been doing for the last 30 years. The Israelis have the toughest and most effective airline security procedures in the world. If it’s ok for them, I think it’s ok for us. And I don’t recall any complaints from the fliers headed in and out of Tel Aviv about landing alive.

2) I heard an interesting story on ABC today. Some al-Qaeda online newspaper quoted a couple of terrorists who said that their goal was to have the U.S. spend an insane amount of money upgrading their security procedures against a few thousand dollars worth of real or fake airborne IEDs.

The second item is a little disturbing, because that plan has history on its side. Ever wonder how the U.S. beat the Soviets in the Cold War? We essentially forced them into bankruptcy. We literally outspent them into dismantling their country. We built more ships and planes, we sank money into Star Wars satellite defense systems, we kept stockpiling nuclear missiles – and the Soviets attempted to keep pace with less resources. Then they ran out of money, the country crumbled and capitalism ousted communism.

While it’s not quite the same plan, it does make me wonder if al-Qaeda is just screwing with us now, having us run around trying to make every access point secure, while spending huge sums of money that could be better spent elsewhere, or not at all. (By the way, I really hate that it seems the only plan we Americans can come up with entails throwing huge sums of money at a problem).

Don’t you get the impression that right now our country is just getting messed with by a couple of punks who may or may not have weapons, just screwing with our security systems on passenger/cargo planes.

Is it just me or has the U.S. forgotten how to go after the bad guys? We’re more than happy to bomb folks back to the middle ages (or in the case of Afghanistan, last week) but we don’t have the human intel capabilities to ferret out bad guys in the Middle East and Africa? I seem to recall we were pretty good at that in Europe, the Soviet Union and in the U.S. during the Cold War.

Have we become lazy and too enamored with technology? Are we gun shy? Are we treating our enemies like they’re American citizens? Are we hoping they’ll see the error of their ways and won’t want to attack us anymore?

I don’t think that’s going to be the case. If you want to defeat al-Qaeda you’re going to need to do it the same way we beat back communism, with McDonald’s, Levi’s, and Coke – which can be found in almost every communist and former communist country on Earth. Muslim’s may not be interested in our hamburgers, but I think we can interest them in a few other items on the menu, perhaps the McNuggets.

I’m really not kidding about this, you want to make sure people don’t want to blow you up, you bring the awesomeness of America to them. If we can put the Golden Arches and Disney in France, I think we can open up a few places in Kabul and Mogadishu.

Will there be rioting? Of course. Backlash? Yup. Will people die? Aren’t people already dying? Do you really think Western influence is going to ruin life in Somalia and Afghanistan? Did I miss where these were two huge tourist hotspots?

Hey, you know where you can visit nowadays for vacation? Russia and China. Want your picture in Red Square for the holidays? US Air has a flight from Philly to Moscow for $1,229 in late December. The service will suck, since it’s US Air, but imagine bringing home some of those big Russian hats as gifts for the family.

This is my point, rather than focusing on “making our travelers safe” how about we do that a little more efficiently AND wipeout the nuisances who have us chasing our tails. We’ll kill them with kindness, iPhones and Subway Footlongs.

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