A little over a week ago a suburban Connecticut dad named Faisal Shahzad, parked his SUV in times square and attempted to detonate a bomb loaded inside on one of the busiest thoroughfares in the nation — Times Square in New York.
That the bomb was more Rube Goldberg than IED is beside the point.
The purpose of terrorism is to create terror. In this the Pakistani-born Shahzad succeeded.
For the terrorist, the operation is a success even if the bomb fails to go off so long as it scares people and causes governments to make changes in policy and procedure.
What is saddest in this case is how long it took anyone to admit this was terrorism.
Shortly after an alert t-shirt vendor of all things noticed Shahzad’s SUV smoking and called the cops, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said “If I had to guess, 25 cents, this would be exactly that. Somebody homegrown, maybe a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something. It could be anything.”
Then MSNBC host Contessa Brewer said “I get frustrated — there was part of me that was hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country ... there are a lot of people who want to use terrorist intent to justify writing off people who believe in a certain way or come from certain countries or whose skin color is a certain way. I mean they use it as justification for really outdated bigotry.”
It’s not bigotry to point out that the vast majority of the people trying to kill us are of Arab decent.
So far during this administration we’ve had four attempts at terrorism on our soil — two of them successful. A young muslim man, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad — a 24-year-old Little Rock resident formerly known as Carlos Bledsoe, killed one soldier and wounded another in June of last year. We all know about the Fort Hood shooter and the underwear bomber.
We’ve now had two unsuccessful bombing attempts in less than a year.
I grant many more attempts have probably been stopped before they started by our intelligence services. I also grant that not everything is going to work every time and there will be leakers such as these two recent bombing attempts.
But in both cases it has been sheer luck and bad design that has saved lives.
As the Irish Republican Army pointed out to Queen Elizabeth when they were trying to assassinate her in the 1980s — we may be lucky once or twice, they only have to be lucky once.
We’ve got to shed the mantle of political correctness before it kills us all.
This man Shazahd was a naturalized citizen, despite having been on and off a terrorist watch list for years. He nearly got away because instead of picking up the phone and calling the airlines to say he was on the no-fly list, someone sent an email.
When lives are on the line we’ve got to quit worrying about offending people and start doing what we have to do to protect our citizens.
All IMHO of course.