"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." — George Santayana
"History never repeats itself, but it rhymes." — John Colombo (usually misattributed to Mark Twain)
At 4:32pm local time, a suspected suicide bomber detonated an explosive device equivalent to ~15lbs TNT in a crowded international arrival zone at Domodedovo airport, the busiest of Moscow’s three airports. At least 35 people were killed instantly while reports of those injured have been reported as high as 168. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, although it is suspected that a member of an Islamic group hailing from the war stricken Chechen Republic is to blame.
Concerning the horrible loss of innocent life in a Moscow airport yesterday, and with the aforementioned quotes in mind, what can we learn about this event? Sure, there will be plenty of news coverage over the next couple days reviewing the details of the bombing, what actually happened, how it happened, which extremist group is to blame, which talk radio host or political party encouraged it and so on and so forth. But, it’s a new season of American Idol (with new judges!), The Oprah found out she has a half-sister, soon it will be the Super Bowl and this event, like everything else that happens outside of the United State will fade into the collective memory hole and we will miss an important opportunity to learn from history. Perhaps. However, I believe there is a growing Remnant of society which is increasingly rejecting the status quo, although they are outnumbered and with ideas outside the realm of today’s accepted thoughts. They are tired of being spoon-fed their thoughts and are shaping a new consciousness of critical thinking Americans. For them I ask, what can we learn from this airport bombing?
First and foremost is that there are people in this world who want to kill other people. These people and their use of violence should be denounced at every possible opportunity. It is disgusting that after thousands of years of human history, people still haven’t learned to settle disputes without murder.
Second, failsafe security is impossible. The details of how the suspected bomber was able to smuggle a bomb into the arrival area (most likely in a briefcase) and what, if any security measures were in place of the airport will be discussed ad nausea. What won’t be discussed is that there is no possible way to deter a sufficiently motivated individual from killing large amounts of people in public places. Airport security (and the entire US intelligence apparatus) utterly failed on September 11, 2001. A few months later, Richard Reid tried to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 by detonating 10oz of C-4 hidden in his shoe. From then on, people were forced to take off their shoes during "security" screenings, but in December 2009, Umar Abdulmutallab tried to detonate explosives hidden in his underwear. The US government’s response was to force people to undergo irradiating scanners and sexual assaults as a condition for flying. Hopefully our dear leaders don’t find out about Abdulla Asieri, who tried to assassinate a Saudi prince by smuggling a bomb in his rectum; can you imagine what the TSA would require potential airline passengers to submit to before they could board a plane?
Third, they don’t need to blow up airplanes anymore. It used to be that an airplane provided the necessary captive group of people for a terrorist to exact the greatest amount of casualties and psychological damage. But, as airport security has made attacking an airplane more difficult, it has also produced an unintended consequence. If you’re ever in an airport during a busy travel period, where is the highest concentration of people located? Ticketing, baggage claim and ironically enough, the "security" screening area, all of which are not "secured." Why don’t they require screenings as a condition for entering the airport? Then the lines trying to get into the airport becomes the target. Then make that area "secure." Which makes the adjacent area the bottleneck and thus, the target. You get the point. This doesn’t even begin to consider all the sporting events, plays, concerts, fairs and other gatherings of people that would be targets, which are already primed to get the new porno-scanners.
Lastly, there are consequences to occupying foreign peoples and their land. Despite what the mainstream media would have John Q. Public believe, suicide bombers are not motivated by religion, but by atrocities they and their people have suffered by an occupying military regime. Osama bin Laden has repeatedly given the reason for al-Qaeda carrying out attacks against the Western world; the militaries of the West have occupied Muslim land in the East, bought, bribed and threatened Middle Eastern governments and engaged in unjustified wars that have killed millions. The people of Chechnya have continued to fight for independence from the Kremlin and have endured brutal, relentless campaigns of violence at the hands of the Russian military. Hopefully this goes without saying, but as Rudy Giuliani proved in the past, describing blowback is not blaming America. We must understand how foreign policy affects those who get a taste of it, up close and personal. Additionally, we should remember that American Colonists fought for their own freedom from a foreign government.
What to take away?
Evil people who would commit violence against others exist in this world and must be condemned at every chance possible. We will never be truly safe from these types of people, but we don’t have to sacrifice our liberties to accommodate such insanity. The current airport security apparatus is dysfunctional to say the least, and it does not work. There needs to be a paradigm shift in thinking about how best to protect people and places. How should airport security or any other type be handled? I don’t know, but free choice in the market has been shown throughout history to yield the best set of parameters and procedures for a given process, whether it’s making widgets or organizing society. Finally, the public must realize that U.S., Russian or any other nation’s foreign policy — specifically that of occupying other nations — has consequences, one of which is attacks on innocent civilians. Will people learn anything from this latest event? History will be the judge.