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Remembering How Far We?ve Come ? Part 2
But for the lack of a lock on a cockpit door?
Why is the GOP so soft on terrorism?


To those who think Barack Obama didn’t change this country enough for their liking, pay attention to how we as a society have already begun dealing with the Christmas Day terrorist attack differently. ?It is stark, pervasive, even in the air.

There is no fear. ?No panic. ?No alarmism. ?Not coming from this White House, not from any authorities, not from the passengers (who seem almost thrilled to be the heroes) and as a result, not even in the media. ?Republicans started whining from minute one, and got more whiny the less the White House used their preferred language of belligerence.

Under George W. Bush, or John McCain, the media narrative would already be settling on whether or not to invade Yemen. ?Now, the narrative is about soft power – how to reach these wealthy sons of bankers to stop them, how to tighten up our security at airports, how to support reform minded Muslims, how to give alternatives to potential Al Qaeda recruits who are not poor villagers but wealthy intellectuals with an axe to grind.

In other words, Republicans would be doing the terrorists work for them, by spreading more terror. ?Barack Obama is doing America’s work, by addressing the problem calmly, quietly, confidently. ?That leadership will translate into confidence in the American public the same way the panicked leadership of the Bush administration translated into fear.

Al Qaeda seems almost miffed that we aren’t panicking. ?I can’t really recall Al Qaeda so loudly and immediately claiming credit for any attack, not even 9/11. ?And yet, they’ve done so here, praising testicle toaster as a failed martyr, making him a banner headline, because the American response isn’t giving them enough ink.

In fact, there is a growing tinge of mockery of this terrorist for toasting his testicles. ?This dude who can’t light a fuse is gonna raise the terror threat level to orange? ?Please. ?It strikes me as practically British – laughing at the Nazis all the way to the rubble pile in the East End. ?We’re laughing at Al Qaeda, for the first time, in unison,?as a country. ?Think about that.

Make no mistake – in the Muslim world to which Al Qaeda attempts to speak, this episode is a total humiliation, seen as such, and will hurt Al Qaeda. ?I can’t think of a more effective way to scupper Al Qaeda recruitment than to turn one of their attacks into a worldwide joke. ? Yes it will enrage them. ?Yes, they will try harder to hit us again.

But now, we have leadership that can crush them, by turning Al Qaeda’s weaknesses into our strength.

That’s change. ?Come to think of it….why didn’t we try this before?

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  • Califlander

    We didn’t try it before because the previous Administration was led almost entirely by cowards.

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  • Owen

    I wish this were totally true, but I’d have an easier time believing it if the TSA hadn’t immediately launched all sorts of ridiculous restrictions, like no getting up in the last hour of flight. Obama’s low-key personal response is appropriate, I think, but he is responsible for the silly decisions of his cabinet as well.

  • colleen

    Uh…Because watching people fling themselves out of buildings on 911 wasn’t remotely funny or absurd?

    Jesus. Two entirely different episodes. You could compare it to the shoe bomber who also got ridiculed.

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  • Ditto. Well said!

  • Adrienne

    Notice who is at the front of the fear parade. Why is the GOP so afraid?
    Why are the GOP such cowards? They're afraid of some punks……..here we go again.
    Of course, it just gave them the right pretext for war and turning the US into a police state…..

  • Hey! A link from Sully! Nice work, guys. 🙂 And killer post, by the way.

  • salimfadhley

    You are so right: Our best weapon against the organization which gave us the Pants & Shoe bombers is humor.

    McCain & Bush dignified these stone-age cretins by treating them as if they were a credible threat. Sure, they may have got lucky once or twice but on the whole they are ineffective. We are talking about an organization that's run from a cave.

    So let's mock them. Lets reveal them for the medievalists the are.

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  • i say, “amen.” more of this, please.

  • mvirenicus

    okay, here's one area where obama has clearly trumped shrub, and he's done it by basically… doing nothing. kudos.

  • And, allegedly, those underpants are available as part of an explosive new range of fashion lingerie.

    Now, that is a joke 😉

  • cejaxon

    I wholly support the idea of not turning chicken & laughing at these failures. But one thing I question — is the Muslim world (not a monolith in any event) all that worried about planes that don't explode over Detroit? If I were in Pakistan, I'd worry more about my own life. Ditto for anyone living in Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Iraq, & Afghanistan. Yemen has been engaged in some kind of civil war for quite some time & I am sure their population has more to think about than us. I question whether what al Qaeda fails to do here is on the minds of all Muslims.

    As someone who lives in the Detroit area, let's give a special shout out on the coward hit parade to Representative Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), who made sure even more Michiganders (in Standish) lost their jobs when he pushed against sending Guantanamo prisoners there. He made our whole state look like weasels. I notice my fellow Michiganders are managing to accommodate the alleged terrorist without too much angst — it's hard to figure out who is more sphereless — Hoekstra or Abdulmutallab.

  • TJ

    While I I also appreciate the calm and orderly response to this incident, I don't think mocking the attack is the right response either.

    The explosives made it to the point where the plane could've been brought down. We should be very thankful for the intervention of the citizens who took action, and for a good bit of luck that the attempt failed.

    We should not be laughing about the suspect's burned testicles though…it will be seen as the west mocking muslims, and it will be seen as arrogance.

    Again, I like the low profile approach to the response for this incident (no panic), but it is serious business.

  • you're right, this is serious business. and we are lucky that the attack didn't succeed.

    however, i think mockery is a very effective weapon, particularly if the attempted attack can legitimately be mocked. the Brits did this very well against the Germans, often without regard to however awful the attack. it's great for morale.

  • breaking! mvirenicus back on the O-Train! (for a minute, anyway…:)

  • thanks jen!

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  • Bouncer

    Yup! The right wingers were all agast that the President wasn't running in circles, waving his arms and screaming “We're all going to die.”

    Chicken Dick Cheney is cowed in his bunker wetting his panties right now. I'm sure we'll be hearing from him and his trusty side kick “Liz'ard lips”, about how the President doesn't care about us anymore. One talking head conservative was even whining because he didn't use the term “Terrorist” in his address concerning the incident.

  • Shalom Y'all,

    Back in late 2001, maybe early 2002, I had a conversation with an elderly, conservative friend who was dead set upon crushing civil liberties to prevent another attack on the United States.

    I kept asking him the same question over and over: what are you afraid of?

    I think it was upon the fifth or sixth asking that he stopped and stared at me. He thought for a moment and then said, “I'm not afraid.”

    I followed up with, “if you're not afraid, why do you want to act as if you are?”

    That was the end of the conversation as he hurried away on other urgent business.



  • Shalom Owen,

    The way I understand the process is that the TSA, still living in the Bush Years, reacted in typical Bush fashion: panic! It took a couple of days for the White House to slap the idiots around and tell them that we don't work that way anymore.

    NPR reported this afternoon that the idiot restrictions have been shelved and left to the discretion of the airlines, pilots and cabin crews to enforce or ignore.



  • Adrienne

    So the grand old punks had to do it……….
    So we can make fun of our own punks as well as the alQ failure.
    AlQ wins when we get scared. Leave it to a President who's middle name is Hussein to show them who is the real man.

  • Infidels dispare! We'll kill you with explosive underware! (assuming they actually go off)

  • Adrienne

    Also, it is good to show composure and not GOP panic.
    Also, wasn't Richard Reed the shoe bomber in late 2001 captured, prosecuted and sent to super max. That was a good outcome.

    Remember how stuff got jammed thru after 9/11 like my favorites the Patriot act, Warrantless wiretapping retroactively covered, the increasing police state.

    Now before you say what do you have to hide……plenty that's why I wear clothes.

  • Adrienne

    The more I think about this, the more I want to laugh.
    I thought you gents were very protective of your “private parts” I guess if you think ur going to heaven, you won't miss it, or you will be made whole.
    Doesn't anyone think about what these guy might think of next. Maybe it won't be an airplane.
    We need to applaud the passengers and ask what are these watch lists good for if no one is using the list,

  • After Richard Reid everybody had to take their shoes off in US airports. Does Captain Underpants mean I'm going to have to go commando the next time I visit the USA?

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  • Shalom Y'all,

    The humor meme is catching fire. 🙂



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  • Porlock Junior

    We are very very protective, most of us having been struck at one time or another for one reason or another in said parts. That's why something like this causes such loud and raucous laughter. Nothing peculiarly male in that reaction, I think; just human.

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