22 July 2004

Flight 327 (an explanation)

[Originally published at congruence.blogspot.com]

Via Lileks, I stumbled upon this post on the Flight 327 fiasco. NRO isn't in the habit of publishing crap, and the author makes some very salient points; I'm willing to let the particulars of the incident go quietly into the night. Go read, I'll wait.

However, the fact that these were merely Syrian musicians only came to the surface after half of the blogosphere went semi-ballistic on the issue. What about while the plane was aloft? Did the Air marshals know that the "band" was aboard? Wouldn't it have then be prudent to notify at least the flight crew and in turn the concerned passengers? What harm would have come from confronting the Syrians in the air once their collective behavior was causing concern? If they turned out to be just musicians traveling to a gig, no problem.

Air Marshall: Hey, you Arab-looking dudes! WTF are you doing?
Syrian Band: It's cool, we're in the band.
Air Marshall: Alright, then. Just sit down and stop acting so weird. You're making people nervous.

No blood, no foul. At the most, the Air Marshall service would have to issue an Official Apology to Syrian Band Members everywhere for their coarse and insensitive actions.

What if they actually were terrorist bent on destruction?

Air Marshall: Hey, you Arab-looking dudes! WTF are you doing?
1st Syrian Terrorist: Allah Akbar! Die, you infidel pig-dogs
Air Marshall: sfx: Bang! Bang! ('cause anyone worth shootin' is worth shootin' twice)
2nd Syrian Terrorist: I'm not with him, I'm a musician en route to a gig at a casino
Air Marshall: Then sit down, Achmed. We'll talk to you later
Relieved Passengers: I knew something was fishy, I mean who eats their Happy Meal in the bathroom?

Some blood, but again no foul. Yeah, it's a harsh view; bite me. We don't negotiate with terrorists, remember? No jet airliner impaled into a tall American building; no American kids having to come to grips with why Mommie didn't come home from her business trip; no American family not quite making it to DisneyWorld; no National Day of Mourning; no foul, in my book. None of us died. Because that's how they have framed the argument: us and them. No in-between, no sense even talking about it; us and them. Period.

Fine. If that's how they want it, fine. We'd rather not, but we can play it that way. And we don't lose these kinds of fights.


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