As usual, the corporate mainstream media can't see the forest through the trees when it comes to terrorism.
The purpose of terrorism is to create fear and terror that demoralizes and immobilizes a people. In the case of the near terrorist destruction of a Detroit bound flight, they have once again, largely thanks to the Republicans, succeeded. The GOP is the best enabler Al Qaeda has because it ratchets up the fear to such an extent that the terrorists succeed.
After all, Al Qaeda or its offshoots can't conquer America. This is not WW II when the very governance of Western nations was at stake.
Terrorism has been with us throughout history.It is most often used for a limited goal: the defeat of an occupying army. Think of Algeria for such an example. The French, after chronic terrorist attacks (with only limited success at suppressing them), granted Algeria independence -- and the attacks against the French ceased (which took place primarily in the French section of Algiers).
The Islamic Fundamentalist attacks against the U.S. (and let's not forget Britain and Spain before it pulled its troops out of the "coalition") come from diverse factions of a loosely connected terrorist movement. The goals of this movement range from forcing the West to leave Islamic nations, to then having fundamentalist guerillas overthrow Western aligned Muslim governments, to just terrorizing the U.S. because it is evil in the eyes of some radical mullahs.
Actually, the Bush Administration accommodated Osama bin-Laden by pulling bases out of Saudi Arabia as he had demanded, but the ongoing attempt to maintain a U.S. military footprint with de facto armed control over the Middle East continues to be a motivating factor inmuch of the terrorist rhetoric and terrorist acts.
But the larger goal seems to show that a relatively small number of ragtag extremists can immobilize and make a quivering fool out of the U.S.
As the pro-military Stratfor Global Intelligence report succinctly puts it, "The purpose of terrorism in its purest form is to create a sense of insecurity among a public. It succeeds when fear moves a system to the point where it can no longer function. This magnifies the strength of the terrorist by causing the public to see the failure of the system as the result of the power of the terrorist. "
No group is of more assistance to the terrorists in creating this mindset of helpless hysteria than the GOP. The Republican leadership has a synergistic relationship with terrorism. It can't survive without the terrorists, because it has no tenable governing program except to wither taxes down for the rich, Wall Street and corporations until they pay none: that's about it. So, it needs the terrorists (after all, Bush did nothing to prevent 9/11, even though he was warned about likely impending Al Qaeda hijackings and he didn't pursue Osama bin Laden either) to create the same numbing, paralyzed chaos that the terrorists themselves want to achieve.
After a nearly 10 year war, aren't the terrorists showing that they control the upper hand by occasionally launching an attack on an airliner or train (as in London and Spain) every year or so? And when a nation is in chaos from fear, authoritarian regimes step in, as they have throughout history, in the name of the "patria" or nation. That is what we had under Bush and that is what traitors like Sen. DeMint hope to again achieve in their tacit political partnership with the terrorists.
As Stratfor, as centrist a publication as one can find on military and intelligence matter, notes:
There are possible solutions. One is to accept that Islamist terrorism cannot be defeated permanently but can be kept below a certain threshold. As it operates now, it can inflict occasional painful blows on the United States and other countries -- including Muslim countries -- but it cannot threaten the survival of the nation (though it might force regime change in some Muslim countries).
In this strategy, there are two goals. The first is preventing the creation of a jihadist regime in any part of the Muslim world. As we saw when the Taliban provided al Qaeda with sanctuary, access to a state apparatus increases the level of threat to the United States and other countries; displacing the Taliban government reduced the level of threat. The second goal is preventing terrorists from accessing weapons of mass destruction that, while they might not threaten the survival of a country, would certainly raise the pain level to an unacceptable point. In other words, the United States and other countries should focus on reducing the level of terrorist capabilities, not on trying to eliminate the terrorist threat as a whole.
To a great extent, this is the American strategy. The United States has created a system for screening airline passengers. No one expects it to block a serious attempt to commit terrorism on an airliner, nor does this effort have any effect on other forms of terrorism. Instead, it is there to reassure the public that something is being done, to catch some careless attackers and to deter others. But in general, it is a system whose inconvenience is meant to reassure.
This is pretty much what Obama is doing, but the GOP wants to be the megaphone for the terrorists, turning America into a mass of quivering jelly so that they can assume dictatorial powers, as Cheney and Bush did. If you doubt it, just catch Dick Cheney on one of his FOX interviews to understand this syndrome.
It is our misfortune as a nation that our lives are threatened by religious zealots abroad and our nation is threatened by a major political party, the GOP, at home.