Mission accomplished. At least it appears that way from al-Qa’ida’s perspective. Tomorrow is traditionally the biggest travel day of the year and if the extra security required to get on a plane doesn’t gum things up, the planned protests about the extra security certainly will. The terrorists have achieved a state of terror. They have disrupted an entire industry. They have taken over our news cycles. They are in our heads. They have fed the animosity between a government trying to protect its citizens as well as travelers and the men and women who are charged with making sure that they reach their intended destinations safely. Mission accomplished.
Mission accomplished. But only because we are allowing it to happen. Seriously, do you think that TSA agent really wants to grab your package or feel you up? I don’t think that was in the initial job description. If someone really enjoys looking at a faceless x-ray image of me after waiting in line at an airport for 2 hours, then go ahead; I am just glad that I could bring a little joy and/or excitement to an otherwise dreary day.
The TSA says that the radiation from the body scanners is the equivalent to 3 minutes in a plane at altitude. Frankly rather than protesting the use of x-ray machines or full body pat-downs prior to flying there should be protests about improved radiation shielding on airplanes. And as the x-ray machines need to be calibrated regularly, we should be concerned about insuring proper oversight in both maintaining the machines as well as maintaining an accurate record of the calibration, service and maintenance to insure the radiation output is kept at the proper levels. And speaking of low dose radiation, in some instances, low dose radiation has been shown to increase the immune system, so if you are not exposed to radiation on a regular basis, this may actually be positive for you.
The bottom line is that I wish everyone safe and uneventful travels. I also wish the men and woman charged with insuring that our travels are safe and uneventful, a safe and uneventful workday themselves. If we allow then ourselves to get at each others throats and blame our government for the precautions that have been instituted, then have handed the terrorists a victory. However if we go one with our travels and try to use the time positively (like chatting with your spouse or significant other, travel companions or even strangers), be respectful of everyone else who is in the identical situation and remember that the government, through the individuals of the TSA, are trying to protect us and not trying to waste our time, cop a feel or look up our skirts, then we have frustrated the terrorist’s efforts. And at least for the day before Thanksgiving, our collective mission is accomplished.