No Such Thing as an “Attempted Terrorist Attack”
December 27, 2009 4 Comments
So what do you call it when a man, claiming affiliation with al Qaeda, ignites an incendiary device on a commercial flight from Amsterdam to Detroit?
It’s being reported that President Obama has called the Christmas day incident an “attempted terrorist attack.” I hope that’s not what he’s calling it.
If someone attacks innocents, for terrorist purposes, then the attack is a terrorist attack, whether or not the attack is completely successful. The Christmas day attack was an attack. Though no one was killed, though everyone arrived safely on the ground, though the attacker was apprehended, the attack was not a total failure. It has bestirred a nation to fresh concerns about security. Who can say that this was not its purpose, or a sufficient condition for its success in the minds of its planners?
The attacker’s associations and objectives will have to be investigated. Meanwhile, it has to be assumed, at least by ordinary Americans, that this was a planned attack by recognized terrorists. The President has not yet completed his first year in office, and now there has been another attack in the United States. Our president has been shy in speaking out against terrorism. His mettle in dealing with terrorism will be tested at a new level, starting now.
Pretty much all of us have anticipated another attack. Many have feared that there will be another soon, and that it will reap deadly, mass destruction. The Christmas day attack is the first incident since 9/11. Things could have turned out much worse. There was understandable fear and commotion as passengers on board the flight responded to what was happening. Reportedly, at least one was burned. All were threatened.
The plan was foiled, but not the attack. And for all the measures that have been adopted to sift the terrorists from the rest of us, it appears that none of these measures made a difference in this case. The plan was foiled by alert citizens.
Alert citizens must accept the challenge, now, of pressing for proper vigilance. We don’t want to hear anymore stories about how this or that clue slipped through the cracks. An attack is an attack, even if no one is killed.