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Jittery Airlines Walking Into the Jihadi Trap with Half-Baked Training and Knee-Jerk Response On-board!

Reader comment on item: Time to Profile Airline Passengers?

Submitted by Rakshas 10 Anan (India), Aug 25, 2006 at 13:22

At what cost? Unfortunately, the unthinkable is happening, with plane after plane going off-route over misplaced fears, and this must be exactly what the jihadis have in mind. It is happening at a time when the airlines are barely beginning to recoup after the losses of 9/11! A better solution might be to interview prospective passengers at the point of purchase of tickets, with strict boarding checks, rather than relying on the stupidity of the air crew, including air marshalls, after the plane has taken off!

Such overreaction as was witnessed on the recent international incident of a Northwest Airlines plane being dramatically escorted by two Dutch F-16s (!!!) back to Amsterdam instead of Mumbai, is both comical and self-defeating! -- It is more like a self-goal in the war against terror. I can't help being reminded of the stupefying Menezes' murder on the London subway in response to 7/7.

With the substantial increase of income in the fast globalising economy in Asia, especially among the trader communities, cultural modes of behaviour may often be seen to lag behind the access to higher lifestyles. More plebians of colour are seen to ride the economy class in airline travel, to the discomfort of others "to the manner born!" Airlines and travel tourism managers have not been unhappy with the trend, but instead have been actively courting such travellers with airfare wars and other gimmics. The downside of this is now apparent in terms of the issue of racial (and also class) profiling, as well as skewed perceptions of threat in ordinary 'friendly' Asian behaviour!

[See "Fog of War", http://www.indianexpress.com/story/11297.html; Mid Air Crisis: Dutch regret arrest of Indians, http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=72914; Dutch to furnish detention report tomorrow, http://www.mid-day.com/news/nation/2006/august/142723.htm]

Time to bring on some Dutch cartoons?


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