Think about it. One angry young man with about three ounces (around 80 grams) of explosive material, $2,000, and a pair of specially tailored underwear has completely disrupted the US aviation system.
It does not even matter that he failed to blow up the plane.
The costs associated with preventing the next attack from succeeding will measure in the tens of billions of dollars
Will the US ramp up its efforts in a new country each time there is an attempted attack, putting US "boots on the ground" against an enemy that is impossible to defeat?
Such a policy would fulfill al-Qaeda's wildest dreams, as the US suffers death by a thousand cuts, bleeding out in an ever wider web of interconnected and unsustainable global conflicts.
The rampant poverty, corruption and violence that
plague Nigeria are an inheritance of British rule
built up on centuries of slave raiding and trading
It took decades after the end of the British empire for the impact of British colonialism in South Asia and Africa to blow back onto British soil. The US has not even finished her imperial moment and it has already arrived.
"Yemen's government is corrupt and repressive," the paper intoned. "But President Ali Abdullah Saleh seems to want to cooperate."
The world's paper of record is utterly clueless as to the intimate link between the corruption and oppression of the Yemeni government and its willingness to "cooperate" with the US, and the roots of radicalism in Yemen.
re unwilling to recognise the inextricable ties between oppression, poverty, corruption and violence by governments like Nigeria and Yemen, and the rise of religiously grounded extremism and violence there, then its increasing foot- or boot-print there will strengthen rather than weaken al-Qaeda and similar movements
Invasive frisking of the most intimate areas
full body scans
Salafi perspective an almost unbearable
indignity -one they will surely relish seeing millions of the enemy routinely suffer, especially when such violations mirror the daily indignities and sexual humiliation infamously suffered by inmates in Guantanamo and other US-run prisons.
Call it a politics or strategy of shame
which will erode support for the 'war on terror' from within even as Western governments strengthen their ties to oppressive front line states.
Osama bin Laden could not have planned it better if he tried.
Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University, Sweden