A recent article in Daily Mail reports:
“British holidaymakers staged an unprecedented mutiny – refusing to allow their flight to take off until two men they feared were terrorists were forcibly removed.”
Writing on Tech Central Station, Arnold Kling calls this the “sane revolution” it is the coming populist revolt:
Regarding the ‘mutiny’ of the British airplane passengers, no doubt the elites are thinking, ‘Oh, what awful behavior on the part of passengers. They are ruining our effort to reassure Muslims that they face no discrimination.’
Meanwhile, the people are thinking, ‘Look, the fact that you subject all passengers to the same humiliating searching and restrictions says that you have no idea who is dangerous and who is not. If you are that incompetent, then don’t expect us to trust you when you tell us that a plane is safe.’
The elites focused on hair gels and other liquids that were supposed tools of the plot. Everyone else noticed the ethnicity of the plotters.
Obviously, we do not want to alienate Muslims who are with us in the war against Islamo-fascists, but profiling is a lot more than just noticing somebody’s ethnicity. The last bombing foiled by El Al was an Irish woman in talking to her the profilers discovered she had a Palestinian fiancé he had planted a bomb in her luggage.
Profiling isn’t the only terrorism-related issue on which the elites differ from the rest of us–Kling notes another recent case in which elite theory runs up against populist reality:
One illustration of how elite theory can conflict with popular perceptions is the cover story on the September issue of The Atlantic, by James Fallows. The thesis of the article, which was written before the Lebanon war and the failure of the plot to blow up British airliners, is that the war on terror is over, and that we won. Despite the occasional plot or successful attack, we should declare victory, tone down the war rhetoric, and go about dealing with the world’s trouble spots using conventional diplomacy. In a follow-up, Fallows argues that the break-up of the plot to blow up airliners shows that ‘it was police work, surveillance, and patient cultivation of sources that broke the airline bombing ring — not speeches about a state of war.’
A populist definition of victory would mean that governments that fund terror groups or use them as instruments of their foreign policy are brought down. A populist definition of victory might mean that Muslim clerics who urge young men to join the jihad are given the opportunity to experience the ecstasy of martyrdom themselves.