Jet engine aircraft had passed from military to civilian applications, but the military applications of high speed transportation now returned to dominate the civilian tourism and travel industry that had sprung up and become widely available at the cost of jet travel went down.
The most obvious military application of high speed travel is troop transportation and the Muslim world had been using the jet plane for transporting millions of settlers to Western countries. To most citizens of the free world, the military applications of this wave of settlement were not obvious. They would not become obvious until the settlers had given birth to second and third generations which became demographic and domestic terrorist threats. And even then it would remain mostly undiscussed.
With the settlement project going full swing, transforming the vehicles of Muslim demographic conquest into flying missiles was dangerous, but the use of domestic flights sidelined much of the security and the discussions that would have followed had the 9/11 hijackers hijacked flights from outside the country. The use of domestic flights by Muslim terrorists who had spent extensive time in America and Europe revealed just how comfortable the Jihad had become operating on infidel soil.
Muslim enclaves in America and Europe made it easier for terrorists entering the United States to operate and for the rise of native born Muslim terrorists. At a time when Bin Laden's role had declined, the man who eclipsed him briefly even before his death and played a role in a series of attacks against the United States was Anwar Al-Awlaki, born in New Mexico, whose termination by drone is still agonized over in some liberal and libertarian circles.
September 11 went beyond previous airline hijackings which had managed to make air travel more dangerous, but not permanently so. Those hijackings had temporarily hijacked the infrastructure of air travel, but the weaponization of passenger aircraft did so permanently. The damage extended beyond international air travel and border security, it reached deep into the infrastructure of domestic air travel which Americans had come to rely on to transverse a large nation with a handicapped rail system.
The rise of Muslim populations in the West made Islamic terrorism into a domestic problem in societies under a legal and cultural mandate to eliminate any negative or discriminatory attitudes toward minorities. That attitude made profiling too dangerous a topic to discuss openly, just as the specific sources of terrorism could not be discussed except in terms of American foreign policy. The only way for those societies to cope was with broad range laws and tactics that applied to everyone.
Nanny state nations had been drifting into police states through the inevitable logic of centralized bureaucracy and urban malaise. There was a growing number of regulations that had to be enforced and immigration, economic uncertainty and industrial decline created crime problems that made entire portions of world capitols uninhabitable without increasingly systematic police tactics.
The creeping militarization and federalization of American law enforcement had kept pace with the rise of crime syndicates, rapid transportation, deadlier weapons and regulatory overreach. As civil liberties monitoring increased, the laws became broader and law enforcement discretion vanished. Combined with doses of sociology and psychology, law enforcement no longer enforced laws, it enforced attitudes. Statistical analysis allowed for broad targeting of neighborhoods and cities with crackdowns meant to change the attitudes of residents on quality of life offenses.
That this process had worked well enough in urban areas said less about its effectiveness and more about the dysfunctional cities created by half a century of liberal regulationism. In the wake of the programs the cities had not become any better, the process of managing their residents however had vastly improved. But all the management really did was keep the lid on while the subsidies were poured in. And the most vital element was still the old fashioned cop who understood the area, while his captain was hard at work meeting with community leaders.
The TSA emerged out of this environment as another reflexive denial of the problem and applied the same solution. Broad range security procedures that applied to everyone, but this time they were overseen by people who would not have been accepted to work in any police force in the country. This was the age of the mall cop set up as the first line of national defense with the power to steal, grope and single out passengers for the most trivial of reasons. The one thing that the mall cops of the TSA were not allowed to do was profile terrorists.
Strip searching children was fine, alienating Muslims was not. Children after all were not likely to become offended and blow up buildings. Muslims were and the entire purpose of the TSA was to apply broad range security procedures that did not single out or offend Muslims.
Like most mall cops, the real purpose of the TSA was to provide the perception of security, rather than the reality. The TSA was never really meant to stop an actual terrorist and it never has. All it could hope to do was discourage them. Its real goals however were to restore confidence in air travel and reshape public attitudes to make flyers easier to manage.
The latter seems to miss the point of the crisis, but it actually is the point. Leaders who don't know how to cope with a crisis respond by limiting the freedom of action of those under them. Generals, CEO's or directors all follow the same pattern of ensuring compliance in subordinates to make the system more manageable and remove as many possible sources of chaos from the system.
Islamic terrorism has shut down the decision making process of the modern Western state by attacking their core assumptions about the future being a place of open borders, multicultural populations and international consensus. Instead rapid air travel is a threat, multicultural cities are becoming No Go Zones and the future is heading toward a clash of civilizations.
The assumptions on which they built their vision of the future are crumbling under them creating the kind of situation where good leaders reevaluate and admit their mistakes while bad leaders try to keep pushing forward in the hopes that this is only a temporary problem. A passing phase that can be resolved by reaching out to the Muslim world, encouraging their reforms and stabilizing their conflicts. Any remaining tensions would be dealt with the time honored methods of liberals, fighting discrimination and promoting positive role models, while covering up the mess by giving law enforcement broad powers over everyone.
The war against us has been made possible by a leadership that is unable to identify the problem, let alone formulate a meaningful response to it. The weaponization of the passenger plane represented one aspect of how the enemy undermined and exploited our assumptions. Everything that has happened since then has been more of the same.
The jet plane brought the world closer within reach, without considering the consequences of what that growing proximity would mean.The airline hijackings, mass migration and deployment of hijacked aircraft to cause mass destruction all shifted the balance of power over global transportation away from the builder societies of the free world and toward the destroyer societies of the Muslim world.