Here you can see a small video showing violent reactions of very small quantities (as small as 2 grams) of alkaline metals with water. Imagine sneaking 2 grams of lithium onto a plane, buying a bottle of water on the plane and dropping lithium inside it. KABOOM! Or better yet, drop it into the toilet. Even if it doesn't crash the plane, it'll make an unforgettable experience for the passengers. Are metal detectors sensitive enough to detect 2 grams of any metal? Can the security officer examining your hand-baggage through x-ray notice any object weighing 2 grams?
And the new EU airline security regulations, that will take effect from 1.11., forbid carrying more than 1 deciliter of own liquids onto the plane. Who are they trying to protect and from whom? Just to make it clear, I have no intentions of blowing up planes or killing people. This post is a form of protest, and a way to point out worthlessness of most of these security measures. Esp. forbidding liquids. If terrorists want to mass-kill people, they can do it almost undisturbed at check-in waiting lines.
As a side note, people die. Nobody lives forever. More people die of cancer than have died in terrorist attakcs since 9/11. Yet much more money is spent on "war on terror" (it'd be better renamed to "war generating terror") and fear-propaganda about dangers of terrorism than on people's health. I wonder how many people would stop smoking, eating junk food and began living healthier in general if that much money were invested in anti-smoking and other health campaings.
IMO, the way to fight terrorism is not to take away freedom from people and giving it to the government (exactly what is happening now in eg. US) and corporations (eg. airline security bodies). The word "terror" comes from the Latin language, and its original meaning is fear, fright. Given this meaning, and considering how many people are afraid and frightened, I think it's fairly OK to say that terrorists have won. Not only are the people afraid, certain governments seem to be pushing their citizens into dictatorship. Slowly, but surely. (Just look at the new "torture law" in the US.) Exactly the thing they claim to be fighting against.
So how should we fight terrorism? First, stop being afraid. (That might not be in the interest of certain presidents, as the fear they themselves have generated by their propaganda is the only thing keeping them in power). Second, we as a society should adapt. As the human immune system adapts to bacteria and viruses, the society should adapt to terrorism. As with diseases, there will always be random casualties. But random casualties are already all around us (home-accidents, car-accidents, drug overdose, medical mistreatment..); why do we have to single-out terror-accidents (I purposefully use the word accident here!) and make a fuss about them?
I don't have a recipe for the "adapt" part. People do not want to be killed by terrorists. People do not want to live in fear. People do not want war. I believe that people will cooperate on their own with police to prevent bad things from happening, only if given a chance. But as long as they are afraid, they won't dare take that chance even if given.
Good examples of the latter reasoning are arrests for attempted attacks in London and Denmark. That's commendable. But stricter security regulations are not justified. It's like fighting diseases by forbidding bacteria. It doesn't work.
Tags: airline security terrorism