Holman Jenkins on Terrorism and Airport Security

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After the failed Detroit terror plot, pundits and politicians did what they do best: recite talking points, demonize opponents and oversimplify a complex problem into something easily articulated, yet generally misleading. While Dick Cheney hastily assailed President Obama, liberals dwelled on the failings of President Bush at a time when national security should be a unifying issue.

Out of the fog, The Wall Street Journal's Holman Jenkins penned a Wednesday column that was a breath of fresh air, giving perspective and nuance to the issues of domestic terrorism and airport security. Though Jenkins is known to be more hawkish, he doesn't let the latest al-Qaeda attack get him frazzled:

The fact that terrorists are reduced to smuggling explosive materials on-board in their underwear, without the casings and detonators that make for an efficient explosion, is proof of our success in deterring them from even trying to board with a capable bomb.

Jenkins also distinguishes the threat posed by domestic terrorism in relation to global terrorism:

Domestic insurgencies are very different in nature from the advertorial global terrorism of an al Qaeda--which, in its fondest dreams, may once have hoped to bring about political change in the world, but today merely seeks to make sure the name al Qaeda isn't forgotten by the media...Yes, mad, radical Islam is still a problem in the world--but the big news is what's happening in Tehran, not what almost happened on Northwest flight 253.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.