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    Inside U.S.A.: Clueless In America: Primed to protect the Homeland
    Posted on Tuesday, March 25 @ 19:10:48 UTC
    Topic: War Analysis
    War AnalysisBy Ben Roberts
    March 25, 2008

    Observing our environment around us and drawing the right conclusions is how we ensure our safety, preserve our individual and group well-being, and extend our longevity. That applies to us sophisticated humans as well the lower forms of animal life. That said, I will now add that we in America are some of the most clueless people around who, if coming to accurate conclusions ensured our longevity, would last about as long as a snowflake in hell. We commonly make an art form out of misreads and arriving at wrong conclusions. This is not good for us as a nation or a people, if we are to be of much consequence in the world. My observation of this came at 37,000 feet on a recent trip down the East coast.

    After reaching cruising altitude, the air hostesses were setting up shop to provide service. Passengers were standing up and getting loose. A black and white guy were standing in the aisle talking. If I had to venture a guess I would say maybe they were co-workers. Another two white guys a few seats in front of me were joined by another guy who walked up from his seat in back and began to pow wow with them. Then another white guy in a blue shirt from further up came down to the seat across from me and began shooting the breeze with another white guy who he seemed to know. He seemed a very engaging and pleasant person because he made various pit-stops along the aisle talking to people who he seemed to be connected with in some way. In fact he was so engrossed in his interactions that on two occasions the air hostess had to ask him to pull to the side so they could get by. These interactions all looked normal and indicated life going about its normal business. Now shift gears for a moment, and you will see how clueless we often are when it comes to reading our environment.

    Replace the black guy talking to his white buddy and white guy in the blue shirt talking to the guy in the seat across from me all with Middle Eastern features. They might have had a similar conversation, contentwise. During conversation they might have glanced around furtively, due to their not being as outgoing and gregarious as Americans. This having to do with the fact that they might be from countries with oppressive governments, where caution is a must for survival. What happens when a planeload of Americans see this interaction taking place? Nerves get on edge, blood pressure goes up, and paranoia begins running wild. Someone rats out to the air hostess that there are suspicious looking Muslim types talking in low tunes and casting sneaky glances around, who seem to be up to no good. The hostess takes one look at the suspects and quietly alerts the crew. The plane suddenly banks to another airport. Or it might continue on to its destination with airport authorities alerted to the possibility of terrorist suspects. On landing the welcome party includes SWAT teams, Homeland Security, the FBI, ATF, and everybody and their grandmother, securitywise. All because some clueless passengers, overcome with ignorance, xenophobia, and paranoia, misread fellow passengers from another culture. Farfetched? Think again. Two Thanksgivings ago a group of Muslim clerics were traveling on one of our major domestic airlines. They became terror suspects because they were seen praying in the lounge area before boarding the flight. It became alarming when they asked for extender lap belts because this raised suspicion that they wanted mobility, despite the fact that anyone could see that they were rather portly and wanted some comfort like that provided by loose fitting jeans to the not so trim. Another slam dunk clue was that they had no checked luggage. To top this off, a stressed out passenger informed the air hostess that they were acting strange. Whatever that means. Often it means that you are ignorant and clueless as to what that individual is doing. The plane diverted and these men of the cloth were dumped off at the nearest airport with no arrangement for them to board another flight that would see them home. This is America at its best? Theres more.

    Some years ago passengers were traveling on a domestic flight when a group of travelers with Middle Eastern features got up and moved to sit next to each other and talk, once the plane leveled off and it was free to move about. They were standing next to the lavatory conversing as they waited their turn to use it. One had a camera and took a few pictures outside the window, causing hysteria that he was photographing the engines for his terror plans. One woman recounted being washed away in tears when she saw how freely these terrorists types were able to move about plotting the demise of Americans. In congregating together these passengers were doing nothing differently than those moving about on my flight. The only difference was that they looked Middle Eastern. It turned out that they were a popular Syrian student musical ensemble on tour in America. See now why he was taking pictures outside the window Sherlock? He wanted to have something to show his friends back home of what America looked like.

    Going further afield. There has been more than one occasion in Afghanistan where a wedding is in progress. The bride and groom are beaming with delight as they anticipate their new life of pleasure and happiness. To top it off, as is custom, the guests hoists their AK-47s skyward and blast away in celebration. One of our F-16 Falcons on routine patrol sees the firing below, assumes it to be hostiles, and swoops in with lethal weapons blazing, destroying anything that moves. Talk about ruining a happy wedding occasion. Not to mention making bitter enemies for life and endangering Americans in the future. All because of our ignorance and inability to correctly process signals around us. Is it these hypertensive, hyper-vigilant, hypermedicated, and clueless Americans who will be the guardians and caped crusaders to save us from the malcontents who wish to do in this nation? No way. In America we like to think we are the leaders in the forefront of where the world is headed. The world is becoming more global, where correctly reading each other and the signals around us is imperative for our survival. It seems we have work to do if we are to keep up with the world.

    Ben Roberts is a newsletter editor, freelance writer and published author. He is the author of numerous Internet published articles. His action adventure novel, Jackals of Samarra, and a collection of his articles can be found at his website www.jackalsofsamarra.com. He can be emailed from the site by clicking on: readermail@jackalsofsamarra@.com. He can also be contacted by email at: grandt730@aol.com

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