Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Downside of Addiction

Get this guy a patch or two!  So, a Qatari diplomat tries invoke immunity after smoking on a plane--at the very end of the flight.  Talking about getting the shakes!

This produces a bunch of questions:
  • Did we really need to scramble a couple of fighters?  What were they supposed to do? If the threat is a shoe bomb, they have no role to play.  On the other hand, one could view this as practice.
    • This, of course, led to a morning debate with the wife about whether we should be prepared to shoot down hijacked planes.  I vote for, my wife votes against in the hypothetical replay of 9/11.  
  • The plane took off from DC--the usual target--so I guess it is not surprising that it had an air marshal on the flight. Some reports had two marshals on the flight--which would seem to be a bit much.  
  • First news reports were, of course, alarmist.  The first casualty of war is the truth, it has been said.  And smart generals know to view the first reports from the field with some suspicion as it usually takes a second or third or fourth report to get it right.  It would be nice if the US media would not be so quick to pull the alarm, but with competition among them, the lack of patience and judgment here is not surprising.
    • I guess correcting the news within an hour is progress.
  • The report that I linked to is a bit too sympathetic with the press.  That if a Qatari diplomat was a terrorist, what would that signify?  But he was not, so Shakespeare has the best line on it, right?
"it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

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