Failed Attack: The Endless Race

The Christmas Day attack attempt on a plane destined for the United States gives both the unpleasant feeling of repetition and (already) the much more uncomfortable sensation of an eternal recurrence: the airport security checkpoints; those increasingly nit-picky inspections Americans must go through, as do all passengers from around the world; the interminable lists of potential suspects (where the name of the young Nigerian Abdulmutallab certainly appeared); and the millions of fingerprints gathered by American security services.

Even the cooperation of the young “jihadist’s” own father was not sufficient. After smuggling in a simple cutter, in belts, in the soles of shoes or in toothpaste tubes, the “inventiveness” of terrorist candidates seems always to benefit from being a step ahead. However, the global theater of geo-political relations corresponds to this sentiment of being ahead of the United States most of all. By announcing after months of hesitation the sending of tens of thousands of American reinforcements to Afghanistan, Barack Obama gave a perfectly transparent indication of it. The discrepancy jumped off the page: it involved justifying the strengthening of a combat, already eight years in, against “America’s enemies” nestled in the mountains of Afghanistan. Pakistan is who appeared more central in Obama’s speech, though.

Beyond that, other countries turned up: Somalia, in a state of profound decomposition, as well as Yemen, that new base for al-Qaida in which the young holy war candidate seems to have acquired his explosive material as well as the instructions for using it. In his speech, the future Nobel Peace Prize recipient had not shown any idealism and almost let the absurd side of America’s inevitable course show. The United States’ destiny only missed by a hair on Delta Flight 253, reminding us of its highly tragic character.

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