Magazine article The American Conservative

War on Toothpaste

Magazine article The American Conservative

War on Toothpaste

Article excerpt

[TERROR]

Thank God for British intelligence, able to foil a horrendous plot that could have blown up several commercial airliners and killed thousands. Their success underscores a point lost on the American administration: effective law enforcement, not massive military intervention, is the most effective means of combating terrorism.

More about the plans and the plotters-apparently British-born Pakistanis-will emerge in the months ahead. Even if no more than 1 in 10,000 British Muslims is amenable to terrorist activity, that would pose considerable risk to Britain's security and our own.

The plot also raises the vexing issue of profiling. Clearly the discovery of the scheme further gummed up the airline system: in the aftermath, lines at Newark's airport stretched 600 yards and scores of planes took off from London half-empty because many travelers couldn't get through security in time. Because of disaffected Muslims, your grandmother and mine are barred from taking make-up and shampoo in their carry-ons and millions will suffer massive delays. …

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