In a long line at LAX, a young woman waits her turn at the flight security screener's walk-thru and luggage check.
She seems a little impatient, as most others in line are, and a trifle bored. She's well dressed, in heels and toting a rolling luggage carrier. Her hair is expensively coifed, her makeup well done and her perfume smells of money. But in her left hand is a small remote control, one like you use on your garage door opener. And wound around and through her expensive bra and large breasts are almost 24 inches of plastic explosive. When she's next to walk into the magnetic screener, and in the midst of hundreds of seemingly oblivious people, she'll hit the remote.
On a busy corner in Times Square, a young woman of indeterminate ethnicity dressed in jeans and tee stands in a busy crowd and waits for the light to change. On her back she wears a big yellow pack. In her hand she holds an MP3 player's tiny volume control. A thin wire dangles between the controller, which has been rewired to act as a detonator, and the backpack, which contains a homemade bomb. When the light turns green, she'll press the button.
The obvious question is why?
But wait--we all read newspapers--we know this scene. It could be Europe, America or even Japan. More to the point we've already seen this. More than six years after September 11 there's diminishing shock value in imagining an attack on New York. We've seen some earnest tributes and heroic docudramas, even a few labyrinthine pop terror plots, metaphorical monsters and doomsday fantasies.
What's left then? Just simple, specific moments in the 48 hours or so preceding these attacks: the girl cutting her toenails or eating pizza, the woman dressing--and fumbling with an AK-47 automatic rifle. People have tended to pathologize them, even feel sorry for them: This girl couldn't get pregnant. A boyfriend broke up with this woman. Well, there are lots of girls who didn't get pregnant and millions of breakups every day. None of them became suicide bombers.
What we practice in our denials to these horrors is the political and religious context to the acts. These people obviously don't just do this for the hell of it. Why can't we as a nation and as a people face up to the facts they will destroy us all if left alone and just go kill them first and level the Muslim states where they come from?
But that's not American, you say, and it's not politically correct, either.
If you are a woman do you want to blow your boobs off along with killing several hundred other people for politics? I doubt it, but you might do it for a religion that dictates such acts and promises martyrdom - even to women and now, to children as well-- it's doctrine and teachings that promote them, and it's leaders who tend to be fanatic about killing others both within and without their religious circles.
Plainly speaking, I'm talking about Islamic jihadists, including women. Simply speaking, these people want to kill us. Politically speaking, does it make any difference if you're conservative or liberal if you're dead? Male, female, gay or straight if you're bloody and torn and taking your last breath? Would global warming (don't get me started on that) be a concern if there's no one left here to feel it?
Politically correct? Would you think the same if you were crossing the street near Times Square that day-- or if you were waiting to fly out of LAX to St. Louis to visit your sweet little old mother when the boob tube went off? Or maybe London or Tokyo trying to catch a cab when your world disappeared?
Those producers and newscasters at ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN who have been preaching political correctness to you for all these years wouldn't matter then would they? Not that they've ever been right in the first place. When will we ever learn that politicians and those who promote them are in it for themselves and not us?
As for the religious fanatics who use their religion and women and children to kill indiscriminately, we must learn to fight them as we would any enemy: By whatever means necessary and required, until they are defeated unconditionally or obliterated. Quit trying to fight "nice" wars--there are no such wars. They all are bloody fields of death.
There are those who will say "How horrible--he is advocating killing millions, a whole group of people." Yes, and they are advocating killing all 280 million of us, civilian men, women and children and military alike - even with nuclear weapons as they acquire and develop them--and they are proving it time and time again, almost on a daily basis. We finally defeated Hitler and his anti-Jewish European killing machine, bombed the Japanese and a fanatical warlord killing machine into oblivion and stopped the murdering world-rule communists dead in their tracks--but only after millions of innocents had already died.
What we face now are the ultimate combined forces of evil we will ever endure in our lifetimes--and we must find the courage to confront them. They exist not only in Los Angeles and New York, London, Paris or Tokyo--but as well as in every city and small town where they walk among us--and in the Middle Eastern countries who hate us.
Will you or your loved one or the kid down the block be next? Oblivion's just a bra or backpack away.
Jack Key is a writer for print media and the Internet and author of the new novel, Gideon’s Trumpet. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org