Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave for the past 24 hours, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the low-altitude photo-op flyover of New York City by one of the planes used as Air Force One, while being escorted by an F-16 — an escort that looked like pursuit. In case you haven’t, here are three videos. The first illustrates the panicked reaction of New Yorkers near the Goldman-Sachs Tower. Ready, Tito?
I can see why New Yorkers panicked and evacuated buildings — I would have, too.
Forget for a moment the monumental stupidity it took to even conceive of this idea, a low altitude flyover of a city that suffered thousands of dead from hijacked airliners turned into missiles just a few years ago. And let’s not even think of the gob-smacking hypocrisy of an administration that publicly frets about global warming while burning tons of fuel and spewing tons of the demon CO2 into the atmosphere — all for a photo op.
This Kodak moment reveals something much more worrisome: that apparently the administration as a whole does not take seriously the threat from jihadist Islam – catastrophic terrorism that could strike at any moment. This is the most serious threat we face, now and for the foreseeable future. Yes, more serious than global recession and financial crises, for free-market economies are self-correcting. (Assuming governments don’t screw them up…) But this administration doesn’t get it.
As I’ve said before, the first and highest duty of any American presidency is the protection of the United States and her people from all threats, foreign and domestic. And there is no more pressing threat than that of another catastrophic attack on an American city, which we know is al Qaeda’s objective — and I bet Iran’s too. (Hizbullah is a tool of Iran, and it’s known they’re forming sleeper cells in the US.) An administration that had this threat and this duty in the forefront of their minds would never have approved a stunt like yesterday’s.
Instead what we saw was a picture-perfect metaphor for the entire 9-10 mindset, the attitude that existed before the attacks of September 11th, 2001: terrorism isn’t an existential threat, al Qaeda is just a bunch of guys in caves, and Iran is not a danger. Any menace they pose can be dealt with by police agencies. The rest of us can go about our lives, ignore the wolves beyond our borders, and think about the next cool photo-op.
But the wolves won’t go away, no matter how much you ignore them, no matter how tightly you shut your eyes and clap your hands to your ears. They’re out there, and they still want to kill us.
And unless the Obama administration starts taking this seriously and not just reading soothing words off a teleprompter, the next low-flying plane won’t be a stupid photo-op.