… I don’t get it.

Hello Internet, and welcome to a special edition blog entry before I manage to get my video up.

It is a post inspired by utter confusion.

I was having lunch today and I read an article which was effectively this article, but it was published in the St. John’s Telegram and had some extra info about how this sparked a response in Canadian security.

The gist of the article is this:

-A bomb plot by the al-Qaeda in Yemen was thwarted by security agents in the UK at a cargo layover, who discovered bombs inside printer cartridges, inside printers, in cargo bound for Chicago addresses.

-The bombs were timed to go off at 5:30am EST, when UPS flight 232 from East Midlands to Philadelphia, which would have been carrying the bombs, was over Quebec.

-The flight was over American soil by 6:00am EST. Also, flight 232 does not always fly the same route to get to Philly, and if it had been on the other route, it would’ve been over the States at 5:30.

-In response to this threat, the Canadian security policies have changed. Now, no cargo that originated in Yemen will be flown to Canada, but will be diverted to other countries, AND no Canadian airports will be accepting printer cartridges above a certain weight (400-something grams or so) in checked luggage, carry-on bags or cargo.

What?

Ok, so I’d like to be clear about something: I am pretty sure that Yemeni terrorists aren’t interesting in blowing stuff up in rural Quebec. I am quite willing to believe that they don’t care if they accidentally blow up some stuff in Canada on their way to blowing up stuff in America, and I’m really glad that there are people whose job it is to watch for stuff like that, but friends, in this case I’d be willing to bet that it was just fluke that the plane that was meant to have the bombs on it happened to be above Quebec on its way from the UK to Philly.

But assuming for just one second that there was, in fact, an intent to harm Canadians… what do these new security measures hope to achieve? If they had been in place when these bombs were made and sent, would it have changed the threat?

No.

Because on count 1 (no cargo will go to Canada from Yemen) the plane wasn’t going to Canada. It was going to the US. We don’t a say about what cargo the United States accept. And on count 2 (printer cartridges don’t get on planes in Canada), the printer cartridges in question went on planes in Yemen, Dubai, and almost got on in the UK (and any number of other airports, I don’t know UPS’s routes). They weren’t loaded onto the plane in Canada. In fact, no plane involved in this story ever had its wheels on the ground in Canada.

So… what’s with the random rules? Why inconvenience people and businesses by banning yet another banal household item from planes, and folks in Yemen who want to mail things that aren’t bombs to friends and family in Canada?

What is the purpose? Does anyone know?

Please tell me that it isn’t just to make us all feel safer without actually dealing with the thing that is making us feel unsafe in the first place. Please? Because that would make me, and my will to believe that people are intelligent, rational beings, very sad.