There may be ‘just’ wars, but this was simply not one of them. It is difficult to imagine how one can aspire to make the world a better place by blowing  innocents up in the skies.

In addition to the forthrightness of his father, we can also be grateful for the incompetent bomb-making skills of the civil engineer that reserved the fury of his bomb for his own nether regions. And for the swift response of the fellow passengers that may have prevented a larger conflagration over the skies of Detroit.

This is an important point: some may blame a distant parenting model and a twisted religion for the radicalising of AbdulMutallab, but we have all become passive passengers – and fellow felons – in a world where gross iniquities happen during our watch. We do not raise a finger, a voice, to protest the muggings that happen at arms’ length… from handbagged old ladies, through  climate-change cock-ups, to middle-eastern shenanigans… the overwhelming theme of our silence is our immediate personal comfort.

Yet, we are all co-passengers on this Plane. Sometimes we have to speak out, today, to douse tomorrow’s conflagrations.

If the distant-parenting model can be blamed for anything, it is how it has procured this young man with everything to live for, in Nigeria, to develop such an American headache that he was willing to die for the Taliban. With so many corpses stinking up the streets of his own country, he volunteers for a burial detail in foreign climes. Surely there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of youths across not just Africa but throughout the world, as I write; youths frustrated by the iniquities spinelessly reiterated by their morally bankrupt leadership – from hypocritical parents to quisling presidents.

Not too long ago there was a small rash of British Muslims signing up with the Taliban to fight the coalition in Afghanistan. But countries are also built in the unglamorous brick and mortar of daily sacrifice, not just in the pyric theatre of a public imolation. What Afghanistan needed (and still needs) were builders not bombers.

Would that they listened to the Great Sower, rather than the Grim Reaper. That they watered their passions with Love rather than Hate. That – although passionate enough to die for their causes – they found the courage  to truly live for them.

[And shame on the American policymaker for yet another knee-jerker. Britain has produced several terrorists over the past few years – including the infamous shoe bomber. The latest bomber was probably radicalised during his student days in London. Yet, he also carries a Nigerian passport. So guess which country’s nationals will now undergo more scrupulous examinations on their approach to the US, despite the fact that the last decade of the ‘war on terrorism’ has produced nary a Nigerian blip on the terror radar. Oh, but  a 23-year old can speak for a hundred and twenty million; & the goodwill of forthright fatherhood is rewarded by the illwill of boorish prejudice, determined to sow resentment where there was none. The only cheerleaders of this cult of Paranoid Stigmatism are the terrorists themselves who can play the field while blinkered spymasters chase easy stereotypes. Those steely-eyed capitalists fully invested in a perpetual war against terror can raise a cheer to the skies. Yet, in the interests of air safety – and the rest of us outside the cocoon of private jets – the terror czars should leave cant to politicians and return to solid policing. ]


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