Apparently, all Air France flights from Paris to Los Angeles were cancelled on Christmas Eve because “officials” were concerned that there was a plan to hijack a flight and crash the plane in Las Vegas. According to the Washington Post:
The al Qaeda network has long considered Las Vegas to be one of its top targets for a strike because it sees the city as a citadel of Western licentiousness, U.S. officials said. Government officials said they have known for some time that al Qaeda is interested in striking at Las Vegas.
I’m no al Qaeda expert, but this doesn’t make any sense to me. Neither prior targets nor al Qaeda propaganda suggest that the organization targets Western licentiousness. The World Trade Center is not a hotbed of pornography; the American Embassy in Kenya· is not a lobby for legalized gambling. It seems to me that everything al Qaeda and related groups say and do suggests a mission of defeating U.S. hegemony abroad and hurting American economic interests domestically.
I wonder whether the press really believes that the terrorists want to destroy us because “they hate our way of life,” or if they’re just happy to faithfully report whatever “U.S. officials” say.
It’s also interesting to note that a plane did crash in Las Vegas yesterday·, but only got tenth page coverage. It remains the case that accidents are far more dangerous that terrorism, and yet terrorist casualties get far more attention, and billions of dollars go to the war on terrorism. Wouldn’t the money be better spent in a war on accidents?