Table of contents

Executive decision

Terrorism comes to America

The executive is the most American part of America. Men execute orders or laws; also, they execute criminals.

Terrorists abounded before 9/11. In this story, we shall see our preparation for that war, citizens & politicians. Mid this tumult, you hear from far ancestral voices prophesying war. Showing Muslim terrorists, including a fanatic, is impossible now; before 9/11 it happened. A bunch of Muslim terrorists hijack a plane, proposing to destroy D.C. with chemical weapons. The military responds with elite troops. Their leader dies promptly. Then a desk jockey has to save America, woefully incompetent, but undaunted, even as he changes the likely body count from hundreds to millions.

The soldiers sent to board the plane mid-flight & stop the terrorists face trial after tribulation resoundingly dimwittedly. First, they force an engineer into risking his life: He tries to betray them. Then, their only bomb expert breaks his spine. Finally, the warriors want to kill, though it won’t solve anything. Everything works the way the terrorists could wish. Presumably, this is to teach that last-ditch defense is bad policy. The air marshal is a joke: A fat old white man.

Who will defend the passengers? Must they be as sheep to the slaughter? Let us take seriously the problem, at least because it is very serious & thousands have died, with thousands more spared by the vagaries of fate. The soldiers’ problem is boarding the plane. The terrorists’ problem is the huge number of citizens. All America needs to do is arm the citizens then. Indeed, a couple show courage & competence. The story suggests there is nothing worse than the gov’t disarming citizens so that terrorists have an easy way of slaughtering them.

The suspense of the story depends on the defenselessness of the passengers. This is ironic: Like us, they are mere spectators. Like them, we board planes, & hope to God nothing happens… What is the thriller but the contemplation of our incompetence, cowardice, & lost illusions? The other way to stop plane terrorism is to shoot down planes. This is the other cause of the suspense. Being forewarned, the military must offer the president this option to consider. – I believe it reasonable to suspect this flatters the people involved, showcasing their mercy or humanity. – But in fact the mind of the president is the mind of America. It ought not to be soft.

Terrorists are not soldiers, but they are willing to die in order to kill. Are American citizens willing to kill even to survive? The soldiers are off fighting the War on Terror, without a chance of victory. The politicians try to habituate the country to fear of terrorism & avoid words like victory.

For fans of Steven Spielberg or Kurt Russell