May 12, 2002
Department of Stupid Questions

The New York Press' Billboard section would be a multi-author blog if the pieces were a bit shorter. Last Thursday, one of their regulars, Jim Knipfel, wrote a mildly amusing piece about the pictures from Israel of a failed suicide bomber being poked and prodded and eventually dragged away by a bomb-disposal robot. (No virgins for him! I wonder whether his parents are celebrating his survival or mourning his failure. I also wonder whether any of the dozens of journalists in the area have thought to ask them. I doubt it.)

Anyway, Knipfel expresses appropriately apocalyptic sci-fi thoughts. However, one paragraph rather spoils the effect:

I know that for some time now, American bomb squads have employed similar robots to retrieve and detonate explosives -- but since when are they being used to hold and search people? And drag them away afterward?

I know! I know! Call on me! Since retrieving and detonating explosives has meant holding and searching the people with the explosives strapped right on their bodies? Right? Am I right? Oh, was that supposed to be a rhetorical question?

It seems to me just a little bit stupid -- willfully stupid -- to blame the Israelis for mixing bombs with people and bomb disposal with arrest and imprisonment.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at May 12, 2002 05:44 PM