London Stalling

The United States Department of Homeland Security went to its vaunted (and long-awaited) “red alert” for the first time after British authorities thwarted a plot to blow up a number of U.S. bound airliners using liquid explosives, apparently intended for Heathrow based flights on American, United and Continental Airliens. The red alert applies to certain U.S. bound flights. Air traffic on both sides of the pond, especially London’s Heathrow, slowed down to permit additional security measures, including a virtual ban on all carry on items (save insulin and baby formula).
American authorities seemed quite willing to jump to the conclusion that the plot was of al Qaeda origins, while the British, who made nearly 2 dozen arrests, were more cautious, intimating that the plot might be more “home grown” (like last year’s July 7th attacks on the London Underground.)
Obviously, there are at least two, and possibly three conclusions that can be drawn from this. The first, of course, is that Islamist extremist terrorism is here to stay, and we should remain ever vigilant against it. The second conclusion is that Britain apparently thwarted the plot through use of normal police and intelligence methods, and not through the use of police state measures or special “war powers” (however much its leaders– and ours, of course, may have wanted them and may now insist that they need them.)
The third (bonus) conclusion is that our (and Britain’s) foreign policy and policies associated with “the war on terror” have not, will not, and can not, eliminate the threat of terrorist violence against the West, even specifically Islamist terror. As a matter of induction, it is certainly not implausible to believe that our foreign policy actions in that regard may well inspire certain individuals who were not already “terrorists” to take up against us; this is not, of course, in any way denying our need to defend ourselves. I am simply suggesting that our foreign policy has fluid results, and acting irresponsibly in that area just may well be worse than not acting at all (if all we succeed in doing is generating more new terrorists than we are able to thwart with our own counter-jihad.)
In any event, kudos to Britain’s police and security services for thwarting what could have been an extraordinary tragedy, on so many levels.