Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Settling the Safety Issue Once and for All?

Interpol has been down to South Africa, poked around, checked the chatter on its listening posts and decided no tangible threats to the 2010 World Cup exist.

Well, that takes care of that, doesn't it? Imagine the international cops brushing their hands together and saying, "All done!"

"Nothing to see here! Move along!"

Here is a sort of epitome of hubris about security. A comprehensive, "hey, what could go wrong?" that in works of fiction would demand something ugly to prove the authorities wrong.

If you were the cops, wouldn't you give all this World Cup stuff a more careful, middling assessment? Along the lines of, "we like their plan; it looks good; big events can be unpredictable and we know they are working hard, and we are here to help, if needed."

Instead of the Interpol honcho telling journalists: "South Africa's planning covers everything. South African planning is above our expectations." (Emphasis added.)

Can anyone ever say a plan cover everything?

Of course not. Ask the security people at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Or those at Munich in 1972.

Terrorists can be cunning. Just because they haven't been active in South Africa, on some large scale ... doesn't mean it can't happen.

Then we have the harsh facts of South Africa's crime rate: It is No. 2 in the world both in murders per capita and total murders. (Trailing only Colombia in both stats.) Does regular one-on-one crime fall under South Africa's amazing, all-encompassing plan?

This is just a silly, scary story. It is organizations that believe it has every eventuality covered ... is one likely to get sloppy and open to mistakes. Just sayin'.
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