I jinxed Aero Mexico

Only the other week I was saying how since 9/11 (and especially what happened on UA Flight 93) one didn’t hear about hijackings any more, that it appeared that potential hijackers had decided that the risk of being tackled by the passengers no matter what was far too high. Then I turned on the news this morning.

Whatever motivated these Bolivians to demand a meeting with the Mexican President must matter to them a great deal.

Categories: Politics, Sociology


5 replies

  1. From what you say in the post, it looks like the story text has been changed since you posted.
    The first three paragraphs now read thusly:

    A 44-year-old Bolivian drug addict and alcoholic who describes himself as a church minister was the sole person responsible for the brief hijacking Wednesday of a commercial jetliner, a Mexican official said.
    The suspect — Josmar Flores Pereira — told authorities he hijacked the Boeing 737 jet because the date — September 9, 2009, or 9/9/9, and 666 reversed — held some significance for him, said Genaro Garcia Luna, the secretary for public safety.
    “He said that because of that divine reference he wanted to alert Mexico City of an earthquake,” Garcia told reporters.

    So: seems like it did matter to him greatly (no, not sarcasm).
    I’m just more glad that everyone seems to be safe. Especially given his apparent motivations, although I’m trying to work out why that makes a difference to how I feel about potential hijacking.

    • I understand feeling differently about a hijacker who didn’t intend to kill everyone on board and a hijacker who does. The distinction between a mentally ill person seeking to pass on a warning to keep others safe and a political activist seeking to gain political advantage for an extremist movement is not a bad reason to feel differently either.
      The pilots must have felt weird – personally safe behind their reinforced bulkheads but still feeling responsible for the crew and passengers who were under threat.

  2. Yeah, that, definitely, in this case – but why should it make a difference if people ended up dead? (I think it would, emotionally, but why?)
    What I wrote ended up being short-hand for what I was thinking, which was something along the lines of:
    (1) Some people advocate for shooting down hijacked planes.
    (2) Had that happened in this case (or had the plane crashed a la UA Flight 93), and we then found out that this man’s motivations look more like mental illness than ideology, the reaction would have been quite different compared to the reaction if his motivations were ideological.
    (3) But objectively speaking, is it really more sad when people die due to attempted protective actions and the hijacker’s motivations look like mental illness than it is when the hijacker’s motivations are clearly ideological?
    And that, to me, feeds into some of the deep problems with pre-emptive strikes generally. I can see how, rationally, they will be supportable in some circumstances. Emotionally, though, it’s the devil and the deep blue sea. If you take a pre-emptive strike that is rationally supportable, there’s always going to be the emotional “the hijackers may have been reasonable in the end”. If you don’t take the pre-emptive strike and the worst happens, there’s always going to be the emotional “we should have shot them down” (or whatever).
    Sad Devastating either way. Does motivation make a difference? Should it?

    • I hadn’t even thought of adding the possibility of preemptive strikes into the mix. That definitely complicates the scenario. Did Mexico have that sort of preemptive strike tactic as part of a hijack management Plan?
      My own response is , I think, about two aspects: firstly the outcome, the fact that nobody died (so by my own definition a “good” hijacking), and secondly the motivation, the fact that he did not have the means (or arguably the intent) to kill anybody, which sorta makes him a “good” hijacker.

  3. Did Mexico have that sort of preemptive strike tactic as part of a hijack management Plan?

    Probably not (I’m thinking aloud and hypothetically rather than about anything I know to be fact), but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t happen if they thought a hijacker was serious. I think action a la UA Flight 93 is much more likely (and less deadly, but still potentially fatal, depending on the hijacker).
    I think you’re right, though: the simple common sense you’re applying seems to explain the gut reaction.

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