Would any terrorist in his right mind fly eight and a half hours to blow up an airport? Would it be worth blowing up 140 of your fellow passengers and a few rednecks on the minimum wage but brandishing a badge in pursuit of glorifying Islam? How vital is Raleigh Durham International airport to world security?
I ask these questions because I am puzzled. I have flown from London to Raleigh four times since 9/11 and I have never seen greater security getting off the plane. We come through immigration, show the passports and get asked the usual questions about why you're there and how long you are staying.
Then the nightmare begins. You have to pick your bags up off the conveyor belt and wheel them over to some grumpy, uptight "I aint getting' any" hussy with a badge, who barks out instructions to unsuspecting passengers.
I think she's on steroids because she will take your suitcase of your trolley, she how high she can lift it before slamming it down on another conveyor belt. It's almost like an attempt to break the conveyor belt. Perhaps she can go home for the day if "the dang thing's busted", or maybe that is how they check for explosives in North Carolina. Well, whatever the reason, the bottle of red wine you tried to bring in has just dyed your underwear.
You are instructed, in military fashion, that you will have to reclaim your busted up suitcase inside the main terminal after a 45 minute wait for it to come out on another conveyor belt.
Then it's off to the strip search. A single file line is formed to leave this little "holding" area before embarking to the main terminal.
Coats and jackets off, shoes off, belts and all metal. All your carry on bags and above mentioned items go through the (note the use of the word the, yes singular) x ray machine, while you and the other 100-300 passengers file slowly through the (again singular) metal detector under close scrutiny of the rednecks on minimum wage.
You have just been cleared to enter North Carolina.
The Raleigh airport motto: "Nobody is going to fly in here and blow this airport up!"