Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Rich Lowry writes an interesting column about efforts on the part of Congressional Democrats to derail legislation that would prevent civilian tipsters (like those who called in the Islamofascist Six) from being gratuitously sued in return for their trouble.
Because we can't have police everywhere, civilian tips are indispensable. A video-store clerk alerted authorities to the Fort Dix plot after he saw a tape of men in Muslim attire firing guns — but not before he wondered, "Should I call someone or is that being racist?" Debra Burlingame points out that an airline employee who checked in two of the 9/11 passengers didn't ask for a special search of them because "I was worried about being accused of being 'racist.'"This perfidy should hardly surprise anyone coming as it does from the Democrats, who object to our war effort not for proper reasons (i.e., for its being too misdirected and too feeble), but for too closely resembling a real war effort for their tastes.
If the King amendment doesn't make it into law, people in such agonizing situations will have to worry not just about being called racist, but about being sued if their suspicions prove unfounded. The King amendment garnered 304 votes in the House and 57 in the Senate, but a majority of Democrats voted against it in both houses, and now key Democrats are trying to keep it out of a House-Senate conference committee.
What is more interesting to this hawkish commentator is not just the fact that the Democrats find themselves in a position to thwart this legislation at all, but that we are having to discuss such a measure as the King Amendment in the first place.
Another blogger recently stated that, "The most astonishing development after September 11, 2001 was the Democrat Party tying their political fortunes to America's defeat." He is right on one level -- in the sense that no party could afford to openly oppose the war effort after the Islam-motivated atrocities of September 11, 2001. But Myrhaf is wrong on another -- in the implicit assumption that the course charted by the Republicans so far can lead to anything but America's defeat.
As John Lewis, whose "'No Substitute for Victory': The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism" remains required reading for anyone serious about ending this threat, recently pointed out in a talk of his that I attended, that America's military is unstoppable -- when it is presented with an actual, rational goal.
Nation-building in a Moslem country without either separating religion and state or removing the destabilizing influence of its theocratic neighbor -- while we should really be talking about annihilating that very neighbor (Iran) instead does not constitute such a goal, if it constitutes a goal at all. This is a scheme without a definition for victory, but with plenty of opportunity for America to be symbolically defeated, as the terrorists strove to do with their target selection on that infamous day. In a sense, the Democrats were shrewd to tie their hopes to our defeat.
We are fighting wars we should not be fighting and not fighting wars we should. And further, rather than proudly assert our right to defend ourselves, we proclaim that our forays into Afghanistan and Iraq are for the good of their citizens. Besides exporting our welfare state, we are at home slowly imposing a garrison state rather than retreating from a level of governmental involvement in our personal lives that is already far too high.
There is no need to belabor Democratic opposition to the war abroad, which, given that many who poll against the war do so because they want it fought more vigorously, one can argue that the weak-kneed Republican effort has done something they could never accomplish on their own: made this opposition into a viable political strategy. What this story does is expose the same Republican weakness (and willingness to exploit it by the Democrats) at home.
Just take the case of airport security. The Republicans, just as much the "party of small government" as they are the "pro-victory party", have done nothing to further the cause of the property rights of those involved in private aviation, a tack I have noted would -- in conjunction with a proper declaration of war -- eliminate many of the legal difficulties we are seeing the likes of CAIR take advantage of. As I stated about the circumstances of a lawsuit related to an incident of vigilantism by an airline passenger:
[M]any [Moslems and] people who look [Middle Eastern] are in fact dangerous. Furthermore, our governments are being prevented from effectively monitoring them by regulations that prevent "profiling" various minorities. Worse still, the legal climate for airlines to refuse service to such suspicious characters -- or even demand compliance with such reasonable requests as certain types of dress -- is hostile at best. And when the government fails to do its job of protecting individual rights, ordinary citizens become more likely to take the law into their own hands.There is nothing wrong with the King Amendment -- as a stopgap measure to protect Americans from frivolous lawsuits. But to pass the American people such a band-aid while ignoring the deep wound of statism as it continues to fester is to ignore the home front of this war.
Yes. The particular passenger who "arrested" Stein may have been too high-strung. And yes, what he did (i.e., impersonate a police officer) was illegal. But this entire episode could have been prevented by a proper recognition of property rights by the government as well as an unleashing of the powers of law enforcement from the absurd constraints of multiculturalism. Why? Because [Seth] Stein would have been more believably pronounced "safe for flight" before he ever boarded the plane. [italics added now]
The greatest weapon possessed abroad by totalitarian Islam is our nation's reluctance to wage an uncompromising and ruthless war. Within America, it is our government's constant meddling in the affairs of ordinary citizens, which "civil rights" lawyers will be more than happy to turn against the very people they are supposed to protect.
The Republicans are obviously not working to rectify either situation in any fundamental way. The resulting ineffectiveness is what allowed the Democrats to get their foot in the door during the last congressional election. Ironically, though, the Democrats quite often still manage to make the Republicans look almost good by comparison, which may ensure a stalemate for quite some time. Perhaps, rather than continuing to employ a donkey as a mascot, the Democrats should consider a goat instead.
Having said that, I will leave by stating yet again the way out of the stalemate: Support freedom at home, while remembering the actual purpose of war, which is to remove our enemy as a threat. That is, protect individual rights by rolling back the welfare state at home, and by actually defending America abroad.
Today: Minor edits.