The Real Threat to America
Putting ourselves in political, moral, and now actual lockdown is more threatening than Islamic terrorism
It’s just more confused rhetoric from a political class, right and left, that lacks all clarity and discretion. Intelligence gathering in Muslim communities is a no-no, but it’s OK to use a drone to kill an American citizen in Yemen without judicial review or oversight. This makes no sense. It would help if America’s political establishment were able to tell the difference between politically incorrect violations of individual rights in the service of information-gathering to prevent attacks, and gross violations of the core rights to due process of law that they are sworn to protect.
It would also help if they could tell the difference between civilians and terrorists. Amazingly, Secretary of State John Kerry can’t tell the difference between the armed Turkish terrorists who were killed when they tried to break Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza in May 2010 and the four innocent people murdered in his hometown by the Tsarnaevs last Monday. At a press conference in Istanbul, Kerry said of the deaths aboard the Turkish-sponsored ship that ran the blockade, which was intended to keep arms from reaching Hamas: “I particularly say to the families of people who were lost in the incident: We understand these tragedies completely and we sympathize with them. … I have just been through the week of Boston and I have deep feelings for what happens when you have violence and something happens and you lose people that are near and dear to you.”
So, let’s get this straight: If you sail to break a blockade designed to keep missiles and guns out of the hands of Hamas, who are a group of murderous anti-Western religious fanatics who kill civilians in terror bombings, then you are the moral equivalent of the innocent people in Boston who lost their lives in a terror bombing, perpetrated by murderous fanatics who believe the very same things that Hamas believes. How would Kerry feel if after last week’s events the Turkish government sailed a flotilla of aid ships into Boston Harbor in support of the surviving Tsarnaev brother—and any associates who might still be at large? John Kerry needs to get it through his well-coiffed skull that it is the Boston Marathon bombers and Hamas who are the same people—and the civilians that they maim and kill are the victims.
And sadly, Kerry is not alone in his confusion. America has become a nation in political, moral, and now actual lockdown. And it needn’t be: Islamic terror is not a fact of life, nor is it an existential threat to the United States. It’s a vicious ideology that should be equally offensive to men, women, Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and to politicians and commentators on the right and the left—and kudos to those like Andrew Sullivan who state it clearly. The violence and terror it gives rise to is a limited problem that can be further contained by politicians and law authorities who devote their budgets to intelligence collection rather than putting armored vehicles in American streets.
The true existential threat to America comes not from Islamic terror but from our own inability to think and speak clearly about the threats that we face. By abridging the rights of all Americans in order to avoid politically unpleasant images we are inflicting greater damage on our society than any group of Islamist terrorists could ever dream of doing on their own.
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