Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Free (Or Preferably Charge) Jose Padilla

So over at H&R, they're pointing to a piece by Tony Blankley entitled "Needed: Old War Spirit in a New War". His basic premise is that we should invoke the spirit of the time where we defeated Nazism and Fascism and Militarism in the here-and-now to defeat Radical Islamism. You know, the "if in doubt, intern!" spirit. The "no, let's not racially integrate the army, as that would destroy morale" spirit. Even the "let's expel Jehova's Witnesses from school for failing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance" spirit.

Admittedly, only the former and the latter are expounded by Blankley; he has not yet advocated outright segregationism.

He sets out to explain that harassing Arabs and Muslims in this country is probably a good idea, using the precedent of Japanese internment during WWII. To this end, he starts out with some dubious numbers. Quoth he: "A total of 25,655 noncitizens living in the United States were interned or deported during the war years because of their ethnicity or nationality, rather than their words or conduct. They included 11,229 Japanese, 10,905 Germans, 3,278 Italians, 52 Hungarians, 25 Romanians, five Bulgarians and 161 other foreign nationals." So according to Blankley, only 25,655 persons were interned during WWII. Wikipedia contends that over 110,000 'persons of Japanese descent' were interned, over 60% of whom were citizens. Basic math notwithstanding, he's completely ignored the fact that the policy he's espousing deprived thousands of American citizens their freedom on the sole basis of their ethnicity.

"During World War II, the country was faced with the prospect of large numbers of people -- again identifiable by ethnicity, not conduct -- who were real or potential enemies," he says. The key word here being 'potential'. Every human being in this country is a potential enemy. For example, convicted bombers Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and Eric Rudolph were all Americans of Scots-Irish descent. Indeed, Scots-Irish (the very ethnicity, it should be pointed out, of your humble blogger) are far more likely to be members of the Klan and other white supremecist groups, or of violent anti-abortion or anti-gay groups. These are all potential enemies of America. They (persons of Scots-Irish descent) were behind the second largest terrorist attack in United States history, the Oklahoma City Bombing. Indeed, that is still among the top five or ten terrorist attacks in the history of the world. By Blankley's logic, the FBI is justified in targeting Scots-Irish Americans based solely on their ethnicity. Fortunately for him, Blankley is a WASP name.

Ultimately, I've never bought the idea that the Bill of Rights wasn't a suicide pact. If it comes to it, I'd just as soon be killed by a terrorist as see fundamental American rights such as habeus corpus ditched in favor of marginal security.

2 comments:

Susan Hanson said...
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theadhdspecialist said...
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