- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 15, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Noble:; Brad Botwin of Help Save Maryland, for his Herculean efforts to force local officials in Montgomery County, Md., to take a more serious approach to dealing with criminal behavior by illegal aliens - efforts which have begun to bear fruit.

For years, elected Montgomery County officials have preened about their “progressive” political views, even making the county an official sanctuary for illegal aliens and banning county employees (most prominently police and corrections officials)) from cooperating with federal immigration authorities. But after several recent arrests of illegal aliens in high-profile murder cases of constituents, local politicians and police realized this sanctuary policy was politically (if not morally) indefensible. So, last week, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and Police Chief Thomas Manger announced that county police will start providing federal immigration authorities with the names of all suspects they arrest for violent crimes and handgun violations.

How darn nice of them.

Other local jurisdictions like neighboring Frederick County, Md. have officers undergo special training on immigration enforcement and turn over the names of illegal immigrants arrested for any crime - violent or otherwise. Mr. Botwin and others ask very sensibly: Why shouldn’t illegal aliens arrested for burglary or drug trafficking also be subject to deportation? And why shouldn’t illegal aliens involved in embezzlement, credit-card fraud or receiving stolen goods be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement? And what about hoodlums carrying knives or machetes? (Illegal aliens arrested in the Nov. 1 murder of an honor student on a country transit bus had been arrested on charges linked to carrying a machete and carrying a switchblade.)

The new Montgomery County policy is just a modest step in the right direction, but even this might not have taken place if it weren’t for the work of Mr. Botwin, a federal employee who spends much of his free time working to make Montgomery County’s policies more sensible.

Last month, his group won a meeting with Mr. Leggett to discuss the county’s permissive policies toward illegals - something that would have been unthinkable a year ago. To the extent that the county is making any progress in the right direction, the public can thank Mr. Botwin.

For working to change Montgomery County’s absurdly permissive approach toward illegals, Brad Botwin is the Noble of the Week.

Knave:; Mohammed Naji Mohammed, a member of the Iraqi Parliament with the United Iraqi Alliance, who is leading a campaign for a parliamentary resolution requiring the Iraqi Foreign Ministry to seek reparations for Israel’s 1981 air strike on Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons facility.

When it comes to arrogance and chutzpah, few politicians anywhere can match Mr. Mohammed, who is demanding billions of dollars in reparations for the June 7, 1981, air strike by Israel against Saddam’s Osirik facility - which destroyed the Iraqi dictator’s best opportunity to develop nuclear weapons. Israel acted when it did because of reports that the reactor was about to be loaded with nuclear fuel - which would have made it impossible to destroy it without catastrophic nuclear fallout that would have put countless Iraqi civilian lives in danger.

Had Saddam developed nuclear weapons, he would have been in a much stronger position - perhaps strong enough to deter the 1990-91 U.S. military action to liberate Kuwait, and the 2003 invasion that came in response to Saddam’s defiance of numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions. If Saddam had nuclear weapons, he might have been able to thwart those U.S. military operations - the very military operations that liberated Mohammed and his Shi’ite friends from the Ba’athist ruler’s tyranny.

For his arrogance and ingratitude, Mohammed Naji Mohammed is the Knave of the Week.

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