- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 23, 2001

BERKELEY, Calif. — America's most liberal city has come through again. By a vote of 5 to 4, the Berkeley City Council has approved a
resolution demanding that the federal government stop bombing Afghanistan.
Instead, the council endorsed a "police action" to apprehend Osama bin Laden. When asked what exactly that "action" would be, Councilwoman Dona Spring was vague. "We must follow the rule of law," she opined.
Now, we've been hearing this kind of mindless nonsense from Berkeley, Calif., for more than 40 years. But this time, something very interesting happened.
Immediately after Ms. Spring appeared on my television program "The O'Reilly Factor," Americans began canceling hotel reservations they had made in Berkeley. Also, a number of business contracts were terminated, according to the mayor. It seems the political correctness that dominates the Berkeley power structure is simply not acceptable anymore to many Americans.
The same thing happened in Rocklin, Calif., a suburb of Sacramento. There, an elementary school principal put up a sign on the school grounds that said "God Bless America."
There are more than 600 students in the school, and one parent objected to the sign. She contacted the American Civil Liberties Union, and it complained. The principal stood firm and would not remove the sign. Litigation may result.
But here's the kicker: The woman who contacted the ACLU has been ostracized by her community. Her little girl is no longer able to go to school because the other kids are angry with her. That, of course, is a shame. But it demonstrates that the majority of Americans are in no mood for irrational nonsense.
"God Bless America" is a patriotic slogan. It does not encourage churchgoing, spirituality or religious ritual. The powers at the ACLU don't refuse to accept U.S. currency, do they? Maybe they haven't noticed the words "In God We Trust" on that currency.
There has been an enormous change in the thinking of everyday Americans since the terror attacks began. No longer do many of us accept the pressure tactics of paranoid special-interest groups. And we are fighting irrational thinking with our words and our wallets.
Here's how bad it is in Berkeley and other places bordering the land of Oz: The pacifist line is that we can win "the hearts and minds" of our enemies with love and understanding.
Sure.
Seventy percent of Afghans are illiterate. Even if we drop food on them, they can't read the messages that go with it. How are we supposed to convince them that we are not hostile? By dropping the Phonics Game?
Few in the Islamic nations have television. And if they do, they get a steady diet of "Omar's World" because the government controls the programming. Omar doesn't like Americans, and even Phil Donahue can't change that.
The appeasers and the wind-chime people see the world the way they would like it to be, not the way it is. The terrorists love Berkeley, Calif., because many in that town "see no evil," no matter how brutal the situation.
And unseen evil can grow and get stronger. Thank God most of America sees that fact very clearly.

Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor" and is a nationally syndicated columnist.


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