- The Washington Times - Friday, October 26, 2001

Whose rights?

"If 'We the People of the United States' have ordained and established the Constitution, then we by definition retain the power to determine who is, and is not, a member of the American people.

"Thus, the decision to admit or exclude foreign citizens is a matter solely in the hands of the elected representatives of the people, and any one from abroad who is admitted to travel or live among us does so as a guest, remaining here at our pleasure, until such time as we agree to permit him to become a member of our people. In effect, foreign citizens, even if they are here illegally, enjoy the human rights endowed to them by God, but they remain here at our discretion and the specifics of their due process rights are determined by Congress.

"This is relevant in assessing many of the measures to tighten immigration control recommended in the wake of the September 11 attacks. All 19 hijackers were, after all, foreign citizens, as are many of those detained as possible accomplices or witnesses. …

"It is imperative that visa officers be given a freer hand in excluding enemies of America, even if their hatred for us would be constitutionally protected if articulated by citizens. The First Amendment does not apply to foreigners abroad."

Mark Krikorian, of the Center for Immigration Studies, testifying Oct. 12 before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission

'Flying while Arab'

"Of the 19 hijackers responsible for last month's calamity, all were Arabic, all were practitioners of Islam, and all came from known state incubators of terrorism in the Middle East. …

"Not 'some' of them, or a 'disproportionate number' of them. All of them. …

"To ignore the fact that America's enemies in this war share a faith and ethnicity and that their actions, by their own reckoning, are ethnically and religiously inspired would be self-deluding and foolish. …

"Sen. Russ Feingold and Rep. John Conyers, two liberal Democrats who had sponsored bills to address racial profiling before Sept. 11, have now decided there's no difference between the 'driving while black' problem and what they've dubbed 'flying while Arab.'

"But there are differences. The nation is at war. By all means, let's continue to debate the extent to which we want race and ethnicity employed by law enforcement in their efforts to stop lead-footed drug runners and the like. But let's not confuse that effort with the current one to prevent another Sept. 11."

Jason L. Riley, writing on "'Racial Profiling' and Terrorism," in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal

Worth a fight?

"I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline. Particularly when one can't see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? And then people tell me about pilgrimages to some dank pesthole in a jungle where they go to do homage to a crumbling temple, a leering stone monster with a pot belly, created by some leprous savage. Is it beauty and genius that they want to see? Do they seek a sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window no, I don't feel how small I am but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would like to throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body."

Ayn Rand, from her 1948 novel, "The Fountainhead," cited as "Thought for the Day" Wednesday on www.andrewsullivan.com

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