- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 3, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff is right when he says there has not been an attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001 (“Keeping America safe,” Op-Ed, Dec. 26). That is meaningless for at least three reasons.

First, al Qaeda doesn’t need to hit us here if we are destroying our own economy and Constitution through an endless global war that also corrodes our relations with important allies. Osama bin Laden’s primary goal wasn’t mass-murdering Americans on American soil. His primary goals were to break us economically and divide us politically. President Bush’s policies have been doing this extraordinarily well.

Second, al Qaeda doesn’t need to come here when it can kill us overseas in greater numbers. More Americans have been killed and maimed by terrorists during the past seven years of Mr. Bush’s presidency than from all the terrorist attacks on Americans preceding and including Sept. 11.

Third, Americans are directly and indirectly responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent Muslims in Iraq and the displacement of millions more as a result of Mr. Bush’s post-Sept. 11 policies. These losses have aided the recruitment of future terrorists who may yet succeed in carrying out mass-casualty attacks here - perhaps using biological weapons.

Mr. Chertoff claims: “At our ports, we have deployed radiation scanning equipment to check virtually 100 percent of incoming cargo for weapons of mass destruction.” He doesn’t say these scanners are capable of detecting biological WMD that could be more devastating than a nuclear blast. Unlimited border-control expenditures won’t be able to detect or stop such weapons without completely destroying our economy and shredding our Constitution. Then there are domestic sources of WMD like the post-Sept. 11 anthrax attacks.

Real security lies in the common principle within each of the Abrahamic religions: Be kind to one another. Militaristic U.S. foreign policy based on “U.S. interests” has not always been kind to innocent people. Our best interest is to ensure the security of all people who share this troubled world with us. Our Savior once said, “Those who live by the sword will certainly die by it.” In this light, sufficient U.S. attention to Helene Gayle’s advice (“Do the right thing; Strike at the roots of poverty,” Op-Ed, Dec. 26) would do more to yield security than any military or Department of Homeland Security expenditures.

CHUCK WOOLERY

Rockville

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