Thursday, July 14, 2005

Sooner or later, political correctness is going to cause the death of hundreds or even thousands of Americans.

These potentially avoidable deaths and injuries will come about because our law enforcement and intelligence agencies — out of fear of certain politicians on the left, the ACLU and the media that supports them — will continue to ignore, play down or outright reject the obvious. The obvious being that the terrorists who mean to strike into our homeland will only come from one source: the Muslim faith.

At this point, I should state that I strongly believe the Muslim faith to be one of peace and honor. Among its many positive aspects, Islam preaches against the killing of innocent civilians. That said, is it racist or wrong to wonder whether a minute minority among that faith in our nation, might sympathize with monsters who choose to twist a great religion to fit their vile beliefs? Many politicians on the left, the ACLU and many in the media would resoundingly proclaim that it is wrong to ask that question. Further, they would state that any “profiling” of Muslims or Arabs is not only wrong, but “un-American.” Hence the fear and caution exhibited by those charged to protect us from the now, very imaginable.

That brings up another truth the left chooses not to face: unless this country wants to give up some of its civil liberties, then it will be almost impossible to stop the vermin elevating themselves to the level of “terrorist.” After the recent terror bombings in London, it was reported that potentially one percent of native Muslims in Great Britain, might sympathize with al Qaeda or other terrorist groups. If you argue, as I believe, that 99 percent of all Muslims living in the United States are good, law-abiding citizens who were horrified by the events of September 11, as well as the bombings in Madrid and London, then that would seem like comforting news.

However, that number can also be turned around. Estimates are that there are as many as 6 million Muslim Americans living in the United States.

Should one percent of that number sympathize with al Qaeda or other terrorists, then you are talking about 60,000 individuals. Let’s give a very reasonable benefit of the doubt and say that 99.9 percent of all Muslim Americans are disgusted by the heinous crimes being committed by these terrorists. With that almost absolute number, there still could be 6,000 Muslims, already in our nation who support the obscene. Six thousand.

There were only 19 hijackers.

Alarmingly, the threat of political correctness is not just confined to profiling, or the left. When a high-level U.S. government official was asked why more could not be done on the U.S.-Mexican border to keep out the thousands of “non-Mexicans” streaming into our country, he responded that it was not possible because of “political and cultural reasons.” Translation: “We don’t want to offend any voting groups.” National security sacrificed in the name of cheap, partisan politics is a disgrace. No matter what the administration.

The dedicated men and women who work 24/7 to protect our nation are to be commended and thanked. Some in the leadership positions, however, need to be questioned. While vigilant, some are far removed from the reality of everyday life and as such, their conclusions can be flawed.

Last August, two days after I wrote a syndicated column saying that I thought that when terrorists did strike again, they would hit our subways and buses, I met with a high-level official in our government tasked to prevent further terrorist attacks in our nation. After hearing about the banks, government buildings and other “high-profile” targets this individual wanted protected, I mentioned that I thought the obvious was being discounted. That the terrorists would go after our subways and buses. The official smiled politely, took my question, and mentioned that while the subway and buses were a concern, they were not a top priority.

Unlike that individual, who is squired around Washington everyday in a town car, I take public transportation. I know the security in Washington and New York is virtually non-existent on these systems. Common sense, as evidenced in London and Madrid, supports that the terrorists will take the targets we give them. As of today, our government officials have wrapped a huge red bow around the public transportation systems that they themselves never ride.

I think very highly of George W. Bush and believe history will record him as one of our greatest presidents. A man who made, and makes, difficult decisions in the best interest of our nation. As such, and in light of the tragic events in London, I believe this great president needs to go before the American people and better prepare them for what we all hope will never happen.

But should it and every responsible intelligence official believes that our homeland will be struck again then our citizens will react that much better because their president calmly, methodically, and respectfully, outlined the consequences of another shoe dropping on our soil.

Terrorism can be defeated. But only if we acknowledge the obvious.

Douglas MacKinnon served as press secretary to former Sen. Bob Dole. He is also a former White House and Pentagon official and an author.

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