When no one is an enemy, everyone is an enemy
Michael Yon, Joan Rivers and a little boy clutching the Play-Doh his grandparents gave him. That looks like a peculiarly disparate list of people but, in fact, all three people are bound together by one thing: the TSA Department of Homeland Security.
As you already know, on Monday, the TSA Customs detained and handcuffed Michael Yon because he refused to tell them his income. (You can hear a detailed interview here.) On Sunday, the TSA an airline booted Joan Rivers, famed comedienne and 76 year old grandmother, from a flight to Costa Rica. And right before Christmas, the TSA, in full Grinch mode, confiscated a little boy’s Play-Doh, even though Play-Doh is not on the ever-lengthening list of forbidden items for flying.
The TSA Homeland Security, in its defense, would say that Yon’s passport, which shows him traveling to the world’s hot spots is suspicious; that Joan Rivers’ has too many names (Joan Rivers and her married name, Joan Rosenberg); and that Play-Doh is virtually indistinguishable from some types of plastic explosives. (What the TSA no one will ever concede, of course, is that the attack on Yon may well have been a vendetta, triggered by an article Yon wrote describing the way in which Homeland Security forced a friend of his to reveal her email password so that they could read her emails with him.)
There is a peculiar kind of logic to this reasoning: after all, everything has the potential to be a weapon. That thing over there, on the other side of the room, may look like a chair, but it can also be used to bash people over the head. The pepper container on the table can, if thrown in someone’s eyes, easily disable them. Indeed, we already know, from past experience with terrorists, that baby formula can actually be an explosive, underwear can blow up, shoes can detonate planes, and box cutters can cut throats, not just boxes.
The problem then, isn’t to identify the potential weapons, but to identify the potential weapon bearers. Again, looks can be deceiving. Everybody has the potential be dangerous. I may be a 5 ft tall, middle-aged Mom, but I also know some nasty self-defense techniques, and am surprisingly strong. That pretty blond woman in line at the airport could be a radical intent on destroying anything in her path — and wearing the explosive underwear to prove it.
The fact, though, is that suburban Jewish moms, pretty blonds, aged Jewish comediennes, famed war correspondents, and other people haven’t been wearing exploding shoes and underwear, using their babies as weapons of mass destruction, or cutting people’s throats with box cutters. Only one demographic has been doing that: Muslims.
Logic, then, would dictate that Homeland Security would expend its energies most efficiently if it would primarily target Muslims. It shouldn’t solely target Muslims, of course. It is always possible that the pretty blond, the suburban homemaker or the Jewish comedienne is a convert to Islam (otherwise, why would she commit mass murder?), and that she and her cohorts are relying on her apparent separation from Islam to make her a one woman weapon of mass destruction. An efficient anti-terrorist enterprise would therefore profile Muslims on a regular basis , while keeping a weather eye on everyone else.
But as we all know, and have known since George Bush called Islam a religion of peace (or maybe he meant a religion of pieces, usually body parts) we’re not allowed to profile Muslims. This is an enemy whose name we dare not speak. Doing so, after all, might hurt someone’s feelings. What’s so bizarre about all this is that, in the past, when cultures targeted a class within them, they did so based on propaganda and innuendo, not actual fact. For example, the Nazi war against the Jews was based on a claim that Jews were (a) seeking world domination; (b) raping blond women and (c) eating Christian babies. The problem for the Nazis, however, was that the only actual evidence of this was . . . non-existent. Jews were good citizens wherever they lived and many places were miserably poor and completely isolated from the surrounding blond, Christian population. To sustain their attack against the Jews, the Nazis had to invent facts and evidence like crazy.
The Muslims, however, unlike the Jews (or, indeed, the American blacks so often falsely accused of raping or even looking at white women) are doing something. They are blowing things up; they are hijacking planes; they are beheading people; they are writing and preaching mass murder. They are shining huge neon lights on themselves, loudly announcing their intention to destroy, in the most painful way possible, every mother’s son and daughter of us. And we, in the name of political correctness, aggressively ignore them. Has there ever before been a society that ignored the clarion call of its enemy the way we do ours?
Obama finally admitted that there was a “screw up” (and isn’t the great orator crude in his speech?), because we didn’t “connect the dots.” What he implies is that we, as a society, want to connect the dots. We don’t. We dare not. We’re more afraid of offending political sensibilities than we are of planes and buildings being immolated, with hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands, dead.
What happened to Michael Yon, Joan Rivers and one little boy is the inevitable result of our insane policy: if we concede that there is some type of war going on, but we resolutely refuse to name the enemy, than everyone becomes the enemy. Every chair and toy is a weapon, and every grandmother an aggressor. In order to fight a war, you have to have an enemy. During the Bush years, our enemy was a tactic (terrorism). That was bad enough, but now things have degraded so much that our enemy is just a result (“violence”). A culture cannot fight chimeras. It cannot take a resolute stand against . . . nothing whatsoever but weasel words.
The one thing I can say with absolute certainly is that, if we go on at this rate, we are doomed, for we will implode without our enemy ever having to touch us again.