The Times of India`s incisive take on the new National security strategy [PDF], was Homegrown extremism to be new focus of US security strategy (PTI , May 27, 2010). That gives rise, on Memorial Day, to considerations of who`s protecting the Homeland, who they`re protecting it for, and who from.
Memorial Day came into being after the Civil War, as “Decoration Day”, a day for memorializing the honored dead, of whom there were a great many, by decorating their graves with flowers.
Because America remained divided, there were actually two Memorial Days celebrated—many parts of the South still proclaim “Confederate Memorial Day” on a different date. The women of Columbus, Mississippi famously decorated the graves of soldiers on both sides in April of 1866, giving rise to a celebrated poem by Francis Miles Finch:
No more shall the war cry sever,
Or the winding rivers be red;
They banish our anger forever
When they laurel the graves of our dead!
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Love and tears for the Blue,
Tears and love for the Gray.
There have been enough foreign wars since then that Northern and Southern bodies are found in military cemeteries in about equal measure. That North and South were fighting external enemies together was part of the Great Reconciliation that is described in Paul H. Buck`s 1937 book, The Road To Reunion 1865-1900, which you can download for free from Archive.org. (This book is now unpopular—and so is the actual post-Civil War reconciliation.)
As part of the reconciliation, Congress in 1878 passed the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids, roughly speaking and subject to certain exceptions, using American soldiers on American citizens. It was Congress`s way of saying “Sorry!” for Reconstruction and the Force Bills, and promising not to do it again.
(When the National Guard is deployed for riot control, as at Kent State and other Sixties riots, it`s usually under the authority of the Governor of the state.)
Which brings us to the problem of Homeland Security—most people in Congress don`t think that the Army should be used to defend the southern border, and many of them think that this is illegal, under the Posse Comitatus Act, which, as I`ve said, is about not using American troops on Americans. I keep telling people this is ridiculous—protecting countries from invasion is what armies are for.
But then there`s the question of “homegrown terrrorists”—who mostly, at best, transplanted terrorists, in the sense that some of them were born in the USA, but have been raised as jihadis, by mostly immigrant parents. It`s a simple fact there are lot of people in America right now who aren`t Americans.
As reported by the Times of India, the “homegrown” terrorists that the National Security Strategy is now supposed to focus on were described in a speech by John Brennan, who works directly with the President Obama on Homeland Security.
When I hear a man in his position talk about homegrown terrorists and extremists, I always worry that he`s going lose focus on the actual Islamic terrorists, and start concentrating on people, like, well, us here at VDARE.COM. But actually, Brennan was talking about the real thing here. Mentioned in his speech are, (I`ve extracted the names and added descriptions)
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian who had a bomb in his underwear
Adam Gadahn an American Jewish convert to Islam, based in Yemen
Anwar al-Awlaki, born in Las Cruces when his Yemeni father was a foreign student, now based in Yemen
Somali Americans from Minnesota traveling to fight in Somalia
“Jihad Jane,” charged with conspiring to murder a Danish cartoonist, (a white—blonde—American convert to Islam)
David Headley, the “Chicago man” charged with helping to plan the Mumbai attacks—a Pakistani-American, originally Daood Sayed Gilani
Five “Virginia men” who went to Pakistan seeking terrorist training, (their names are Waqir Khan, Ramy Zamzam, Umar Chaudhry, Ahmad A. Minni, and Aman Hasan Yemer, so they`re not what Robert E. Lee called “Virginia men”)
Daniel Patrick Boyd of North Carolina, a white convert to Islam, who “conspired to murder U.S. military personnel”
Najibullah Zazi, born in Afghanistan, plotted to bomb the New York Subway
Faisal Shahzad, plotted to bomb Times Square
Brennan also mentioned, not by name, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad— African-American Muslim convert, ("The murder of the military recruiter in Arkansas last year") and Nidal Malik Hasan, a Virginia-born Muslim whose parents immigrated from Jordan in 1970, who committed the "senseless slaughter of 13 innocent Americans at Fort Hood."
This full list, which Brennan did not spell out, makes it absolutely obvious that there are two things driving so-called "homegrown" terror—immigration and Islam.
Some of these people are recent immigrants, some are the children of post-1965 immigrants, and some of them have come under the influence of immigrants. It`s all part of the transformation of the America that used to be, into the America of today.
For example, "Jihad Jane" is a white woman from small-town Pennsylvania, (Pennsburg) which is in the Lehigh Valley, where the jobs used to be. Googling Pennsburg Mosques, I discovered that there isn`t a mosque in Pennsburg, population less than three thousand, but there are a lot of mosques near there, including an Islamic Association Of the Lehigh Valley. That isn`t the bitter, clinging Pennsylvania that we used to know.
Protecting the United States from the modern so-called "home-grown" terrorists can`t be done without control of immigration, and control of the border. The 1200 National Guard troops could be the start of that. As I`ve said, there`s no problem with using the Regular Army to guard the border. The Mexican Government uses its Regular Army, on the south side, and also to guard its Frontera Sur.
And a lot of things can be done to control immigration. But they`re not likely to be done by John Brennan and the Obama administration.
In Brennan`s speech about homegrown terror, the only time the word "immigrants" appears is when gets to a heartwarming story about speaking to the Islamic Law Students Association at NYU how and they all told him how much they love the United States…and how much they resent what they suspect to be racial profiling.
And I would bet money that the National Guard troops on the border won`t have loaded guns.
So on Memorial Day, think of
- The troops who are off fighting for other people`s countries, and who aren`t guarding the border.
- The few troops who are on the border, and don`t have guns or ammunition because their commanders are more afraid of gun accidents than of the enemy.
- And the dead who didn`t die for Open Borders
Previous Memorial Day Columns
- May 26, 2001 Memorializing…Guess What? By Chilton Williamson Jr.
- May 22, 2003 On Memorial Day, Remember The Dead—And The Living By Michelle Malkin
- May 25, 2003 A Memorial Day Meditation On Mesopotamia, Mexico And The Border Problem By Steve Sailer
- May 28, 2004 An Immigrant Bright Spot On Memorial Day By Joe Guzzardi
- May 23, 2005 Immigration Summit on Memorial Day [Joe Guzzardi Blog]
- May 30, 2005 Cashing in on Memorial Day [Dave Gorak Blog]
- May 26, 2006 McCain Musings On Memorial Day Weekend By Joe Guzzardi
- May 27, 2007 Fort Dix, Memorial Day, And Immigration By James Fulford
- May 23, 2008 View From Lodi CA: Memorial Day In My English As a Second Language Class By Joe Guzzardi
- May 22, 2009 On Memorial Day: A Look Into My Family Scrapbook By Joe Guzzardi