The Wall Street Journal And The Arab On The Airplane
Last week I
column about Bush`s Arab bodyguard, Walied Shater,
whose exclusion from an American Airlines flight has
been the subject of numerous articles, none of which
asked the basic question:
Bush have an Arab bodyguard? Aren`t we at war with the
I got some annoyed and angry email
and critical responses from
Ron Unz and James Taranto of the
Wall Street Journal (wow!).
Ron Unz here:
nonsense is starting to get completely out of hand.
The current edition of VDARE.COM
suggests that based on the evidence of a fictional
spy-novel, we should bar any Arab-American from
serving as a Secret Service agent guarding the
President…. If most terrorists are Arabs, but only 1 in
10,000 Arabs is a terrorist, profiling Arabs is a very
poor strategy, and almost certainly counter-productive.
But leaving this aside, the logic
VDARE.COM has some very troubling corollaries.
First, as I have
previously noted, the American ethnic group which
almost certainly has the longest and worst record of
anti-American treachery and spying are Jews,
[VDARE.COM note: Just so you
don`t think he`s going off the deep end, he means the
Rosenbergs.] so perhaps all Jews should be
summarily expelled from government service…
Second, since an absolutely
astonishing fraction of America`s black population are
either convicted criminals or have immediate family
members who are convicted criminals (not to mention
anti-American Farrakhan-type supporters), obviously no
blacks should be allowed to guard the President or
perhaps even serve in the police….
Ron Unz says
here that we`re acting like the anti-Semitic and
anti-black racists. But there is this distinction:
neither African-Americans nor Jews are at war with the
United States. There`s a difference between the
assimilation of African-Americans and Jews, both of
whom have been in North America since the 17th
century, and people like the Arabs who just got here,
most arriving after 1965, and may well still be loyal to
Unz also says:
most terrorists are Arabs, but only 1 in 10,000 Arabs is
a terrorist, profiling Arabs is a very poor strategy,
and almost certainly counter-productive.
I don`t mean to
go all mathematical on you, but you need sell a lot more
than 10,000 airline tickets to make up for one kamikaze
747. Not all Arabs are Arab terrorists, but all Arab
terrorists are Arabs. Airline pilots have not only a
right, but a duty, to be suspicious.
estimate is that approximately 15 per cent of Muslims
world-wide are fanatical enough to support this kind of
thing. A Daily Telegraph
poll of Muslims in England gave even worse figures:
an Asian radio station in London, recently canvassed 500
Muslims living in Greater London. The ages of the sample
were between 20 and 45. The station reports 91% of those
responding believe the current war in Afghanistan is a
war between the Christian West and the Islamic East. 98%
say they would not fight for Britain in such a war, but
48% said they would fight for Al-Qaeda or for Islam.
(Wonder what that kind of survey would find in the US?)
any government occupation, you must assume that
foreigners are likely to have a special loyalty to their
native country. Walied Shater is an American citizen, a
necessity for Secret Service, but I don`t know if he
was born in the US, or how he was brought up. Taking the
oath of citizenship doesn`t magically make you loyal.
There is an
unanswerable case for checking into the family
connections of law enforcement agents and military
personnel. The espionage case Ron Unz refers to is the
famous Atom Bomb Spy case. A draftee named
David Greenglass, a former member of the Young
Communist League, had a brother-in-law named Julius
Rosenberg, who gave the atom bomb to Joseph Stalin.
The danger of
the Young Communist League was its loyalty to Russia,
which its members cared more about than they did about
the United States. Is militant Islam the same kind of
thing as the Communist Party?
The other quote that caught my
attention from your writing was "Officials need to
scrutinize the speech, associations, and activities of
potential visitors or immigrants for any signs of
Islamist allegiances and keep out anyone they suspect of
such ties." To some that might sound an awful lot like
old anticommunist rhetoric.
What`s wrong with that?
Well, that`s my question. Was that by design?
Our policy for decades has been based on a benign view
of visitors and would-be immigrants. That`s foolish. And
if Sept. 11 couldn`t persuade you of that, nothing will.
There are lot of people out there who dislike this
country and want to do harm to it. And our immigration
procedures have done nothing to protect us from that.
They have looked at ordinary criminality and they have
not looked at ideas and beliefs and I believe that they
should. We do have laws dating back to the `50s and I
think they should be made operative.
Look, I like this country as it is and I don`t want it
to turn into something quite different. What I`m
advocating is a means to protect, roughly speaking, the
status quo. If you want to see an Islamist country, then
you will have the opposite view from mine and more power
to you. The danger is within. If we don`t wake up to
that now, we will have further attacks and blows that
will wake us up later. I would like to wake us up now.
In the Wall
Street Journal, under the heading “The
Nativists Are Restless,” James Taranto
One heartening feature of the post-Sept. 11 political
landscape has been the absence of a generalized backlash
against immigrants. You`d think a horrific sneak attack
19 foreigners on American soil would be a perfect
opportunity for the close-the-borders crowd,
comment: The converse of what we call the
Borders Lobby, of which the WSJ is
worst example.] but they`ve scarcely been
heard from. Of course, their argument wouldn`t really
stand up; it`s preposterous on its face to suggest that
Mexican gardeners are a national-security threat, even
if Arab flight students are.
[VDARE.COM comment: Of
course, it`s the process by which they enter
that constitutes the threat. Is that so hard to grasp?]
It also may be that the
anti-immigrant folks are getting ignored because they
have a tendency to be cranks. Evidence of the latter
hypothesis can be found on Peter Brimelow`s Web site,
VDARE.COM, which features an
article by James Fulford on Walied Shater, the
Arab-American Secret Service man who is threatening to
make a federal case out of his run-in with an American
Airlines pilot. We have
criticized Shater`s behavior, but Fulford
objects to his ethnicity…This is utterly cracked.
Shater is no traitor; no one has accused him of being
anything worse than a jackass.
here is what constitutes a reasonable doubt. I don`t
know Shater is a traitor. But I don`t know that he
isn`t, either. Nor does Taranto.
It is entirely
reasonable that Arab-Americans, like Communists, or
German and Japanese Americans in WWII, should not,
unless proved innocent, to be trusted with the plans to
the Atom Bomb, or the keys to the President`s Bedroom.
What`s news is that anyone should doubt it.
appeared with representatives of
presents itself as a kind of NAACP or ADL for Muslims,
but which, according to Middle East Forum`s
Daniel Pipes, is actually a radical group trying to
create an Islamic state in the U.S..
Shater should know that, both as an Arab-American and as
a Secret Service agent, even if his politically-correct
principal, President Bush,
doesn`t know it himself.
principle on which the Secret Service is organized is
that no one is to be trusted with the President`s life
except the Secret Service. The SS will search
whole audiences to make sure that they`re not armed,
even in states like Vermont, where there`s no law
against carrying a pistol, and no reason to suspect
anyone even if they are. The Secret Service has
repeatedly been guilty of arrogance, acting like a
Praetorian Guard that`s above the common folk. Shater`s
behavior on the plane was probably an example of that.
Taranto talks of
“cranks.” But I`m not the only one who wonders if Shater
should be guarding the President. Ann Coulter does too.
Somehow, I don`t think James Taranto wants to tangle
with her, unless he wants to be classed with the
man should not be allowed near the president with a
loaded gun. At the least, he`s an immature nut. At
worst, he`s a ticking time bomb, in a simmering rage at
America`s supposed mistreatment of Muslims…There is no
principled basis for opposition to using Arab appearance
as a factor in airport screening procedures.
Another “crank,” John Ringo, who
actually opposes the profiling aspect and feels the
pilot overstepped his authority in ordering Shater off
the plane, nevertheless
writes in the NY Post:
Agent Shatter needs to be sent back to chasing
counterfeiters. I don`t want anyone who loses their
temper, as he did according to witnesses, guarding my
president. And I certainly don`t want anyone guarding my
president who thinks he is holier than I.
immigration enthusisast “cranks” at the Weekly
Standard, under the heading “To Heck With Him”
… For an armed agent of the Treasury
Department to demand access to an airplane by claiming
to be acting with the authority of the White House, as
if he were some American-style Tonton Macoute, is an
offense to citizens of a free country.
Whether someone with a hair-trigger willingness to
resort to civil-rights grievance suits is the best
person to defend the chief executive is open to debate.
Whether it`s okay to bully one`s way onto an airplane,
using threats of presidential reprisals, is not. If
Shater indeed acted in such a way, his spending a single
minute more in the president`s employ would make us mad
as heck. This is, in any civilized scheme of values, a
Fulford had been around in 1944, would he have
complained that the supreme allied commander in Europe
was a "German"?
came from a family that had been in the U.S. since
1740. There was very
little German immigration – or any immigration – in the
generation before World War II. But in World War I,
Americans were indeed intensely suspicious of
recently-arrived German immigrants – click
here. And not without reason – as my last source
notes, “many were sympathetic to the cause of their
Ugly, of course.
But that`s what you get if you mix mass immigration and
war. And isn`t that what the Wall Street Journal
January 16, 2002