Saturday, January 01, 2005
There's A Reason Why That Quote Sits On The Masthead
People seem to forget all too quickly about the failures of racial profiling in the Beltway sniper case, and that profiling might to partially to blame for the intelligence failures that led to the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks. Keep in mind that while Muslim extremists were setting up operations in the US, the FBI was still cracking-down on who it thought would be responsible for terrorist violence in the US - midwestern Christian white males. I think that perhaps profiling has its place when applied on a very short-term basis, but criminals will quickly adapt to and work around any narrow profile that is established by law enforcement. When applied over any considerable length of time (say, a decade), I just don't see them having any use against an enemy that's willing to adapt.
So, if profiling might not work, why not just move on to lockin' up the bastards? Both Power Line and Sisu made note of the Harvard Magazine article on conservative intellectual Daniel Pipes, which refers to him as being "gentle-voiced" and reminds readers that Pipes often claims "Militant Islam is the problem and moderate Islam the solution" to respond to critics who refer to him as an "Islamophobe" (that's the first time I've heard that term). Well, dang, the guy almost seems reasonable, right? It turns out that he's right alongside Michelle Malkin, making the case for the internment of Muslims. Or tries to, at least. He starts off somewhat reasonably:
For years, it has been my position that the threat of radical Islam implies an imperative to focus security measures on Muslims. If searching for rapists, one looks only at the male population. Similarly, if searching for Islamists (adherents of radical Islam), one looks at the Muslim population.
Fair enough (although last I checked, we don't lock up every male because rape still exists). But then he spends the next two paragraphs contradicting himself by stating:
Specifically, 44 percent of Americans believe that government authorities
should direct special attention toward Muslims living in the United States,
either by registering their whereabouts, profiling them, monitoring their
mosques or infiltrating their organizations.
That's the good news; the bad news is the near-universal disapproval of
this realism. Leftist and Islamist organizations have so successfully influenced
public opinion that polite society shies away from endorsing a focus on
Which is it - does 44 percent of the public support "special attention" towards Muslims, or is there "near-universal disapproval". Um, you can't have both. And last time I checked, it matters not a bit how much of the public supports such actions, as we are governed by the rights of individuals, not the opinion of the majority.
The rest of the article basically runs back through some filtered history of the Japanese internment during WWII, and the connection between then and now is never explictly spelled-out so the reader is left wondering exactly what this whole exercise was all about. But I think we can figure it out, and one has to wonder what we gain by locking up people from any one particular ethic group simply because some members of that group killed some people. I think it'd be relatively easy to prove that for most in the US, it's more likely that you'll be killed by a member of your own race than from another, and hopefully most people in the US would be smart enough not to call for mass internment of their own race. So then why call for the internment of any racial group?
UPDATE: The Thomas Paine quote I reference in the title of this post no longer sits on the masthead, so here it is: "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself. "