Friday, July 22, 2005

Incoming...and Outgoing

It shouldn't be a surprise that it's come to this, given the fact that, with the Internet and cellular phones and blackberry and worldwide communication, the world has shrunk. So the fact that Muslim extremists are willingly blowing themselves up, together with civilians of their host nations, shouldn't be a shock.

Having had twenty-four hours to process yesterday's anniversarial bombings in London, as well as the shooting of an unarmed but unresponsive Asian man by London authorities on a train in the Stockwell Underground station this morning, I'm ready to proceed with my theory and some thoughts on how this might play out over the next decade or two or five.

First, despite police forces around the world who deny it, every police force from cities on up employ some measure of racial profiling. Less than ten years ago, the New Jersey State Police were admonished publicly for admitting they employ racial profiling tactics in who they pull over on the New Jersey Turnpike. Essentially, they more often than not stop black males under the age of 30 with more frequency than any other demographic; while this sounds, on its surface, extremely prejudiced and heavily biased, it doesn't mention the fact that Newark, which is smack in the middle of the New Jersey Turnpike, is the most heavily-inundated city in this nation for carjacking and car theft. There have been a number of (bad) films made about this phenomenon, but for the most part, the statistics indicate that one in four drivers will have their vehicle stolen while as a resident or frequent traveler through Newark. More than likely, the vehicle will be stolen from said individual while they are waiting at a stop light or about to enter their vehicle. And the majority of carjackings and thefts are, based on statistics, perpetrated by -- you guessed it -- black males under the age of 30. So while the racial profiling admission by the NJ State Police seems predatory, it is a result of serving and addressing a phenomenon within the community they are tasked to protect.

That brings us to our current problem, that of cells of foreign terrorists embedded in Western democratic nations, presumably ticking like time bombs in their mission(s) to deter, upset and intimidate said nations. The loss of less than sixty people, combined, between yesterday's bombing and that two weeks prior, isn't the kind of catastrophic loss that changes generations or inspires people to rewrite history books. However, having said that, the phenomenon -- and the possible ramping-up in frequency and destruction as a result thereof -- is a significant concern. To wit, riding the subway during off-hours is a gamble, due to the possibility of mugging or other assault. But even as remote a threat as another attack by a suicide bomber is, there are people in London (as well as New York) who will be extremely reticent to go back down to ride an underground train as a result.

And even with British authorities releasing pictures of the four suspects from yesterday's bombings (one of whom ironically was photographed wearing a "New York" jersey), there are a seemingly infinite number of extremists who would be honored to undertake a suicide mission, even if that meant taking the lives of women and children. To them, this is a war: for us to try to go about our daily lives as if nothing has happened is only partially reasonable. On the surface, for us to continue with our lives and, largely speaking, ignore these incidents, will demonstrate to the individuals who perpetrate these actions that we, as a nation, as a people and as a democracy will not be intimidated by extremist animals who belong in an era five centuries in the past. However, bombs on buses and trains are one thing; how can a nation ignore an attack encompassing the scope of 9/11? And what happens when these animals one day manage to obtain a nuclear weapon of some sort? Even a so-called "dirty bomb" of mild strength can affect several city blocks and anyone in the path thereof. That cannot simply be ignored.

How can this problem be addressed so as to effect a solution and improve the situation as opposed to merely awaiting the next incident to occur? I think, as repulsive as it sounds, we ought to look at possibility of deporting or interning many of the immigrants who have come to the US via the "hotspot" nations. While the internment in camps of Japanese people living in the United States during World War II was repulsive and certainly reminiscent of Hitler's concentration camps, the nation was at war and was not willing to be attacked from within, so to speak.

Unfortunately, whether we willingly acknowledge that Iraq is far from the only war front in which the West is currently engaged, the fact that there are extremists boarding buses and subways in London and detonating bombs, to me, suggests this is a war. And while it has not yet happened on US soil, the proliferation of subways and buses as targets of this activity would not surprise anyone. Ditto suicide and car bombs in major metropolitan cities like New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, etc. These are problems the Israelis are faced with each and every day, and their solution is to close their borders and to imprison known offenders and to keep tabs on possible "recruits." While this activity has not yet occurred here on that same scale, it very well might one day reach that status.

And while I am aware my suggestion that immigrants (and even US-born muslims) be considered for deportation or internment is both extreme and repulsive, I think that, short of US policy being altered to permanently bar the entry of muslims of all beliefs into this country, the fact is that a small (minute, actually) segment of that society represents (without denial on their part) a clear and present danger to the people of this nation.

In answer to those who suggest the above-noted theory is contrary to the freedom of religion as guaranteed by the Constitution, my answer is three-fold: first, people in this nation illegally or as non-citizens are not and should not be afforded the protection of the Constitution. If they have not sworn their allegiance to it, then why should they receive its protection? Second, if an individual's freedom of speech is restricted when said speech poses an imminent danger to others (shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater is the stock example), that freedom is temporarily rescinded. So why should one's freedom of religion -- a religion which apparently condones and encourages the killing of women and children -- be protected? Third, if an individual is at war against another power, upon his capture he is not granted the same rights as a citizen or temporary resident of that nation; and since the extremist muslims in this country are, at least on some level, protected by others, they should all be regared as a threat until their intentions are clarified.

Anyone who believes I'm singling out Muslims because of an anti-Islam bias is incorrect; I believe Muslims, especially those who have expressed their religious beliefs by killing women and children and by slamming airplanes into buildings have singled themselves out. So I've devised a few basic rules which, for me, ably address my thoughts on how we should proceed in this particular situation.

Anyone in this country illegally (ie by falsified documentation) should immediately be deported or put into a prison (like Gitmo) or a camp like that which was created for Cuban refugees during the Carter Administration.

Anyone who is found to be plotting against the United States or other Western interests on US soil (and evidence of same is verified by review by the Supreme Court) should be imprisoned in solitary confinement, denied representation of any kind and should expect to spend the rest of his/her days in prison, without the Koran and without access to humanity.

I acknowledge my recommended "solution" to this problem is drastic, repulsive and vile. But I think those words more adequately describe the problem than my solution thereto.

And unless we as a people, a society and a nation are willing to undergo these types of drastic measures, we will have to bury the victims of our nonchalance. And personally, I would much prefer the former as much as I despise the latter.

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