Profiles In Cowardice

I was thinking about Southern California with all of the hubbub about unlocking the iPhones, etc. As a result of the San Bernadino shooting, the government seems to want to just tear up the Constitution and leave nothing private in our lives. I realize that there are many people in our society that are so afraid all of the time that they will happily give up their freedoms for the promise of safety. Sadly, the government is willing to make that promise to gain that control.

The fact that no government has ever been able to keep its citizens completely safe from terrorists is not part of the government’s sales pitch. In fact, the government can’t even keep itself safe from cyber terrorists or whistle blowers. Look at the supposed harm whistle blower Bradley Manning is alleged to have done. Millions of records of government misdeeds released into the ether, and all of the government’s anti-terror methods in place could not prevent their release. In spite of the calls for his execution for treason, it appears that the records released were more embarrassing than damaging. The Republic has survived.

I guess I am ruminating on the safety issue in light of the Brussels situation. I’m also trying to make sense of the responses that it has drawn from some of the candidates. Honestly, I can’t think of how you can stop a guy willing to blow himself up in the pursuit of a cause. Israel has tried for decades, and they’ve not been able to completely prevent the suicide bombers. Israel has had so much more experience in the matter than we have that it seems to me that they should be training our personnel. Particularly screening at airports. The Israelis don’t have to see you naked and expose you to gamma rays to know whether or not your carrying a weapon.

I do see a corollary between what Israel does and Ted Cruz’s call to station police in Muslim neighborhoods. I fear we would have the same effect as Israel has had. A native population that hates its oppressors. The fact that Cruz continually makes the issue of security part of a Holy War is even more disturbing to me. Cruz seems determined to call all terrorists Muslim, and all Muslims terrorists. Nothing could be further from the truth. One needs to go no further than the attacks in the United States by good “God Fearing” Christians to dispel that thinking. Think Oklahoma City bombing.

The Donald has once again shown his overwhelming ignorance by calling for a reevaluation of the United States role in NATO. His statement points out vividly how totally unprepared the Donald is for the role of most important leader in the world. Between calling for surveillance of all Muslims on American soil, and the prevention of any Muslim immigrants, the Donald has pretty well mapped out his plan for keeping America safe. Oh yeah, and drop out of NATO. I am embarrassed, and petrified.

I don’t suspect that our leaders, and our future leaders, are reacting out of complete fear for their safety. In fact, I’m sure all of them feel plenty safe. It’s what they are willing to do in the “interest of keeping us safe” that is scary.

I was renewed by President Obama’s words when he pointed out that making these bombers martyrs to a real cause would be the wrong response. Taking an inappropriate course of action, like carpet bombing the Middle East, would only strengthen the recruiting methods of the fundamentalists. I was also renewed by seeing the Belgian people out and about doing their business today. That’s where real bravery is displayed, not in some convention hall in front of sycophants.

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