Recently by Susan Westfall: Isn't It Interesting…
9/11 was a terrible, tragic event. The innocent lives lost that day should be mourned and remembered always, as well as the causes that led up to such tragedy. Al-Qaida hated our freedoms and prosperity, we were told. And so they perpetrated upon innocent thousands what can only be described as a heinous crime by anyone’s standards. By waging war on Al-Qaida “over there” we were told, we wouldn’t have to fight them “over here”. The military was duly sent off by President Bush (after Congress abdicated it’s duty to him) to fight Al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Iraq, thereby keeping us safe “over here.”
And yet…America is still not safe. Despite the Patriot Act, FISA, the DHS, the TSA, FBI, CIA, fusion centers and our troops “fighting them over there, so as not to fight them over here” for ten years now…we are still not safe. Even with the citizenry encouraged to report on the activities of anyone “suspicious” in their communities through programs like the “see something, say something,” endeavor…we find we are still not safe yet. Even with Afghanistan and Iraq reduced to rubble, Al-Qaida’s numbers decimated to ”fewer than 50” core members in Pakistan and a few “offshoots” in other trouble spots like Yemen, and Osama Binladen finally dead…we haven’t yet been able to achieve safety. Things are proposed on an almost daily basis to make us safer, although if this 2004 BBC documentary is correct, Al-Qaida was never much to worry about being safe from in the first place, but I digress.
Apparently the real issue to be addressed ten years after 9/11, according to Ms. Malkin, is the lack of proper profiling policies in our institutions, especially those responsible for educating the next generation. Our elementary school teachers she laments, mentioning specifically those of her own second grade daughter, aren’t willing or able to properly instruct her daughter on the finer points of profiling by pointing out and naming the “evil masterminds of Islamic terrorism” and their heirs, implying that if we don’t take this lesson to heart and implement her suggestions, we will never be safe.
Now, of course I’m not completely sure – official stories can change dynamically and often it would seem – but I seem to clearly remember that the nineteen evil men who carried out 9/11 were vaporized within the airplanes they hijacked to commit their heinous act. Furthermore, the accused mastermind of 9/11 has been “swimming with the fishes” since May 1st of this year. Since both the evil men, as well as the officially named and accused evil mastermind of the tragedy that was 9/11, are now all quite dead I can only assume that by “heirs” Ms. Malkin believes the direct descendents of these particular men must be pointed out, named (to all elementary students) and watched carefully (again by all present day elementary students and maybe everyone else for good measure) for generations to come, perhaps till their line of ancestry dies out. If not that, then by including the word “Islamic” in her descriptor of the “heirs of terrorism”, she is basically saying that any who call themselves Muslim are to be pointed out, named as enemies, and watched forever. Applying such reasoning, Ms. Malkin should have called for eternal vigilance on all white Christians as heirs to the crimes of Timothy McVeigh, or at least on his direct line of descendents. Funny, even God will not punish one man for the sins of another, much less billions for the sins of twenty.
Leaving aside the dubious premise upon which Ms. Malkin’s article is based, I have to recognize that she is quite right about at least a few things. “Freedom, is not free.” And it does require eternal vigilance and a proper education. However, the vigilance of the American people should be focused, first and foremost, on their own governing bodies to prevent the theft of their liberties during times of crisis and peace alike. With a properly functioning Constitutional government attending to only its authorized duties, the borders are sure to be well protected and its armies will not be standing in, or occupying by force, other countries. Hence the inevitable “blowback” recognized by both the CIA and the 9/11 commissions as a major cause of America’s greatest tragedy in recent memory, will be infinitely less likely to be repeated.
Again, I agree wholeheartedly with Ms. Malkin’s idea that a proper education is needed for the people to be effective in their vigilance. However, the protection and safety of the American people will not be brought about instituting profiling and the teaching of distrust, intolerance, and hatred in its schools. In fact, the curricula advocated for with these ideas would in essence mimic the very curricula that the “Madrassas” are accused of employing to create hoards of crazed terrorists like the ones who perpetrated 9/11. An endless “War on Terror” will certainly be an achievable goal, if schools were to take such advice, instead of teaching distasteful “touchy-feely” ideas like peace.
I would suggest that Ms. Malkin worry less about changing the curriculua in America’s elementary schools to include more about centuries old Middle-Eastern history and concentrate instead on instituting honest, centuries old American history minus the usual “our government is magnificent and all knowing” whitewash applied now for so long. Teach American children about the real ideas of the Constitution. That all government action should be for the protection of their liberties. That they are sovereign over their government, always. That nullification is a tool and an inherent right of the people(s) and an inherent duty of the state(s). Teach them that assigning individuals, who are already equal before God, to special interest groups “to help them” causes strife, promotes envy, and divides the people…instead of equalizing “special” issues that were never unequal in the first place. Teach them that the greatest presidents have been those that kept and maintained peace and not those that started and carried out wars. Teach them about real economics and not Keynesian tom-foolery and hogwash. Teach them critical thinking skills, not critical opinion-giving skills. Teach them phonics and actual math, not “whole-language” and “fuzzy-math”. Above all teach them respect for the application of the rule of law to everyone in the land. That is the kind of eduction that will provide safety from the enemies who are destroying these United State(s). The real destroyers of the American dream are domestic and have been much more effective, for a far longer time, and to a disgustingly greater extent than any crazed jihadist, or even many groups of them, could ever dream of being. Wake up Ms. Malkin – the enemy you fear is attacking from with-in, not with-out. It could even be said that you, at this moment, are your own worst enemy.
Reprinted with permission from The Weasel Radar.
Susan Westfall [send her mail] is a mother, a libertarian, and an educator.