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  Paul's Column Archive
December 28, 2005
By All Means, Monitor My Arabic Conversations

Since September 11, elements of the American Left have claimed to be fighting for my rights. At first, they tended to include organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a collection of irrational idealists taken seriously only by the tyrannical half of our country’s judiciary system. More recently, however, the hardnosed civil libertarians’ ranks have been joined by a slightly more mainstream faction of the American Left: Congressional Democrats.


Omitting the minor detail about America being engaged in a global war on terror on which its survival is wholly dependent, the Left has taken it upon itself to stand up for the privacy of all Arabs and Muslims in the United States. This campaign would certainly be a noble one had it not been the case that all nineteen 9/11 hijackers, as well as most terrorists engaged in an anti-American struggle around the world, are in fact Arab, Muslim, or both.


What is truly striking, however, is that not only did I not ask for the Left’s protection from the imaginary assault on my rights by the “evil” U.S. government, but I in fact am offended (as much as I dislike the use of this word) that they are using me for their political gain and invented righteousness. What they do not understand is that as a young male Arab immigrant, and as an American patriot, I fully expect the government of the United States to have the right to take any and all appropriate measures to ensure my security. Anything less, and I would consider the Bush administration a betrayer of its duties to protect its constituents.


The Left, knowingly for the most part, is working against the interests of the nation, and by extension, against mine as well. As difficult as this may be for the ACLU to understand, I really have little problem with intelligence agents finding out that I checked out the latest Harry Potter book from the local library if such flexible intelligence-gathering abilities would prevent a Boeing 787 from flying into my office building.


Arab Americans and Muslim Americans are Americans. If they have to take one for the team, it should be their proud duty to do so. It must be noted that what they are facing is in no way near what patriotic Japanese Americans had to deal with during World War II. While tens of thousands of innocent civilians were interned in relocation camps in that conflict, the sacrifice demanded from Arab and Muslim Americans today is extraordinarily less significant. Agents from the intelligence community are only targeting suspected terrorists, and as such, an extremely minute proportion of innocent civilians would have, say, their conversations about grocery shopping monitored. What a catastrophic stain on America’s human rights record!


I heartily accept the risk of letting the U.S. government know what brand of hummus I am purchasing, if such an inconvenience is part of intelligence procedures that will ensure the survival of the greatest nation in the planet’s history. Democrats, however, must stop misleading Americans about the nature of the Patriot Act provisions, the renewal of which they have taken upon themselves to block. The Patriot Act allows such actions as wiretaps on the phones of suspected terrorists, and secret searches of their library and business records. It does not allow internment of civilians in the Midwest or torture akin to that of the Nazis or the Soviets, as Democratic Senator Dick Durbin believes America is guilty of doing.


In light of the New York Times’ recent story on President Bush authorizing wiretaps without judicial warrants, Democrats should also remind Americans that their beloved Clinton administration claimed the right to violate at least as many civil liberties during its tenure. Clinton’s Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick insisted, “The Department of Justice believes -- and the case law supports -- that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes.” The current fuss, therefore, is clearly nothing more than an ideological and partisan approach to undermine the Bush administration.


In refusing to preserve the Patriot Act, and as is apparent in their unjustifiable alarm about the Bush administration’s secret but valuable wiretaps, the Democrats are using civilians such as myself to further their agenda. In doing so, they are threatening the country’s security, and damaging my image and many other Arab Americans’ images by casting us as a self-victimized minority that is unwilling to cooperate with the U.S. government in order to save ourselves and others.


This behavior must stop. It is evident that the Democrats are endangering national security for partisan purposes. I want no part of it. I love my country, and by God, I expect a wiretap on my phone if that’s what it takes to save it.

© 2005 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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