After the Brussels attacks we now have both Republican front-runners giving crazy talk speeches on alienating our Muslim American citizens. I understand where the civil liberties folks and constitutional scholars are coming from and those are important considerations in the now crazy talk debate, but its not the really really important consideration.
The important consideration is that if one were to write a manifesto on how best to radicalize a certain segment of the American population you would turn to the playbook being espoused by both Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Treat Muslims wanting to enter the US substantially differently then others, run police patrols and “secure” Muslim neighborhoods-what ever that means and we will have a disaster on our hands. Ask our law enforcement folk to treat a segment of our citizenry differently then others because we don’t really trust them and you will find in short order the very thing you did not want, you would then have.
This is nuts. I understand we are concerned about what has happened in Paris and Brussels and will probably happen in Europe again. Why is that? Two major reasons that do not exist in the US; the first is that immigrants into Europe over the past 50 yrs. have never really assimilated into the predominate culture. The American experience is much different then the European. When folks immigrate to America within in two to three generations they are fully integrated into society. Yes, they retain a bit of their heritage but first they are American. Immigrants to Europe, for a variety of reasons: cultural, economic and political seem to never fully incorporate into the larger community. Most major European cities, some more then others, have enclaves of people who have lived for generations in those neighborhoods and never fully assimilated into the larger society. It is in those enclaves that radical Jihadists appear.
The second reason, which our law enforcement community has talked about extensively, is that European law enforcement has, for years ignored and dismissed the growing radical threat to their societies. When major attacks occur as in Brussels, they were woefully unprepared to respond in advance and after the fact. Meanwhile in the US we are fortunate because since 9/11 our law enforcement, both local and federal, has improved dramatically.
Could such atrocities still occur her? Of course, but it’s dramatically less likely to happen.
Radical Islam is a tremendous danger to moderate Islam; it is a fairly great danger to Europe and to a much lessor degree a danger to us in our homeland. In the past decade, the Islamic State has killed thousands upon thousands of moderate Sunni and Shia Muslims; a few hundred Europeans have lost their lives and 24 Americans have been killed. If this doesn’t tell us who has the most to gain by reducing terrorist activities I don’t know what does. More then anything else we need to band together with moderate Muslims to eliminate this scourge from the earth.
Let’s not do really stupid stuff that only exacerbates the problem.
My final comment is where are the real experts on US foreign policy and on how to deal with these problems such as former Senator Dick Lugar and former Congressman Jim Leach? Both are Republicans, and a couple of the best experts I have ever known. Instead we have folks who talk like they have just stumbled out of a bar providing recommendations on US internal and foreign policy positions. Shame on us.