C.K. Dexter Haven: You don’t believe it then?
George Kitterage: Believe what?
C.K. Dexter Haven: Well the ah, the implications of what you saw, let us say?
George Kitterage: What am I to believe?
C.K. Dexter Haven: That’s entirely up to you.
George Kitterage: I’ve got eyes, I’ve got imagination haven’t I?
C.K. Dexter Haven: I don’t know have you?
George Kitterage: Oh So you pretend not to believe it.
C.K. Dexter Haven: Yes I pretend not to.
The Philadelphia Story 1940.
Yesterday Stacy McCain (who unless I’m very much mistaken has decided his dream Ambassadorship is finished) continued what appears to be his push of Rick Santorum as a Newt alternate. In his post last night he commented on one of the two really interesting moments of the debate, Rick Santorum saying aloud what everybody knows:
“Well, the folks who are most likely to be committing these crimes,” he replied. “Obviously Muslims would be someone you’d look at, absolutely. Those are the folks — the radical Muslims have been people committing these crimes by and large, as well as younger males. Not exclusively, but these are the things you profile to find your most likely candidate.”
There is a certain inherent power to saying the truth out loud and Stacy McCain noted that the target audience for that answer is not likely watching MSNBC this morning, nor caring if Politico has its knickers in a twist.
Although this statement will meet with much wailing and gnashing of teeth by the usual suspects, I’d like to say something that everybody should have figured it out by now:
It is my opinion that we as a government are profiling, have been profiling and will continue to profile without admitting it.
Be honest; how may of you reading this blog would have guessed on Sept 20th 2001 that a dozen years later there would not be another successful coordinated terror attack on this country?
Oh yes we had Major Nidal Hassan, we had the DC sniper but all of those operations have been pretty much inspired, rather than coordinated.
The record has been remarkable, and the reason we have such a remarkable record is because of what we do.
Does anyone seriously believe that we did not have mosques under surveillance during the Bush years? Does anyone seriously believe that the Obama administration, political beliefs not withstanding, would risk a successful attack on the US during their watch by NOT having mosques and Islamic institutions under their eye? Do you think our successes are sheer luck?
And lets go one step further, I submit that not only is the US doing profiling, but western countries such as Canada and England are as well, furthermore I submit that ISLAMIC countries are doing the same.
Surprised? Take a look at the body count at Religion of peace.com. They document over 18,000 attacks since 9/11 by radical Muslims. If you look at the attacks listed there are two facts that are incontrovertible:
1. The vast majority of attacks take place in Islamic countries.
2. The majority of the people slaughtered in these attacks are Muslims.
Don’t’ get me wrong, to the Islamist, the Christian, Jewish or non Muslim target is always preferred but there is just as much hatred, if not more for their fellow Muslims who are either, not worshiping correctly or faithfully enough or associating with infidels.
And there are not a whole lot of tears shed for fellow Muslims who are simply in the way when attacking a non-Muslim target.
Given this situation, if anyone thinks that the overwhelmingly autocratic rulers of these various countries who are trying to maintain their wealth and position are not keeping a close eye on these guys you are not paying attention. Such leaders live with the threat of murder every day and aren’t shy about shedding a little blood to keep the power and wealth they have.
So if it’s true, if we ARE profiling and the Muslim world is profiling and other western nations are profiling, then why are we pretending otherwise? Why is every shoe on every foot removed before going on an airplane? I can think of three reasons:
1. There is always the exception, the convert or the sucker to watch out for.
2. It is to our advantage to convince our enemies that we are NOT profiling them to keep them sloppy.
3. Maintaining the Social fiction. (the most important)
It is the third item I want to address.
As anyone who deals with people knows, there are many potentially uncomfortable moments in life when you are faced with dealing with a situation that’s best ignored. At a funeral for example or at the party of a friend you might run into a person you despise, but you choose not to make a scene for the sake of the host, the people you are with, or the grieving family. This is called tact.
Being an honorable person is important but part of that social compact of honor in the western style is allowing people a graceful exit. In the old dueling days, the wrong word and the wrong gesture could lead to standing back to back at 20 paces so people allowed themselves the fiction of congeniality to avoid such things. Consider this quote from the movie the Comancheros by Circuit Court Judge Thaddeus Jackson Breen:
Major here has told me what your troubles are. I’ve been thinking it over and in light of my forty years experience in legal jurisprudence, I have come to the positive conclusion that there ain’t no way to do this legal and honest… but being good sensible Texans, we’ll do it illegal and dishonest!
In order to prevent a miscarriage of justice the judge and the Texas Rangers create an acceptable fiction. Today you don’t see much of honor in western culture, but in Arab culture saving face isall. The honor of a family, of a tribe or of a country is so ingrained culturally that people will slaughter each other to protect it, after all a culture that has no compunction about slaughtering their own children over family honor is not going to lose a lot of sleep over killing a stranger of a different faith.
And that where this fiction comes in. I suggest we are profiling Islamists, Arab and Islamic leaders KNOW we are doing so and might even be helping us along, but it can’t be admitted publicly by our governments or theirs.
If and when such a thing is admitted in public, Muslim and Arabs honor, in a culture all about saving face, would demand action. Action that would be disastrous both for them and for us.
One might think that it is a better thing for all of this to come out in the open at once and have it taken care of once and for all, Patton thought that about facing the Soviet Union, but in the end the Soviets fell without having to fight a World War costing tens of millions of lives and untold destruction.
I submit and suggest that every time we go though a security check at an airport, we are fighting that long cold war, allowing the fiction to be preserved in the Arab face culture that gives us the ability to clandestinely work with governments and operatives around the world to not only slay our enemies who would hope to strike us, but to prevent a successful attack that would require the type of overwhelming response that would have an incredible cost in both blood and treasure worldwide.
Or as per the quote at the start of this post, C.K. Dexter Haven and George Kitterage both wish to end up with Tracy Lords, Haven is willing to give a pass to what he sees and George Kitterage is not. in the end it is C.K. and NOT George who ends up going down the aisle with Tracy. George might have felt better venting, but Dexter got the girl in the end.
In a political sense, Rick Santorum is right, saying it aloud and bluntly will likely win him votes and respect among American voters, but if he gets into the oval office and is briefed I would be very surprised if he didn’t discover that the measures he wants taken are already well in hand.
In his famous speech of Sept 21, 2001 President Bush talked of “… covert operations secret even in success.”
I submit that when the final history of this war is written we will be shocked at how many of those victories have been won on American soil.