What bothers me endlessly about the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is that they operate on the policy that defeat by our enemies is implicitly conceded. That is the policy adopted by our government, and one can trace it all the way back to President Ronald Reagan’s failure to retaliate against the murder of nearly 250 Marines in their bunker-like barracks in Lebanon in 1983 and the policy that sent them there. Instead of striking a mortal blow at Iran and Hezbollah, we indulged in a wave of maudlin mourning and shameful self-pity.

The policy of defeat, however, is made possible by a variety of factors, not least of which are the philosophy of multiculturalism, a refusal to identify and strike against our enemies (that is, a refusal to ascribe evil to the advocates of the philosophy that motivates them), and, in the context of a government dedicated to expanding its powers under both Republican and Democratic administrations, a penchant for control at all costs, including the sacrifice of freedom. Tyrannies, dictatorships, and authoritarian regimes have no concern about the loss of freedom. Freedom is their enemy. It is not on their checklists of things to preserve and protect. Freedom is antithetical to control.

The TSA is deserving of every bit of criticism it has earned, both as a functioning bureaucracy and as a product of government policies. It is staffed by thousands of careless, indiscriminate, prostituting, ignorant drones. I no longer consider them as Americans, but as an alien presence in our midst, as alien as the mindless followers of Islam. So, please, no one remind me or any other liberty-loving American that they are just “doing their job” or that they do not establish policy, or that they are just “following orders.” That’s the Nuremberg trial defense. Every nation at any period of its history has its population of dross and ballast – even during the American Revolution – and the TSA is a natural magnet for the ones in this country.

But the TSA is merely a handmaiden of the DHS, and the DHS is but an ossified expression of a suicidal policy that has been germinating for decades. It is purely reactive in nature. It has accepted the overall policy of a state of siege as a normal, permanent mode of this country’s existence. The government does not bear the burden of such a policy, but rather its citizens. That policy will not strike a mortal blow at our enemies – Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and the lesser regimes – so it must adopt a state of siege mentality. Osama bin Laden knew his enemy, we must credit him with the observation that neither George W. Bush nor Barack Obama would acknowledge and act against Islamic states as the enemy, but instead adopt the futile policy of appeasement and a state of siege.

As part of the “bleed-until-bankruptcy plan,” bin Laden cited a British estimate that it cost al Qaeda about $500,000 to carry out the attacks of September 11, 2001, an amount that he said paled in comparison with the costs incurred by the United States. “Every dollar of al Qaeda defeated a million dollars, by the permission of Allah, besides the loss of a huge number of jobs,” he said. As for the economic deficit, it has reached record astronomical numbers estimated to total more than a trillion dollars.

The total U.S. national debt is more than $7 trillion. The U.S. federal deficit was $413 billion in 2004, according to the Treasury Department.

A government that will not acknowledge an external enemy of “the people” must regard “the people” as its potential enemy. Its capacity for aggression, if not directed against a legitimate enemy, will be directed against a nation’s civilian population. Witness now the energy it is expending to control the speech of its citizens via the Federal Communications Commission through its incipient control of the Internet. “Net neutrality” is just a euphemism for neutering the power of ideas.

Two consequences are ensured by such a state of siege policy: the establishment of a police state that monitors and regulates every action and thought of the citizens of this country (this is beside the domestic policy of adopting socialized medicine through ObamaCare, and other instances of destructive and parasitical Democratic legislation); and the continued assault on this country by its enemies. A government that will not order its military to open its gates and storm out to assault the besiegers, is doomed to capitulation and defeat.

What is holding us back? In 2002 former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger was interviewed about the Marine barracks massacre. He was asked why President Reagan did not order a military response. He answered, quoting Reagan:

“Almost any target we attack will have huge collateral damage.” Collateral damage is the polite way of phrasing the number of innocent women and children who are killed because you’re engaging in a war, and it was up in the hundreds of thousands.

But a concern about “collateral damage” was not our policy while waging war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. If it had been, World War II would have lasted decades or even have been lost – just as the current “war against terrorism” has lasted a decade and is being lost. Weinberger also made this revealing observation about Reagan:

He said he simply did not want to trust the future of the world to philosophic assumptions.

There you have it. Philosophical bankruptcy, even “on principle,” necessarily means moral bankruptcy. Instead, Reagan, Bush, and to a lesser extend President Obama, cite “tradition,” God, and other irrelevant issues as reasons to “resist” Islamic jihadists, but not to exterminate their root. That would be “judgmental,” and moral judgments are prohibited in an environment of “moral equivalency.”

So, discussions such as the Washington Post’s cogitations about the efficacy of airport body scanners and intrusive pat-downs are superfluous but indicative of how far this country has declined as a free one, and how far the government is prepared to go to establish a permanent police state. In the broad picture of things, such an article is useless speculation and complicit in a trend to “condition” Americans to being answerable to the state. In the country of the self-blinded, the one-eyed man is king because he has a purpose and an insidious method and can see where he is going.

Reading this cold, dispassionate discussion in the Washington Post of how better to establish a police state, one realizes that this is now a country that would prefer to live in a state of siege, rather than eliminate the countries that sponsor terrorism and that have attacked us by proxy with foreign and American-born or naturalized terrorists.

What bothers me just as much is also the willingness of Americans to tolerate and endure the airport terminal as a police state. There is no fundamental difference between conscientiously filling out a 1099 and an IRS audit, and removing one’s shoes, belts and jewelry and submitting to a body scan or a pat-down, except in its immediacy. Obey, or suffer the consequences. So, let us suggest here that, for example, the omnipotent IRS, as one controlling agency, has conditioned Americans to that kind of treatment, to sanction the hostage-taking of their values and to concede that they are but the wards of a guardian government. The Tea Party movement to the contrary notwithstanding, Americans are behaving more and more like sheep willing to be sheared. They need to be taught that such shearing leaves them naked before the government and all its eager, groping minions, and a laughing stock of our external enemies, who will continue killing us as they snort in triumph.

Sheared, shivering, and going about their government-approved business, laden with computerized ankle or wrist bracelets, too many Americans will assure themselves that they will feel “safe.” They will be told that surrendering their freedom is the “price of freedom.”

Contradictions do not exist in reality, except in human action and within one’s mind. That is a perilous, suicidal mode of existence.

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Edward Cline

Edward Cline

Edward Cline is a novelist who has written on the revolutionary war period. He is author of the Sparrowhawk series of novels set in England and Virginia in the Revolutionary period, the detective novel First Prize, the suspense novel Whisper the Guns, and of numerous published articles, book reviews and essays.

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