Ilana Mercer, July 24, 2002

President Bush’s first National Strategy for Homeland Security gives the principles of federalism lip service. The recommendations are for the creation of a tiered national response system, which will further consolidate powers in the central government. As part of the game plan, the armed forces may be unleashed on U.S. citizens.

Exposed are a couple of new trends. The president promises to review the U.S.’ obligations to international treaties and law. It’s unlikely the president is assuring us of his commitment to continue shunning illegitimate forums like the International Criminal Court treaty. What he’s probably hinting at are the prospects of signing some of the dubious global-government treaties that will allow the administration to further corner Americans, block off all the exits, and steal more American property. The administration has been especially eager to clamp down on tax havens. Under the cloak of fighting terrorism and money laundering, it’s not impossible that Washington will sign on to the contemptible EU, OECD, and UN tax-harmonization schemes, which seek to outlaw low-tax jurisdictions.

Then there’s the president’s intention to “engage” the private sector as “a key homeland security partner.” It may not amount to outright nationalization, but co-opting business in the service of The War as a matter of policy certainly has the flavor of fascism.

Most foreboding is the talk about deploying the law—not the existing law, mind you—to “enable our country to fight the war on terrorism more effectively.” The premise underlying the development of new “legislative actions” is that we lack laws to help deal with the new threat. That’s twaddle!

We have immigration and deportation laws, as well as laws against treason, hate crimes, murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. Not counting state and local government laws, authors Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence M. Stratton tallied 56,009 pages of laws in the U.S. Code, 134,488 pages of regulatory laws in the Code of Federal Regulation and more than 68,107 pages of laws in the Federal Register. “The Federal Law is further augmented by more than 2,756 volumes of judicial precedent,” they write in The Tyranny of Good Intentions. And that was back in 2000! Want to tell me there aren’t enough laws to take care of business?

The biggest faux pas, however, in the National Strategy is the failure to listen to Sulaiman Abu Ghaith’s loud jeers. Abu Ghaith is Osama bin Laden’s spokesman. He recently gave an interview to an Algerian newspaper in which he mocked the American campaign to dismantle al-Qaida, calling it a “Hollywood script.” The new Pentagon-endorsed VH1 series entitled “Military Diaries” makes Abu Ghaith’s characterization difficult to dispute. Touted as a “powerful firsthand look at our heroes, their stories and the music that gets them through,” this “militarytainment” should strengthen OBL’s resolve.

Welcoming the viewer are the thrusting pelvis and swaying breasts of a recruit by the name of Charlie, followed by Laurie, Danielle, Paul, and Jimmie, among others. These poster-girlie recruits want us to know that their “real duty is to provide humanitarian aid to the Afghans.” They share with us their dreams of being “self-help authors.” And they impart the joys of manning posts like “Diversity Awareness Officers” or “Drug and Alcohol Counselors.” Suffice it to say that the “human face” of our coed men and women of the armed forces exudes mush, not mettle. If ever there were a U.S.-style motivational video for OBL and his ascetic Islamists—”Military Diaries” is it.

The military has, of late, also been preoccupied with the kind of waste-management problems that al-Qaida operatives are free of. Incontinence and urinary tract infections are plaguing our military lasses, screamed a news headline. In addition to their documented inferior physical resilience and elevated propensity for neuroses—to say nothing of the sexual dynamics they bring to the military—women have also accelerated welfarism in the forces. According to whistleblower Catherine Aspy, “The Army is a vast day-care center, full of unmarried teen-age mothers using it as a welfare home.”

In fairness, women are not solely to blame. The VH1 series reveals the mentality that pervades the military, including the top brass. Instead of being ashamed of the let-it-all-hang-out credo, the Men at the Top are parading emotional whimsy like they would a Purple Heart. Somewhere in the National Strategy there ought to be a plan to dismiss all the women, including those with the Y chromosome. Esprit de corps in the military may be high, but morale doesn’t reliably reflect effectiveness or lethality.


July 24, 2002

CATEGORIES: Feminism, Gender Issues, Law, Military, Terrorism

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