As a Canadian, I sometimes find American politics fascinating. While there are striking differences between the way our governments operate, such as the way the U.S. senate works as opposed to ours, there are also many similarities. One of the most obvious similarities is the goal of politicians to oppose pretty much anything that the current leadership suggests or attempts to implement.
The latest tantrum over the decision to use guardsmen to protect the breaches in domestic security policy is what I am referring to, but I will get there in a bit.
Let’s start with Iraq. In 2004 there was a global consensus that Saddam Hussein was a threat to world peace. If the president’s crime is acting on incomplete or incorrect data, then almost every world leader is complicit too, as they also claimed to have supporting data that read the same way. Yes, even senators Clinton, Kerry, McCain, and Kennedy had spoken out against the madman Saddam and the danger that he posed to the planet. They all, without exception, advocated either his removal and defeat or that swift and decisive action be taken.
After that was Hurricane Katrina. No matter what the federal government did, (which was plenty), the Dem’s used the suffering and carnage as political fodder. They railed against George Bush and wondered aloud on prime time television whether or not the response would have been faster had the majority of suffering Americans involved been white.
In a disgraceful politicizing of one of the greatest natural disasters to ever hit the U.S., the liberals went on a frenzy attempting to exact as much political capital from the floating corpses as they could.
After 9-11, there was a flurry of demands to know how something so meticulously planned was able to be implemented without being discovered. Pretty much every American at that moment agreed that the U.S. was now at war with a new enemy. As a result, the White House passed legislation giving it a broad range of powers which many have said forces ordinary citizens to relinquish too many of their rights.
At the heart of this issue has been the uncovering of wire taps performed without warrants and most recently the revelation that the government was collecting data on all phone conversations that had taken place since that dreadful day. While the hysteria that was unleashed by some was par for the course and part of their modus operandi, it does little to help protect America or her allies.
There is no way on earth that any organization, secret or otherwise, could filter through perhaps trillions of conversations in that amount of time. We could sift through the records that have been made in the last 2 years forever and not finish. Obviously, the White House is attempting to intercept specific information, perhaps monitoring calls originating from Middle Eastern expatriates or citizenry in the U.S. or more specifically, calls made in Arabic. That information is obviously not being disclosed.
Most normal people would think that a rational decision. For their part, Americans or their visitors of Middle Eastern descent should welcome this as a way to show that they have nothing to hide. As well, shutting down terrorist networks will only serve to help those who claim to be peaceful muslims.
Now, we have the illegal immigrant crisis. While I don’t believe that enough is being done to repel the massive influx of illegals, at least there is now some movement. Let’s hope the Minute Men have someone to share coffee with soon.
The National Guard has been ordered to aid it the reinforcement of the U.S.-Mexican border. Now there is widespread negative reaction again. It seems that no matter what the present government does or doesn’t do, it simply isn’t good enough.
The new argument is that the National Guard is already stretched too thin for any more assignments and that the Guard’s duties do not involve border patrol.
To the first argument we go to Maryland, where Army National Guard officials came out in defense of the plan. “Of the 444,000 men and women assigned to the National Guard, fewer than 20 percent – including 71,000 fighting the war on terror – are on active military duty”, said Mark Allen, chief spokesman for the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C.
Joseph Balkoski, command historian of the Maryland National Guard, had this to add: “By any rational measure, this wouldn’t strain the Guard’s resources much”
As for the Guard helping with border control, I can’t imagine a more fitting role than protecting the borders of one’s country and helping to repel the invaders of it.
As the Democrats rallied their own troops to quickly oppose the plan, (which by the way a majority of Americans like), their own plan in place of this one consisted of absolutely nothing. One would think that if a group of people is going to voice their collective opposition to yet another idea, they would at least be willing to present an alternative. That seems unlikely to happen, as most Democrats would simply prefer to ignore the ‘illegal’ part of the equation.
As someone watching this issue from outside of the borders of the United States, I find it incredible that the military hasn’t been called in before this decision, as in years ago. When more than 12 million people can walk into your nation unaccounted for, you have some serious issues, especially when you obviously have the means to prevent it.
For those who fear the treading on the rights of Americans, I say that there must be a balance. Only a foolhardy people would willingly hand over their liberties, but at the same time, allowing yourself to be overrun by a foreign people will most certainly assure the loss of them.