Those blaming Tony Blair for being George W. Bush’s eloquent caddy on Iraq, should concede this: He’s making the right call in the aftermath of last month’s terrorist bombings – and near bombings – in London. It’s time for the Brits to show more than a stiff upper lip.
“Staying here carries with it a duty,” pointed out Blair in referring to foreign-born Muslim clerics who glorify terror on British soil. “And that “duty,” Blair underscored, includes the requirement “to share and support the values that sustain the British way of life.” Last anyone checked, British values still make no allowances for suicidal mass murder – whether as political grievance, infidel repellant or expedited trip to Paradise.
The ultimate value, lest anyone need reminding, is life itself. Multicultural tenets of tolerance are secondary, if not moot in a time of war. The kumbaya crowd is no deterrent to the enemy within. More like a vulnerable society’s soft, inviting, clueless underbelly.
The usual suspects overreacted and whined about an incipient police state and terrorist-matching intolerance as Blair proposed laws to deport extremist religious leaders and shutter the mosques that mock honest Islam. The government would also ban groups with a track record of supporting terrorism and bar radicals from entering Britain. The blame throwers then warned that such a crack down would further alienate British Muslims.
Needless to say, none of these critics is responsible for public safety, let alone the maintenance of Britain as a land of — dare we reiterate — British values.
In a variation on a theme, Lenin may be doing another turn in his grave. He thought for sure the West would sell its arch enemies the rope to string ourselves up with. Blair won’t go along.
The application for the U.S. is self-evident.
Open societies cannot permit open season on themselves. It means getting deadly serious about our borders, especially the 2,000-mile one with Mexico. It means profiling where common sensically necessary and making port and power grid security more of a priority. It means better intelligence gathering – including prisons — and not backing off the Patriot Act.
And it also means acknowledging an immigration reality. No longer are those who come here mostly “huddled masses yearning to be free.”
Increasingly, those coming here – as opposed to their predecessors – seemingly want what’s best from America – without becoming an “American.” In fact, not necessarily liking or respecting America. Just skimming some economic cream.
And then there are those who want what’s worst for America. At their most benign, they only enable terrorism. They have no yearning curve.
They can’t be tolerated because staying here also “carries with it a duty.”