A bit of common sense in the war on radical Islamist terror
By Frank Salvato
The fact that there is no easy solution to the war against radical Islamist terrorism is evident to those who have chosen not to bury their heads in the sands of appeasement. As a matter of fact, those who accept that we are in this war to the finish realize that it is going to be exactly as President Bush said at the outset, "a long and difficult conflict," complete with sacrifice and a need for a steadfast dedication to victory.
What is missing from the American resolve to the nth degree in the face of this most lethal of threats is the employment of common sense.
The progressive-left, instead of embracing a bi-partisan will to defeat an enemy who loathes equally the ideologies emanating from the left, center and right, is committed to opportunistically politicizing the fight. Common sense mandates that a nation divided doesn't stand a chance at defeating an enemy who has dedicated itself to the ideological conquest of the world, a subjugation they have been pursuing since the 7th Century.
While British police were rounding up 23 terrorists of Middle Eastern descent for plotting to blow up ten aircraft bound for the United States in mid-flight, civil libertarians, along with the progressive-left, continued their crusade of disingenuous bureaucracy cloaked as a respect for the Constitution, railing against intelligence programs that have been proven effective. The fact that they pontificate in theories and mis-quote Franklin about liberty and safety (people misquote Franklin on this, he didn't intend it to mean never give up liberty to achieve safety, he meant there should be a balance between the two) when their very right to pontificate at all hangs in the balance, is a testimony to how detached they are from the realities at hand should we lose this conflict.
And the ignorance of youth fills the streets of San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles, aided by the huge coffers of power-hungry globalists, to support the perverted arguments of Hezbollah – a terrorist organization whose charter includes the genocide of the Jews – while equating the Jews in Israel to the fascist regime of Adolf Hitler, a war criminal who attempted to exterminate the entire Jewish population from the face of the earth.
These, among many more examples too numerous to mention here, are but a few of the instances where common sense confronts the closed minds of radical ideology and ignorance.
But in the age of bloated budgets and pork barrel spending, and in a political climate that sees most elected officials pandering to the pocketbooks of the American public, there is something that we can do to not only better protect ourselves in the war on radical Islamist terrorism but to employ common sense as well, while more efficiently utilizing our already established resources.
National Guard units should not only be stationed at our airports permanently, they should be ordered to man the passenger screening checkpoints now currently staffed by the TSA. By doing so, American airports would be joining the rest of the world community in having a strong showing of no-nonsense security at our nation's airports rather than maintaining unarmed, hourly TSA employees, who in many instances place more importance on whether their hat is properly angled so as to impress upon passengers an attitude of "cool." TSA personnel who were formerly employed to the hourly wage task of screening individuals before they board flights – a task that should require extensive training in terrorist profiling – should be permanently reassigned to inspect every piece of checked luggage and every loaded piece of cargo before every flight takes off from every major airport in the nation.
While many readers will argue that the National Guard is already over-taxed with their inclusion in our military operations overseas and the border conflict here in the United States, this operation would simply move National Guardsmen currently on active rotation in their home states from National Guard bases to airport-based facilities. The daily rotation of shifts would facilitate the manning of airport checkpoints while the off-duty shifts received training, per their organization's standard operating procedures. In the event of regional emergencies and/or national disasters, the TSA personnel could be temporarily reassigned to fill in for the Guardsmen should they be called to duty.
Because National Guardsmen are in the service of their country when they don the uniform and because they have law enforcement powers, their training in terrorist profiling and airport security measures could begin immediately, their deployment initiated with an order from the governor of their state, as witnessed in Massachusetts after the British bombing plot was uncovered. The training, because it is military in nature, would assure a consistent level of professionalism and security no matter who is manning the checkpoint.
Perhaps the most attractive aspect of this idea – aside from the fact that it elevates the quality of security at our nation's airports while instituting additional security measures for luggage and cargo – is that it wouldn't cost a dime. The National Guardsmen are already compensated no matter where they are ordered to go, no matter what they are tasked with doing and the TSA personnel would simply be reassigned in their tasks, their training augmented.
In an age where federal judges are willing to strike down the legality of intelligence programs proven to have saved the lives of thousands, and while young mothers are willing to incorporate their newborns into suicide bombing plots, we should be employing common sense in every aspect of the fight for our country's survival…even if it enrages the ACLU.
Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal. He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education project. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, as well as an occasional guest on numerous radio shows coast to coast. He recently partnered in producing the first-ever symposium on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism in Washington, DC. His pieces have been recognized by the Japan Center for Conflict. He can be contacted at
firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright © 2006 Frank Salvato