Terrorism and Liberty

At the conclusion of World War Two American citizens demanded and received a return to normalcy that included lifting all restrictions upon their rights and choices. This was also the case in every previous declared war. In order to win in war citizens understand the need for sacrifice which sometimes includes temporary limitations on normal rights of individuals, but when the war ends so do those limitations. Our fathers and mothers as part of what has been called the Greatest Generation expected no different and post WW2 life basically went back to normal pre-war living so far as governmental regulation and restoration of rights were concerned.

This is one of the reasons the US constitution allows for the declaration of war so that any limitations upon the people will clearly be in the context of that declared and defined war, and the termination of the war will likewise have a clear and defined conclusion. Wars that are not about protecting the rights and lives of the US citizens would not be legitimate or constitutional.

But since WW2 the US government has chosen to go to “war” without declaring war, thus making clear objectives less defined, and making limits on the rights of citizens outside of the context of a period of struggle which will have an end and a return to normalcy.

The Korean “War” and the Vietnam “War” were both officially called police actions because no war was declared. The “Korea War” continues until today because no peace agreement was ever signed only an armistice was agreed to (of course this armistice has been broken by the north on numerous occasions, most notably recently). Domestically we have a “War on Poverty” which has gone on into the fourth generation with no signs of success and at huge costs to the people in revenues and limitations of constitutional rights. We have a “War against Drugs” which likewise shows no signs of abating and has no means to define success should victory ever be achieved.

Now we have a “War on Terror – or Terrorism”. After 9-11 the congress offered the president a declaration of war. However, this was rejected with the misguided comment that there was no responsible nation or government to declare war on. The fact that we could easily have declared war on Al-Qaeda, who had in fact attacked us, seemed to be lost. Remarkably since then we have effectively waged war upon two nations and deposed the governments that assisted Al-Qaeda, so it would have been simple to declare war. Had that been done then when the war concluded we the people could expect to have our rights returned to normal.

Declaring a “War on Terror” would have been equivalent to our fathers having declared war on “kamikaze” after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Both terrorism and kamikaze are tactics not enemies. Suppose we declared war on blitzkrieg rather than declaring war on Germany and Nazis? Doesn’t make much sense does it?

If we declared war on Al-Qaeda and militant Islam bent against destroying America as we know it, then our government would want to keep agents of these groups away from our shores. By defining the war as against terror, we leave ourselves vulnerable to agents of these groups who might use other tactics. Can you imagine allowing Nazi’s to immigrate to America during WW2 as long as they didn’t use blitzkrieg against our people? (Our government actually executed Nazi’s for entering our county – before they could carry out any acts of war.)

Because our government has chosen this strategy our borders are wide open to these enemies. In fact the current administration has seen fit to help many to immigrate and find jobs, many subsidized by taxpayers’ dollars and stimulus money. Does anyone really think that we have a need in this country for the abilities that may only be found among Somali, Yemeni, Palestinian or Hamas immigrants (be they legal or illegal)? Why put at risk the safety of US citizens?

Because our government has said we are at war with a tactic and not a people with ideologies incompatible with a free self-governing nation, we have left ourselves vulnerable, not only to attack from within and without, but we make it more difficult to limit the infringement of our constitutional rights by our own government.

The Department of Homeland Security says it is trying to protect us from terrorism. Yet they have identified the most likely potential terrorists as those who are pro-life or pro-second amendment those who are pro tenth amendment, or those who are against raising taxes and those who are against illegal immigration and – of all people – returning veterans – among others. Alarmingly one group that was not mentioned in the report were Muslim extremists or anyone who might help Al-Qaeda or their minions.

With this in mind shouldn’t every freedom loving American be alarmed at the force with which the DHS and other police agencies have advanced means by which to limit, watch, screen, snoop and by other means expect us to willingly give up constitutional guarantees?

One quick review of the fourth amendment to the constitution might be warranted here – Amendment IV “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

We really need to ask what gives them the right to look at your dirty laundry (literally)?

Isa 5:20, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

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