Abdula Ahmed Ali, Cossor Ali, Shazad Khuram Ali, Nabeel Hussain, Tanvir Hussain, Umair Hussain, Umar Islam, Waseem Kayani, Assan Abdullah Khan, Waheed Arafat Khan, Osman Adam Khatib, Abdul Muneem Patel, Tayib Rauf, Muhammed Usman Saddique, Assad Sarwar, Ibrahim Savant, Amin Asmin Tariq, Shamin Mohammed Uddin, and Waheed Zaman.
Notice a pattern?
Yet, almost five years after 19 Saudi Arabian and Egyptian individuals with similar-sounding names hijacked four airliners and killed 3,000 people on 9/11, the United States government remains committed to not using ethnic profiling to raise the odds of airport security.
During his second debate with Al Gore in 2000, George W. Bush, hoping to win the Arab vote in Michigan, promised to eliminate airport profiling:
"Secondly, there is other forms [sic] of racial profiling that goes on in America. Arab-Americans are racially profiled in what is called secret evidence [sic]. People are stopped, and we have to do something about that. My friend, Senator Spencer Abraham of Michigan, is pushing a law to make sure that Arab-Americans are treated with respect. So racial profiling isn't just an issue at local police forces. It's an issue throughout our society."
Although Bush lost Michigan anyway, he began implementing this policy at airports in early 2001, a move which may have contributed to 9/11, although nobody seems interested in this question other than me.
In January 2002, an 86-year-old former governor of South Dakota and retired brigadier general named Joe Foss, on his way to give a speech to cadets at West Point, was subjected to the third degree by Phoenix airport security for 45 minutes because the metal detector was set off by his dangerously pointy Congressional Medal of Honor. When I first heard this, I assumed that Bush's anti-profiling rules would be laughed out of existence.
I was wrong.
Bush has stuck with this plan in the post-9/11 world as adamantly as he has stood by his similarly discredited-by-events obsession with increasing immigration. Indeed, criticism of it has largely died out.
Meanwhile last week, inconclusive fighting between Israel and the Hezbollah Shi'ites of South Lebanon inspired a frenzy of apocalyptic war fever among prominent commentators in America, with many lashing out in frustration at Israel's inability to kill satisfactory numbers of Hezbollah guerillas who have burrowed deep into their home turf.
Excitable gentlemen claimed once again that we are on the brink of World War III with The New Hitler. (The precise identity of this imminent world-conqueror has varied over the last half decade, depending on the date and the obsession of the pundit, with the Muslim Fuhrer role being filled by bin Laden, Hussein, Zarqawi, Ahmadinejad, and Nasrallah.) The logic of more than a few of these diatribes appear to imply a pressing need for the nuclear genocide of much of the Muslim world.
In other words, the Administration and its media shills remain committed to their Grand Strategy of Invade the World - Invite the World. Bomb them over there and indulge them over here.
Obviously, when you stop and think about it, that makes no sense whatsoever.
So, it's time for a new Grand Strategy to unify domestic and foreign policies for how Westerners should deal with Muslims. Because strategizing routinely fails due to too much Rube Goldbergish complexity, I'll boil it down to one word:
Perhaps the most quoted social philosopher of our time famously asked:
"Can we all get along?"
Well, when it comes to Muslims and Westerners, the answer is:
No, we can't.
So, deal with it. When we get in each other's faces, we get on each other's nerves. It's time to get out of each other's faces.
Westerners and Muslims don't agree on the basics of social order and don't want to live under the same rules. That shouldn't be a problem because that's what separate countries are for. We should stop occupying their countries and stop letting them move to ours.
To paraphrase E.M. Forster:
If we start disconnecting now, maybe in a generation or two we'll have forgotten what we've done to each other and can start afresh.
In the long run, as Robert Pape's study of 460 suicide bombings shows, there's a strong correlation between outside occupation and suicide terrorism, so cutting down our footprint in the Muslim world will slowly reduce terrorism against us.
But that may take a generation to work itself out. In the meantime, we need to take rational steps to defend ourselves.
I recently received this email:
My name is XXX. i'm YYYteen years old and am a muslim girl living in scotland and was wondering if you know of anything that will help me escape marrying an older first cousin from the middle east. I know i sound stupid but i got really freaked when my mum spoke to a relative telling them that she'd still give my hand to my cousin who is years older and tells the relative to wait because i haven't finished school and my other education. Also it is my mum's brother's son i'm supposed to marry and my uncle is really ill and my mum dotes on him. what if my uncle died and that was his dying wish, to have me married to my cousin? how disastrous is that going to be, i mean i don't even like the thought of inbreeding i think it's sick! Please do you know any loopholes in a XXX wedding that will stop me getting married to ZZZ? Please can you help i haven't even finished school or got a job so this has really blown me away!
This situation is utterly common. Among married people in Britain of Pakistani background, 55% are married to a first cousin. Not surprisingly, Pakistani children in Britain have very high rates of birth defects.
In particular, as I outlined last fall, Europeans need to begin a push-pull system to persuade Muslim legal residents to leave.
First, calm down, take a deep breath, and get some perspective.
Contrary to what is being printed in the neoconservative fever swamps, we are in no danger whatsoever of being conquered by Islam's military might, such as it is. We don't need to nuke large swatches of the Muslim world.
The United States is vastly more powerful militarily than all the Muslim-run nations put together. We account for either 48 percent or 49 percent of all military spending in the world. That's almost eight times more than that of all 44 or so Muslim-dominated countries combined. (Of course, in the real world, Muslim nations can seldom get themselves combined over anything.)
We have complete air supremacy.
One obvious reason for the military weakness of Muslims is that, despite much oil, they aren't very economically productive so they are mostly poor. According to the CIA World Factbook, Muslim countries account for just 8.4 of the global GDP, compared to America's 20.3 percent.
The boring fact, one that won't get mentioned much on Fox News because it doesn't help ratings, is that the world became more peaceful and less threatening when the main engine of lethal mischief, the Soviet Union, broke apart.
The bottom line is that America, as the lone hyperpower, can severely punish any Muslim state that hurts us, as we showed in Afghanistan in 2001. If necessary, we can conquer and occupy any one of them. That leaves the Muslims with the poor man's ways of war: guerilla resistance and terrorism.
What we can't do is occupy them and make them:
The Israelis found all this out when they invaded Lebanon in 1982. The Shi'ites of Southern Lebanon initially cheered Ariel Sharon's tanks because the Israelis were coming to drive out the Palestinian immigrants whom the Shi'ites hated. But being occupied gets old quick, and soon Hezbollah was organizing attacks. Israel held a strip in southern Lebanon until withdrawing in 2000.
Occupying a Muslim country is like trying to teach a duck to sing. It just wastes your time and annoys the duck.
This hard-earned realism isn't the end of the world. The oil exporting countries will still need to export oil to the world market—it's not like they have other ways to pay their bills.
So, let's get out of Iraq.
Being a sensible, realistic idea, the Disconnect Strategy may lack the irrational emotional appeal of Invade the World—Invite the World. But isn't it time for common sense?