A Line In The Sand

May 20th, 2010

By Brianna Aubin

Anwar al-AwlakiI was recently told by an avowed socialist that the Tea Parties had confirmed his long-standing suspicion of the strong fascist roots in this country.  Needless to say, he didn’t know he was talking to a Tea Party supporter, but there is a grain of truth to this.  No, the Tea Parties are not fascist, but fascism is commonly associated with a police state and conservatives, including Tea Partiers, do tend to come down strong on law and order.  With that fact in mind, I’d like to bring up a couple of incidents that I’ve noticed in the last 2 months but haven’t really talked about for the simple fact that for every post I put up here, there are ten more I could have written if I only had the time.

One is the case of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American citizen with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado who preaches Islamic radicalism and jihad.  In February, the New York Daily News reported that the Obama administration had signed off on al-Awlaki being targeted for assassination, a report that was confirmed by the New York Times.

The other event has to do with a bill introduced by Joe Lieberman that would strip U.S. citizens of that citizenship for being affiliated with foreign terrorist organizations, much along the lines of the law that strips them of their citizenship if they serve in a foreign military.  This was done in response to Faisal Shahzad’s attempt to bomb Times Square.

I tend to come down strong on the terrorism thing.  I think it is an all-out ideological war, a clash of two fundamentally different and non-compatible sets of ideas.  I also think that the West must win, literally for the sake of future civilization, but cannot realistically hope to do so until they acknowledge the facts of this war and act accordingly.  This means that as a rule, I tend to fall down on the side of giving government the power it needs to fight this war, despite the potential problems involved in this stance due to the nature of the enemy and its ability to plant the ideological seeds that will give birth to its soldiers even in places that would be, in a more traditional war, “behind enemy lines.”

Foreign citizens may be classified as enemy combatants or unlawful enemy combatants and dealt with in a military fashion.  I support this despite my reservations about potential civil liberties violations because, as I said earlier, I do believe that this is a war and that it must therefore be treated as such.  But even in this time of need, I am not comfortable with giving the State the power to target citizens in this fashion.  Try the bastards for treason if you want; as far as I’m concerned, they have both committed it, and they deserve to be thrown somewhere very dark and deep for a good long time in payment for it.  But I believe that U.S. citizenship must be our line in the sand when granting the State the power to fight terrorism.  Just in case the Obama administration decides that the next big terrorist group threatening our liberties is the evil, fascist Tea Parties.

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4 Responses to “A Line In The Sand”

  1. d |

    Don’t care unless you are next,huh?

  2. Brianna |

    “Don’t care unless you are next,huh?”

    Actually, yes. I do not have any particular fears about what will befall the guilty unless I think that I, or for that matter any other innocent civilian, am likely to be next.

    The way I evaluate a law is this: how necessary is this law for the protection of my (and others’) rights, vs. how likely is it to backfire and be used against ordinary civilians? My answer in the case of non-citizens? Fairly necessary, vs. not very likely. My answer in the case of citizens? Not nearly as necessary, and much more likely.

  3. d |

    Can you imagine,being wrongly charged and convicted,as has been known to happen and then,being robbed of your citizenship? Where would you go? Going too far for my taste,people wake up. The administration,that I voted for, is getting out of our control,and that is dangerous. Maybe,this will not happen,someone will hollar,”Whoa”. I am.

  4. Tom Carter |

    I agree with you in full, Brianna. I’m very uncomfortable with the idea that the government could strip a natural-born American of his/her citizenship. However, it might be acceptable to revoke the citizenship of a naturalized citizen like Faisal Shahzad, given that the government made a decision to grant him citizenship based on, among other things, an oath of allegiance. The oath obligates the naturalized citizen to “bear true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution and laws of the United States. When someone like Shahzad so clearly violates that oath, it should be possible to strip him of the citizenship we gave him, through an acceptable form of due process.

    In addition to getting our act together on border protection and management of illegal immigration, we also need to look at how U.S. citizenship is obtained. The primary problem is the fact that anyone born in the U.S. (other than to parents who are diplomats) is automatically a citizen. That creates the absurd situation that happens daily, when illegal immigrants in the U.S. have children who become instant citizens. That can be changed in a reasonable way, such not conferring citizenship on children born in the U.S. if at least one of their parents is not a citizen (natural-born or naturalized). The only constitutional impediment to that might be the Fourteenth Amendment (it isn’t clear), but amendments can be amended.

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