Obama’s nominee to protect us from airline terrorism thinks that terrorism is our fault because we are anti-Islamic

(Note: a commenter defends Erroll Souther’s position, saying that America’s relationship with Israel is the cause of Islamic terrorism, and I reply.)

A reader sent this to me from Powerline, and when I read it, my jaw literally dropped:

From David Freddoso at the Examiner comes word that Erroll Southers, President Obama’s nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration, stated in 2008 that America is subject to terror attacks because of its alliances with countries like Israel and France. In an internet interview, Southers said:

Due to connectivity that we have with countries such as Israel, France—countries that are seen by groups, by al Qaeda, as infidels or anti-Islamic—by the true nature of our alliance with them means that we subject to be attacked as well.

The reference to Israel is a standard talking point among the anti-Israel left. The reference to France seems off-the-wall. Is there any evidence that France is viewed by al Qaeda as more anti-Islamic than other countries including the U.S. itself?

Southers’ comments also indicate that he’s comfortable with reducing funding for Homeland Security grants, because the risk of terrorism has diminished. Southers is hopeful that the money that would have spent on homeland security will go to promote education and deal with “global warming.”

So Southers is a hack leftist and a fool. Do we really want—can we really afford—a TSA chief whose thinks the reason al Qaeda attacks us is because of our “connectivity” with Israel and France?

We already knew that Southers acted corruptly, albeit 20 years ago, and was not forthcoming about the facts of his misconduct when he testified before the Senate last fall. The latest revelations should be a deal-breaker.

- end of initial entry -

Rich H. writes:

Are you inferring that if we weren’t connected to Israel and weren’t occupying Iraq and Afghanistan that there would still be terrorism against the United States? [LA replies: apparently Mr. H. hasn’t noticed that terrori4st attacks against the U.S. preceded the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.] Of course, the reference to France is ridiculous and more towards global “warming” is even more ridiculous. But I don’t see how a national policy of radical non-interventionism wouldn’t lessen the dangers of Islam against the West.

LA replies:

I guess it didn’t strike you as problematic that the man nominated to protect us from Muslim terrorists thinks that we deserve to be targeted by Muslim terrorists because we are anti-Islamic because we defend Israel’s right to exist.

And there are vast discussions at this site on the question of the reasons for Islamic terrorism. I’m not going to revisit it here. If you think that the reason for Islamic terrorism is that Israel “occupies” Muslim land, and that all we have to do is cut Israel off and we’d have no further problem with Muslims, then you ought to go live in Europe, which is rapidly sinking under Islam because 300 million Europeans have the same view of the causes of Islamic terrorism as you do.

Rich H. replies:

Indeed, we do not deserve terrorism! I never inferred that at all. [LA replies: But the man nominated to be TSA head did infer it, and that was the topic of this entry.] Also, I don’t believe that any nation or race has a “right” to exist. They either exist or go extinct. The half-hearted colonialism of Jews to the Levant leaves them in a position surrounded by enemies. It’s also a position irritated by outright hostility between the two races, cultures and religions. The entire concept of Zionism is something Europeans should have never associated themselves with (pardon the preposition). [LA replies: Meaning, you’re against the existence of the Israel in the first place. Fine, there were a lot of people who opposed the founding of Israel before it happened. But once it happened, once Israel became an actual country, then that became a fact in the world. Someone who still opposes Zionism (meaning the existence of the state of Israel) AFTER Israel has come into existence is saying that of all countries on earth, Israel shouldn’t exist and ought to be destroyed.]

And Europe shoots itself in the foot for its open door policy. I did not infer anything to the contrary. Is it such a stretch to consider losing an, honestly, dubious “ally” AND demographically protect the integrity of Europe AND America from the immigration of Muslims (et al)?

LA replies:

Why is Israel a more “dubious” ally than any other ally of ours? Clearly you are bigoted against Israel, and, based on much experience I’ve had with people who talk like you, likely anti-Semitic as well.

But for the moment we’ll let that pass and consider your policy on its own terms.

Ok, President Richard H. announces that the U.S. is ending all diplomatic, economic, military, scientific, cultural, and political relations with Israel, because it’s our relations with Israel that makes Muslims mad at us. He does this in the expectation that Israel without the support of the U.S. and facing a uniformly hostile world will eventually be overwhelmed by its Muslim neighbors and be destroyed. After all, as he says in his announcement of this new policy, “No country has the right to exist.” And he adds: “Our support for the partition of Palestine in 1947 and the founding of Israel in 1948 was a mistake.” Cut off from the world, its pariah status complete now that its best friend has abandoned it, Israel is isolated, weakened, and demoralized and looks for ways to appease the Muslims. The Muslims, as foreseen, expected, and accepted by H., then proceed to gain more and more control over Israel, ultimately destroying Israel and killing all its inhabitants. The U.S. under President H.’s leadership plus the Europeans stand by while this happens, making the U.S and Europe the accomplices in a second Holocaust. It’s the greatest victory for Islam since the conquest of Constantinople. It’s Islam’s greatest victory ever, the ultimate fulfillment of the Prophet’s words, “And on that day, the trees and stones will cry out, ‘Oh Muslim! Oh follower of Allah! There is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him.’”

And you expect this sequence of events to strengthen the West against Islam?

Apart from the immorality of wanting to abandon an ally and fellow Western nation to destruction at the hands of Islam, abandon the Jews to a second Holocaust, you’re imagining that handing Islam its greatest victory over the West would end the Islamic threat to the West instead of immeasurably increasing it, while also terminally demoralizing the West for having abandoned the Israelis to destruction.

You live in a dream world—a dream world shared by all the leftists in Europe as well as by all anti-Semites. I don’t have more time for such a foolish discussion.

Rich H. writes:

Israel has over 200 nuclear weapons. They aren’t going anywhere, they aren’t weak and they sure don’t need our help. They could eradicate every enemy for thousands of miles if they had the political will.

I don’t believe that Israel qualifies as a Western nation. This, to you, makes me an anti-Semite, which is shorthand for “I’m ending this discussion.”

You live in a dream world—a dream world shared by all the leftists in Europe as well as by all anti-Semites. I don’t have more time for such a foolish discussion.

I once admired you and your works. You have made it apparent that it is you that lives in a dream world, Mr. Auster. Good day, sir.

LA replies:

Bull. Since you claim to admire me, you must know my work and therefore you must know my well known defense of Israel’s existence and the way I have repeatedly dealt with people like you. So don’t claim to be surprised or disappointed. No one who is anti-Israel as you are is going to like me. You’re playing a game—it’s been played many times before—in which you pretend that you’re friendly toward me while you advance an anti-Israel position, and then when I rebuke you, you shed crocodile tears and act as you’ve been treated badly and now you see the awful truth about me.

As for the nuke issue, Israel, abandoned by America, without a friend in the world, because everyone in the world sees Israel as Rich H. sees it, would lose the will to fight, the Israeli suicidal left would take over, they would appease and seek accommodation with the Arabs, and ultimately Israel would be overrun.

January 12, 12:35 a.m.

Rick U. writes:

Richard H. leaves a lot of history off the table with his “Israel is the problem” red herring. Never mind that Islam has persecuted Jews throughout it’s history, never mind that Islam was on the wrong side of two world wars, never mind that Islam was largely on the wrong side of the Cold War which is one of the principal reasons we supported Israel in the 50s and beyond. It is truly amusing to watch people reason in a vacuum.

Alan Roebuck writes:

Richard H. said:

I don’t see how a national policy of radical non-interventionism wouldn’t lessen the dangers of Islam against the West.

Here’s another reason why this view is insane: If we conspicuously abandon our ally, the Islamic world will view us as cowards having no honor, and it will redouble its efforts to destroy us.

Or, to be more accurate, Moslems will view us as being even more cowardly than they currently view us, and will be even more emboldened to attack us.

“Radical noninterventionism”=cowardice. There is much to criticize in our foreign policy, but the correct alternative is not to put our heads in the sand. Once the war has begun, you cannot secure the goodwill of the enemy by refusing to attack.

Edward writes:

What happens to Israel will portend what happens to America, Europe and all of Western Civilization. Israel is at once both the defender of the West and the canary in the coal mine. Israel is today what Constantinople was 500 years ago. It stands in the role of the Spartans facing Persia, the Serbs facing the Turks, Jon Sobieski stopping the Turks at the gates of Vienna. Israel today, the birth place of Western civilization along with Greece and Rome and the birth place of Christianity is defending all of Western civilization. They are the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. Only a Europe which has lost its connection to it’s Christian roots can abandon Israel. It is the same mistake that the government of South Africa made when they abandoned Rhodesia. They thought that if they threw Rhodesia to the wolves it would satisfy the Western powers and save them from a similar fate. We see how fallacious that thinking is. If Israel goes down, then all of Western civilization will go down. Israel tells us what the future of the West will be. Ironically they are the defenders of Christian Europe when Europe refuses to defend itself. As far as his comment that Israel is not a Western country I can only reply by saying they helped create Western civilization. Their population is 99 percent white, a much higher percentage than America or most of Europe. Their values and institutions are Western. If he is looking for a dubious ally then look no further than France or Socialist Greece or Spain et al. Israel is probably the most reliable ally we have. If anyone is a dubious ally it is Obama not Israel. I would recommend he read George Gilder’s most recent book about Israel.

Evan H. writes:

The experiences of Rhodesia (“bread basket of Africa”) and nuclear-armed South Africa after being cut off from the West put the lie to Rich H.’s assertion that Israel would be fine if she were similarly treated, and should provide sufficient evidence for not letting the same fate befall her to all but the most hardened anti-Semite.

Ken Hechtman writes:

Your reader asked: “Is there any evidence that France is viewed by al Qaeda as more anti-Islamic than other countries including the U.S. itself?”

There’s the Algerian Civil War and France’s support of the Algerian army. Remember that before the Iraq invasion, this was the bloodiest ongoing war in the Arab world.

Algeria (and by extension France) was certainly mentioned in Al Qaeda propaganda before the Afghan and Iraq wars started. I haven’t seen either one mentioned as much in recent years.

Rick H. replies to LA:

Sincerely, I didn’t realize the staunchness of your Israeli position until now. I agree with many other things that you have to say. Our opinions merely differ here and I so I will not attempt to convince you otherwise. It would merely frustrate us both. Let’s not descend into hostility. I’d like to leave our discussion on a good note.

LA replies:

Fine, I accept that you’re sincere and were not leading me on.

At the same time, the substantive difference between us remains. You (and many many other people) think that if Israel didn’t exist there’s wouldn’t be an Islam threat. You think the whole problem is because of the Jews. Like most other people in the Western world, you see Islam through your own particular preoccupation or filter, and in your case the filter is Israel. You don’t see what Islam itself is. There are many other filters through which people view Islam. Here’s my catalog of them—it’s up to about 25 now. I call them non-Islam theories of Islamic extremism. Each one of these theories claims to explain what causes Islamic extremism. All the theories are different from the others, except for one thing that they all have in common: they all deny that, or rather are silent about the possibility that, the source of Islamic extremism is … Islam. Sort of like the dog that didn’t bark.

January 12

Rich H. writes:

It’s not that I believe the whole problem is because of the Jews. One would have to be pretty delusional to ignore 1,400 years of history. Of course Islam is a threat to the West, most immediately by the slow motion invasion called immigration. And I thank you for providing me with much food for thought. Respectfully, Rich H.

LA replies:

Thank you. I’m heartened by your reply.

A. Zarkov writes:

Let’s pretend solum ad argumentum that U.S. “connectivity” with countries like Israel and France is the cause of terrorist attacks on the U.S. and its citizens. So what? Are we supposed to let Islamic or any other kind of terrorists dictate our foreign policy? If we were to do such a thing we would cease to be a sovereign nation. Suppose we were to give in and abandon Israel. Does anyone think the demands would stop? If we out source our foreign policy, then our domestic policy would surely follow.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 11, 2010 02:23 PM | Send

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