Rabinowitz sides with Napolitano

Paul K. writes:

As someone who often agrees with the views of Dorothy Rabinowitz, I was astonished to hear what she had to see about the new TSA scans and pat-downs on Paul Gigot’s show on Fox News last weekend. Here is the transcript. I have bolded my interjected remarks.

Gigot: We’re back with Dan Henninger and Mary Anastasia O’Grady. And also joining us, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz.

Well, no question, Dorothy, there is this backlash. But is the TSA doing the right thing here?

Rabinowitz: Yes, it’s doing the right thing. And I might also say that Janet Napolitano distinguished herself for once this week by saying, if they don’t like it, they don’t really have to fly. [Rabinowitz feels that the cognitively-challenged Napolitano “distinguished herself” with this “Like it or lump it” remark; incredible.]

Gigot: This is the Homeland Security secretary.

Rabinowitz: Yes, indeed. And that was one of the nice things. Look, this is not just a backlash. This is demagoguery having a field day. There are the obsessive “do not touch my body parts” people. [As opposed to normal “go ahead, touch my body parts” people?] I remember watching on television a man saying, “I don’t want my wife touched this way, I don’t want to be touched this way.” Let me tell you something. In the unhappy day that his wife’s body parts are flying across the sky because some terrorist has managed to get something aboard, we will see what we—we have here an insidiously spoiled nation by now, [People who dare presume to be treated with dignity are “spoiled”] which has not absorbed what happened on 9/11 because they’re Americans, and Americans have not lived under the threat. Try the Israelis. [How incongruous to bring up the Israelis when they don’t routinely do body scans and pat-downs, but do what we refuse to do: profile.] And then you have the demagogues. [Anyone who objects to this public humiliation is a demagogue.]

[end of transcript excerpt]

The problem for people like Rabinowitz is that, to them, nothing is more inconceivable than to suggest that the presence of Muslims in Western societies is the real problem and their removal is the only solution. Therefore, recognizing that the only alternative is that the rest of us shall have to accept more and more encroachments on our freedom and dignity, she airily dismisses concerns about the latter.

LA replies:

I don’t think we have to go to the ultimate issue of removing Muslims from the West to understand her position. To me it seems more like an instinctive reaction on her part of siding with what she sees as the rational, responsible elite against the disorderly, demagogic hoi poloi.

November 24

James P. writes:

Rabinowitz says,

“In the unhappy day that his wife’s body parts are flying across the sky because some terrorist has managed to get something aboard”

TSA procedures will not prevent this. The other passengers on the plane are far more likely to prevent this. Far cheaper and more effective than gropes and scans is the doctrine that everyone understands, which is: “If someone tries to start a fire or tries to get access to the flight deck, the other passengers should smash his face in.”

James N. writes:

It seems to me that if you accept the Bush / Obama / Mineta / Napolitano preconditions for formulating air safety policy (which I of course do not), then feeling up passengers including three year old children and nuns is the logical outcome.

Attacking logical outcomes, while instinctively correct, does not address the root cause, which in this case is incorrect, in fact absurd, assumptions.

I agree that Muslim removal is not necessary to resolve this immediate problem. It IS necessary, however, to begin to attack the erroneous assumptions which have led to this policy.

Those assumptions are:

Muslims, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, are no more likely than native-born Americans to carry terrorist material onto an aircraft.

The presence of greatly increased risk among certain members of a group does not justify preventive profiling of group members.

Children, the elderly, and the infirm present a risk of hostile action comparable to young men of military age.

It is not even necessary to attack the Bush Delusion (religion of peace) to set aside the above foolishness.

Someone recently said that it’s not WHAT gets onto the plane that’s the problem, it’s WHO gets onto the plane. Making progress in this specific area holds the promise of cracking the foundations of lots and lots of bad public policy.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Laurence B. writes:

It is absolutely amazing to me that the TSA admits its screenings are “random” and in fact uses that as a defense of procedure. Such is the preoccupation with NOT discriminating that our government-sponsored security programs rely on “random screening” to keep us safe. In other words, they leave it up to luck! It’s the same mentality that leads people to think diversity would be the greatest casualty if Nidal Hasan had been removed from the Army thus preventing the Fort Hood incident.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 24, 2010 07:55 AM | Send

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