The anniversary of the 2001 Islamic terrorist attacks was accompanied by rioting, violence, and killing of Americans in the Middle East, and the news that our president will not be meeting with Israel’s prime minister during Mr. Netanyahu’s trip to the U.S. While Israel asks what has to happen before action against Iran is deemed acceptable, the White House continues to overreach with its version of an open society, giving away America to all comers to the detriment of citizens worried about security and desperate for work (see: Illegals and Migrants Are the American Workers Who Matter). Is Washington responsible for adding xenophobia to our list of American values?
Does xenophobia have an undeserved bad reputation?
Xenophobia has received bad press during the past few years because it conflicts with American values and government efforts to paint lipstick on pigs that include erstwhile allies like Pakistan, Islamic insurgents in countries like Libya, and foreigners who cross our borders illegally or never leave after their U.S. visas expire (see: Study in the States Disregards America’s Potential). When Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked whether the down economy might cultivate xenophobia, he responded:
But I think that the President’s position, which you state clearly, is that we need to make it more possible for highly qualified people who are being educated here, or coming from abroad to work here, build businesses here, grow the economy here, create jobs here.¹
Encouraging tolerance among the unemployed and business owners whose companies could not withstand four years of Obama by bringing in competition is not going to instill a love of outsiders in our hearts. Neither will Muslim insistence on tolerance make us forget 9/11, nor the wanton killing of Americans that comes from hatred and intolerance for the West that is nurtured in Islamic nations.
Why should American values include an open society for the world?
During his El Paso immigration speech the president suggested that efforts on behalf of 11 million illegal immigrants might be due to feelings of “fear and resentment”² that Americans harbor about outsiders. Resentment towards unwelcome foreigners has nothing to do with fear. We resent Washington embracing those who come here to take what they can for their own benefit, or worse, that pose a threat to Americans. It comes from being forced to pay for benefits, including education, for citizens from other nations when everyone agrees that our schools need money. It comes from government-sanctioned competition for jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities. It also comes from justifiable suspicion about an Islamic belief system which, by all appearances, embraces violence, vengeance over perceived slights, and an ongoing, hysterical hatred for Americans and everything we represent. What did apologizing for the Quran burning in Afghanistan get us, or acting on Washington’s delusion that assistance to Libya would foster democracy in the Middle East? More dead Americans.
Muslims in the Middle East embrace the violence and terror they deserve.
Many of us felt that the U.S. response to the murder of nearly 3,000 Americans was muted, at best. That the Islamic world’s assault on America did not result in parts of the Middle East being turned into scorched wastelands speaks volumes about our tolerance.
Muslims in America expect tolerance as a matter of right, but they refused to silence their religious leaders when they openly taunted Americans with plans to defile Ground Zero with an Islamic cultural center, an affront the likes of which would have been met with unbelievable violence and bloodshed had it been directed towards Muslims in the Middle East.
Perhaps the greatest threat to our security comes not from Islamic terrorists but from our own government’s overreaching efforts to counter fears of xenophobia among fed up Americans. Washington’s endorsement of policies on behalf of the Obama vision for an open society make us less secure and less able to compete with other nations.
Threats against Americans come from Washington.
Our government has threatened Americans with all manner of destruction. We puzzled over the multicolored terror threat warnings, wondering just what message was being conveyed and whether we should cancel our travel plans whenever the terrorism light changed. The latest push for cyber security includes warnings of imminent catastrophe (see: The Real Cyber Threat is From Politicians and Bureaucrats). We endure having our genitals groped, our persons violated, and even our children searched when we travel within our own borders because profiling is verboten in an open society as naively welcoming as ours.
What did enhanced security based on an open society get us? The day before the September 11 anniversary one of our most underappreciated federal watchdogs, the GAO reminded us that:
In 2011 the U.S. granted 7.5 million nonimmigrant visas, 75% for temporary visits to America.³
We were also informed that:
Visa fraud has become more sophisticated over time with increased globalization, advanced technology, and ease of travel.4
In 2010, 16,000 applications for U.S. visas were deemed fraudulent. Not surprisingly, there were problems tallying the number of bad applications in 2011 because of issues with federal information systems.5 Given the problem with visa overstays and how they contributed to the 9/11 attacks, perhaps the open society model should be reconsidered so it focuses on those who deserve to be here, until we learn how to keep track of the outsiders we let in.
Thanks to Washington, American values now include xenophobia.
Americans have every right to be angry whenever the president issues another apology or an administration representative suggests that we dislike foreigners or are anything but tolerant. If xenophobia is being cultivated in America, Washington deserves much of the credit. In the face of foreign competition, government threats, uncertain security at home, and the refusal to respond to violence against Americans, how else should we react?