Back in the early days of the United States there was a “looming” threat of war with France. One of the legislative actions taken was something known as the Alien and Sedition Acts. It was the original intent to protect the American Republic against foreign agents and interests — but it also had the purpose of silencing political opposition. We must be careful with language when we leverage an atmosphere of insecurity in a manner that is so nebulous that it can adversely affect individual liberty. Such was a recent case.
As reported by Real Clear Politics, “In an interview with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts in the wake of the mass shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and Democratic candidate for president in 2008 Wesley Clark said that during World War II, “if someone supported Nazi Germany at the expense of the United States, we didn’t say that was freedom of speech, we put him in a camp, they were prisoners of war.
Clark specifically stated, If these people are radicalized and don’t support the United States, and they’re disloyal to the United States, as a matter of principal that’s fine, that’s their right. It’s our right and our obligation to segregate them from the normal community for the duration of the conflict.
“We have got to identify the people who are most likely to be radicalized. We’ve got to cut this off at the beginning,” Clark said. “I do think on a national policy level we need to look at what self-radicalization means because we are at war with this group of terrorists.”
At a time when we have an administration just chomping at the bit to release more Islamic jihadists captured on the battlefield, what makes General Wesley Clark believe this would ever happen? Here we are classifying the Islamic jihadist in Chattanooga as a “homegrown violent extremist’ – that’s about as clear as the Red River.
Again we are loathe to refer to the enemy as it is. So, who are the people to whom General Clark is referring? We know during the tenure of Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security, even our own returning combat veterans were considered and listed as threats. We’ve heard many references by Democrats on the House floor castigating Americans — and even Republicans — as terrorists. Shoot, the Democrats have oft time referred to me — and others — as “extremists.”
So who makes the determination of who is “disloyal” to the United States? That’s a very flexible word. What defines a “normal community?” We know the Obama administration, by way of the radical Hispanic leftist Julian Castro of the Housing and Urban Development agency, is attempting to redefine what is a fair community and equal demographic distribution.
Maybe in the beginning, the Alien and Sedition Acts had good intent — but in the end there were a political tool. The “duration of the conflict” — well, that needs to be clarified too, because President Obama has declared wars as ended. So what conflict is General Clark articulating? Could this be misinterpreted as an ideological conflict where individuals holding opposing beliefs must be segregated from the normal community?
My point is simple. General Wesley Clark was very vague in his language. Never at any point did he mention radicalized Islamic terrorists. Nowhere did he put forth the premise that we are engaged in a global Islamic jihad. He was nebulous is drawing the parallel of Islamo-fascism to Naziism and that political militant Islam is not protected under freedom of speech or freedom of religion.
I know there are many who are responding to this statement, but we should take the time and carefully analyze what Clark did NOT say – that is key. Sometimes the omission of language can lend an understanding into what the message the speaker is truly trying to convey.
Could a pastor who does not support same-sex marriage be considered as not supporting the United States? General Clark didn’t have a glowing reputation in the U.S. Army. And it seems he continues to dig a hole for himself with declarations such as this.
He’s made a statement that can be analyzed and interpreted in many different means. And sadly, no part of this statement is consistent with the principles and values of our country. If we are at war, then someone needs to clearly define the enemy. Clark does not do so in this statement, And therefore leaves too much up to the whims of power hungry politicians who will leverage any anxiety over security to their nefarious aim.