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Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler » Heaven Forbid That We Should Act As If We’re At War Or Anything

It is very rare indeed that His Majesty finds himself laughing hysterically at James Taranto of the Opinion Journal, but today’s “Best of the Web” is one such exception to the rule:

A Whiff of Isolationism

OK, let’s just get this one out of the way first. At least Mr. Taranto doesn’t use the “protectionism” slur that’s been bandied about by defenders of the Dubai Ports deal which is, quite frankly, every bit as juvenile and laughably ridiculous as the “racist” ones, but it smells just the same so let’s get this on the record:

His Majesty has absolutely no problem with the businessmen of Dubai making a killing in the American market. If our own businesses can’t compete then that’s a Bad Thing, but it’s something that we need to address domestically. We could outlaw unions for one thing. There’s a reason, for instance, why His Rottieness won’t pay $30,000 for a piece of substandard automotive crap when he can get a car cheaper than that from, say, Japan that will still be running in 10 years, and it’s not because we like sushi. By all means, if we as a nation are content with churning out substandard overpriced junk so that we can finance the entitlements that our unions have blackmailed themselves into, let’s keep it up. When the UAW members are selling pencils on street corners because they’ve “negotiated” themselves out of having a job, perhaps they’ll think differently about it. Until then they can kiss our Imperial Ass.

The only problem we have with Dubai taking over our ports is one of security. If we can somehow come up with a way of letting them run the business without them getting access to sensitive information, then by all means let them go right ahead. If that’s “protectionism” or “isolationism”, then we’re a Scottish plumber.

There seems little doubt that whipping up hysteria over Dubai Ports World’s planned takeover of the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., the British concern that manages commercial operations at some U.S. ports, is good politics.

“Just 17% of Americans believe Dubai Ports World should be allowed to purchase operating rights to several U.S. ports,” according to a Rasmussen poll, which “found that 64% disagree and believe the sale should not be allowed.” According to the poll, congressional Democrats even have a momentary advantage over President Bush, 43% to 41%, on the question of whom voters “trust more on national security.” Little wonder that the Dems have suddenly decided they love racial profiling.

Obviously, nobody can ignore the delicious irony in the Dhimmicratic Anti-American party suddenly discovering an interest in national security, and you’d have to be a screeching idiot to not recognize it for what it is: Political opportunism. That doesn’t, however, automatically mean that they’re wrong. Oh, and we’ll just ignore the idiotic reference to “racial profiling” for now, unless somebody can point us toward the scientific works describing a “Dubaian race” or even an “Arab race.”

On the merits of the kerfuffle, we have little to add to last week’s editorial in The Wall Street Journal. But the broader implications are worrisome. We’ve argued that the likely result of another terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 would be “a retreat into isolationism and an emphasis on homeland security”:

And Heaven knows that the LAST thing we’d want during a World War on terrorism would be “an emphasis on homeland security.”

Its elements could include genuine curtailments of civil liberties, an end to the taboo against ethnic and religious profiling, restrictions on immigration, and heightened security that introduces enormous inconveniences into everyday life while constraining the flow of people and goods into America.

Out of all of the above items mentioned as Something That We Should Avoid At All Costs™, the “genuine curtailments of civil liberties” is the only one giving us real pause. Of course, the argument would be a whole lot stronger if it’d been followed by some actual examples of “genuine curtailments”, but we guess that we’ll just have to make do with the ominous movie music and the unspoken threat lurking in the corners of the attic for now.

We fail to see why “an end to the taboo against ethnic and religious profiling” would be a Bad Thing™, for instance. When 99.999% of all terrorist attacks against the United States have been committed by middle-aged muslim males, it would seem sensible to us to concentrate our security efforts on that group rather than frisking 87-year-old grannies in wheelchairs on their way to a family reunion in Wisconsin just to “fill a quota.”

But perhaps that’s just because we’re more concerned with actual success and survival than the horror of possibly offending anybody.

To take another example: Suppose that a predominantly black neighborhood had been victimized by roving gangs of male Caucasian skinhead shitheels killing innnocents right, left and center. We suppose that it would make sense in Mr. Taranto’s world to make sure that at least 50% of the suspects apprehended and interrogated were elderly black women, we wouldn’t want to be seen as “profilers”, would we?, but if His Majesty were chief of police in that city, he’d be up the ass of white skinheads so far that he’d know what they had for dinner before their digestive systems kicked in.

Call us “intolerant” all you like, but we prefer results over “sensitivity.”

Or how about “restrictions on immigration?”

Is that a Bad Thing™ as well? We don’t know, being an immigrant ourself, but could we at least start by limiting immigration to the legal kind? Is that so bad? Is looking into the background of those who claim to want to become Americans? If that’s bad, then we’re the worst sinner ever born because we endorse it wholeheartedly.

And then there’s the “constraining the flow of people and goods into America.”

If we’d been a little better at constraining the flow of people, particularly people who shouldn’t be here in the first place because their visas had expired, we wouldn’t have HAD a 9/11. As to “goods”, we’re all about the free market, but we much prefer it if the goods in question don’t register on a Geiger counter or cause human beings to die within hours of exposure. Perhaps a bit of “constraint” might be a Good Thing™?

The public’s receptivity to Dubai hysteria suggests that there is an appetite for just such an approach–one that, in our view would be very bad for America and even worse for the rest of the world. Politicians who agree would do well to be more circumspect about pandering to such impulses.

We’re sorry, James, but we’re at war. It’s not a popularity contest. We’re not reaching for the coveted Miss Congeniality trophy here, we’re trying to win a war for our continued existence. Much as we’d love for the world to sing in perfect har-mo-neeeee, it’s secondary to our need to defeat our enemies decisively and conclusively. If that ruffles a few feathers and endangers the pensions and consultant jobs of a few Dept. of State employees, then that’s just the price we’ll have to pay for not having a few million American citizens incinerated or rotted by Ebola.

Rough and brutal, we know, but that’s just who we are.

And we find it more than a little bit funny to hear you say that politicians would do well to ignore the will of the people.

We never had you pegged as a totalitarian, elitist snob before.

Oh well, we can’t be right all the time.

28 Responses to “Heaven Forbid That We Should Act As If We’re At War Or Anything”
  1. maxxdog Comment by maxxdog UNITED STATES

    I honestly believe that most people have no fricken clue what this whole deal is about. They are reading the newspapers and listening to the assholes on the alphabet channels. You are correct about the politicians, self serving bastards that they are!
    The admin has once again screwed the pooch and we the people as well! I’d fire Rove’s ass and at least half my advisors and start over. I’d also send Karen the Hutt’s ass back to Texas! Sorry guys, she’s yours! Deal with it!
    I don’t have a problem with listening to the will of the people. That’s the way it is supposed to be but I would like to see the people fully informed which this admin has failed to do!
    Misha, you are right about profiling Muslim men and immigration restraints and pretty much everything in this post. We are at war and we should be acting like it! Having said that, I still think this deal should go through because noone has said anything to convince me otherwise! We ask why these people can’t come in to the 21st century? Why are they stuck back in 700AD? The UAE is trying to do just that and we won’t acknowledge it! What the hell do people want?

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  3. sig94 Comment by sig94 UNITED STATES

    There is one and only one purpose that justifies the existence of any government, and that is the protection of it’s citizens. To that end all else is subservient, everything else is window dressing. Even the human body will involuntarily shut down the blood supply to non-vital limbs in order to keep vital organs functioning and thus prolong the existence of the individual.

    The weak-kneed, limp-wristed approach to national security is like AIDS/HIV of the national psyche. Our national defense systems must be incredibly sensative to any threat and prepared to respond in an instant. There is no place for political correctness.

  4. Emperor Darth Misha I Comment by Emperor Darth Misha I UNITED STATES

    Maxx, like I said, the only problem I have with this whole Dubai deal is that I don’t want furreiners, ANY furreiners, having access to information about our port security and even less to our military cargo manifests.

    If the Administration could fix that so that I knew that anybody working for DPW would have probes stuck up their asses to keep anybody naughty from getting in and that they’d have absolutely NO access to information about what we ship in and out, I’d feel a whole lot better about it.

    And Sig94?

    What you said. In TRIPLICATE.

  5. Puddle Pirate Comment by Puddle Pirate UNITED STATES

    You mean other than not being blown up or infected with Ebola or something of that nature?

    Probably quite a bit, although basic survival is on the first rung of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which likely explains much of the public hysteria.

    I’m somewhat suprised that the firings have not started already. I mean, if I was the prez I’d be some kinda pissed right now.

    And forgive me for not being particularly impressed with the democratic party suddenly finding religion in the Homeland Security area. I mean, CNN is priceless right now. It’s like watching a dog trying to hump a doorknob. Right intent, execution needs a little work.

  6. Unregistered Comment by right again UNITED STATES

    We come back to the Dubai Port thing. This is too easy. The UAE is not our friend. They sponsor terroism. I know you point this out. Perhaps I can help. The UAE does not recoginize Israel. We do. This does mean we are a big friend of Judasim just realizes that they are a friend of us, more importantly democracy. This also realizes that Israel is our friend and the Mideast dictatorships are our enemey. Saudi Arabia is not our friend. They are a business partner we do not like. The UAE is not our friend. They are a business partiner we do not like. The rest of the mideast our our enemeys. We do not like them. So we come back to the Jews. People Europeans have loved to hate. Yet the only people to embrace demoracy. An American heritacy that took hold in France. We thought of this because of the Magna Carta in Britian. We made this thought our own. The revolution was exported back to France. European ideas created America. The American revolution was exported back to Europe. The American ideal is rooted in European values. The first idea of human equalism is based on Judaist values. Islam was born during the dark ages. It was a means of conquest. During the dark ages Islam was a light. Now that light has dimmed. The people of the Islam faith are good people but they must recoginize other faiths. If they do not then they will be subjuageted into the scraps of history. We are fed up with the terrorists acts. If you continue then we will destroy you. I reject your teachings.

  7. jaybear Comment by jaybear UNITED STATES

    Our mighty Emperor sez:

    the only problem I have with this whole Dubai deal is that I don’t want furreiners, ANY furreiners, having access to information about our port security and even less to our military cargo manifests.

    and I couldn’t agree with you more sir, that’s the thing that bugs me the most about this deal too, security is paramount in this world of leaks. To quote the X-Files “Trust No 1″. Do you remember this poster from World War II?:

    When we finally decide that we’ve had enough of the islamic inspired massacres of school children, and nightclub goers, and pregnant women, and bound hostages, and innocent airline passengers and office workers, and we decide to REALLY get our hands dirty with radical muslim blood, I’m not sure that the home front have the stomach for it.
    Paul Harvey called this war the “pull your punches war” and he is right. Our strategy seems to be “let’s fight this, but let’s not sacrifice or offend anyone m’kay”. God forbid that we should put out the American public in anyway to win a war. I found this part of the original article, referring to homeland security, particularly interesting:

    Its elements could include genuine curtailments of civil liberties, an end to the taboo against ethnic and religious profiling, restrictions on immigration, and heightened security that introduces enormous inconveniences into everyday life while constraining the flow of people and goods into America.

    Oh my God, has this bloated idiot seen what happens to Christians here? or to Jews in France or the MIddle East? and he has the gall to wring his hands worrying about profiling? How goddamned hypocritical can one get? And then he snivels about inconvenience, Jeeez, there were meat and flour shortages during World War 2, fresh vegetables were a luxury, tires had to last for 6 years, and there was gas rationing, traveling was curtailed,Japanese Americans were interred in camps (a very bad thing done by a Democrat), but that war is thought of as a noble cause and that is justified….and the home front sucked it up and supported the cause.

    So what is the difference today? judging by the Marines, Airmen, Soldiers, and Sailors (that includes you Coasties) I’ve met, we’re not THAT soft…At least militarily. Could be that the problem is with the home front. Let me give you an example:

    I saw a book yesterday at Borders. It was titled “The Greater Generation”, and it was extolling the virtues of the boomer generation (of which I am member). We are to be praised for promoting the feminist agenda, and the greening the planet, and for expanding personal freedoms. I guess that counts for more than saving the world like our parents did eh? Talk about a wretched piece of self centered drivel. That whole thing sums it up pretty well IMHO. There are a hell of a lot of people in this country who don’t give a rat’s ass about America, or the flag, or that we are the greatest freeest nation this world has ever seen. All they care about is “what’s in it for me?” and that all started in the 60’s…when the boomers came of age. Yep, that sure defines greatness in my book.

    God Bless Our Troops and America.

  8. Unregistered Comment by Ron

    I have with this whole Dubai deal is that I don’t want furreiners, ANY furreiners, having access to information about our port security and even less to our military cargo manifests.

    With Chinese, Japanese, and Singaporean companies owning American ports, though, its going to be hard to not just up and call this one perhaps not racism, but…prejudiced? For sure.

    I found an interesting article that says the reason why foreign companies are buying ports in America is because we as a nation are getting out of the business, thought I’d toss it out there for some perspective.

  9. Unregistered Comment by Right Wing Hegelian UNITED STATES

    There has been a good discussion about the port deal here in the Empire, good arguments on both sides. It all hinges on the question of security. You’d think that that would be the central question the guardians of our republic would be soberly investigating and debating. And you would think that, absent that sobriety, professional journalists would be nudging them to take the pledge. What do we hear instead? Sound and fury about “profiling,” “diversity,” “sensitivity,” and such utter illiberal (in the classical meaning) nonsense.

    Is there any wonder that the Empire is resounding with forbodings of disaster? Their intoxication with petty power politics and idiotic ideologies has finally got a dangerous, perhaps even lethal, grip on our elected representatives. If only our bloggish outrage could sober them up.

  10. Unregistered Comment by Ron

    Correction! Operating! Not owning! Shit.

  11. LC HJ Caveman82952 Comment by LC HJ Caveman82952 UNITED STATES

    God Bless Our Troops and America.

    Yeah, Jaybear, I am anything but proud of my generation, the boomers. To contrst this to my parents proves to painful. One American is right here. I don’t want any foreigners operating our ports, anyone with access to vulnerabilities. I can be called a bigot, that’s fine, but I don’t discriminate. Americans should run the show, not Europeans, Asians, or God forbid, Muslims. Given a choice however, I haven’t heard of anyone else trying to destroy us….yet. The Chinese prefer to simply buy us out, Panama Canal and others, something about a port in Long Beach….. But some huge mistakes were made here by this Administration. I am simply astounded at their complete lack of guessing public reaction to this, not to mention the political games being played right now. Somebody serious needs to lose thier jobs, fat chance, and congress should review it totally. And now to discover it is not simply six ports……..but bottom line, don’t play games with the lives of Americans or the security of our country. And I don’t give a rats ass how it looks to others…….if you gotta’ be a victim to be loved, then hate my guts and start today!

  12. Emperor Darth Misha I Comment by Emperor Darth Misha I UNITED STATES

    With Chinese, Japanese, and Singaporean companies owning American ports, though, its going to be hard to not just up and call this one perhaps not racism, but…prejudiced? For sure.

    Oh, I’m prejudiced alright. Prejudiced in favor of us, and I offer no apologies for it. If it hurts somebody’s tender feelings, then that’s their problem.

    I don’t really give a shit.

    We have a war to win. I have a whole nation of fellow Americans that matter more to me, every single one of them individually, than any conglomerate of turd world nations that may or may not pretend to like us because they don’t like the alternative.

    I don’t really give a shit.

    I have a family too. I’m not willing to jeopardize them in ANY way in order to soothe the hurt feelings of anybody.

    I’d kill every single person on this G-d forsaken planet to save either one of my boys, and I wouldn’t even bat a fucking eyelid.

    So now people are asking me to open another loophole in our national security to avoid hurting the feelings of the Emirates?

    Not in this lifetime, pal.

    I don’t hate the Dubaians, I just don’t trust them or 99.9% of the rest of humanity with my life or, more importantly, the lives of my loved ones. I can risk my own life as much as I want to, it’s my life, but I have no right to risk anybody else’s. If that’s offensive, then I’m an offensive bastard and proud of it.

  13. Unregistered Comment by Ron

    Right. I understand. I’m just pointing out that we really can’t turn back the clock on America getting out of the port operations business. So what are our real options here, is all I’m saying… Do we tell them we reject the deal simply because we don’t want Arabs operating our ports? Or should we let DHS trust but verify? I think we know which one will be the answer to this so-called “non-political issue”.

    And you have it dead right, the Democrats are totally exploiting this rather cynically as a wedge issue against Republicans, and doing a helluva job at it. I won’t say they don’t care but I do think they are more concerned with the value that this story provides as a force of political divide and conquer.

  14. Emperor Darth Misha I Comment by Emperor Darth Misha I UNITED STATES

    I think it’s time for the Administration to come out in the open and explain, in detail, just exactly what kind of measures they have in place to prevent this or any other deal from becoming a security risk for our nation.

    Just saying “we’ve got it all in hand” won’t cut it with me. I need to know exactly what they’re doing to make sure that nobody, and I do mean NOBODY operating ports in this country have any access to sensitive information.

    Not just the Emirates, but ANYBODY.

  15. Unregistered Comment by Ron

    At this point, I heard the Democrats are floating a no-questions-asked 45 day review bill with Congress having final approval of the deal.

    Shit, Mike, you gotta hand it to the Democrats, they outflanked the Republicans on this one like a motherfucker. And no one will be the wiser.

  16. Unregistered Comment by Ron

    Or the safer, I might add.

  17. Unregistered Comment by Ron

    But to respond to your wish that the administration come out and explain, Rice and Chertoff have been out there explaining/doing damage control. DOD says they weren’t briefed, but they are on the committee that supposedly approves these deals. The whole thing is really weird, no one saw this coming at all. Looks like a bureaucratic mess, something decided at lower levels and not told to the people politically liable.

  18. Unregistered Comment by Baron Gasser UNITED STATES

    Hail Emporer:

    Like you, I appreciate Taranto and his opinions. And without a doubt, it is hilarious to see the dhimmicrats become profilers. But you nailed this one right on the head. Just because they are doing it for the wrong reason does not mean they are not right for once.

  19. SoCalOilMan Comment by SoCalOilMan UNITED STATES

    On the merits of the kerfuffle, we have little to add to last week’s editorial in The Wall Street Journal.

    The whole tone of this piece sounds like it could have been written in fwance. It is so damn condescending in it’s “we’ve explained this petty non-issue to you once and you weren’t listening…yoouu silly little personses”.

    With new information coming out every day, I still haven’t made up my mind. So excuse me if I would like to hear more and be able to debate it before committing to something that could turn out very bad.
    And believe me, Isolationism has crossed my mind. I’m really getting tired of the world blaming every friggin problem on the U.S. Let them create their utopia without our help, but don’t come knocking when the snow falls and you didn’t set your stores aside.

    It isn’t going to happen, but it’s tempting.

  20. Rowane Comment by Rowane UNITED STATES

    Its elements could include genuine curtailments of civil liberties, an end to the taboo against ethnic and religious profiling, restrictions on immigration, and heightened security that introduces enormous inconveniences into everyday life while constraining the flow of people and goods into America.

    Seems to me that these would be GOOD THINGS during a World War on Terror.

  21. Cheapshot911 Comment by Cheapshot911 UNITED STATES

    Ron’s question:

    So what are our real options here, is all I’m saying…

    Reflects my response to the Dhimmocrat battle whimper “Whhhhyyy Haliburton?!?”

    Well, who else on the list of “qualified” contenders out-bid ‘em? No other bidders capable of this magnitude of that particular technology?
    Job awarded, get busy.
    This port-deal was much longer coming, ’bout the same surprize when it got here.
    Beg’s the same questions;
    Who else was on the list of port control suitors?
    Can we cross-ref’ their credentials? What did they offer as services? How much?
    I haven’t seen anything that adresses’ them questions.

    That’s more than spooky.

    Our ports are wayyy too imortant to the economies (ours AND our allies) to leave in the hands of anyone who wouldn’t feel terrible pain of closing them or tampering with their operations.
    ESPECIALLY too important to leave in the hands of anyone who would close them to teach us a religious lesson or to show some sort of allegiance with others we aren’t getting along with.

    Can’t recognize Isreal? Then they can’t be trusted to respect the others of the American Cadre of National Trading Partners. Evil book-keepers and dock-space jugglers can screw us up here more than a terror attack. We could be sufferin’ a terror attack at the docks and just because theres no shooting or shouting,,not even know it ’till way too late.

    We’ll change our opinion after the islamofascist do, or when they are satisfyingly gone forever. (My pref’)

    ‘Proud to be: RACIST = Respectful American Citizen Investigating/w Scientific Technology

    F.E.T.E

  22. MegaTroopX Comment by MegaTroopX UNITED STATES

    The simple fact of the matter is that it is very difficult to trust a nation, which is run by a religion for whom lying to the “infidel” is an act of faith.

    :megaman:

  23. Unregistered Comment by Ron

    Well, who else on the list of “qualified” contenders out-bid ‘em? No other bidders capable of this magnitude of that particular technology?

    I think I ran across something that said that DPW paid more than 20% above P&O’s actual value to take over. This was strictly business. President Bush accidentally got it right, this wasn’t a political issue. It is now!

    Same goes for Halliburton, those guys have had a standing contract to fix shit we break internationally for years longer than any paranoid moonbat thinks.

    Fuck it. it doesn’t matter anymore where anyone falls on this one because its already been scored as a giant sized “L” on the Republican ledger. Bush is on record without a clue, and Democrats rushed in to fan the flames and provide the water too. Meanwhile, this deal goes thru in 45 days.

  24. JannyMae Comment by JannyMae UNITED STATES

    If the issue is security, could someone please explain to me why it would be necessary to get a nuke cleared through port security and customs, rather than just detonate it in the harbor? If such a weapon could be smuggled onto a cargo vessel, “at the other end,” what good is our own port security?

    Now, if the issue is that we fear sensitive information being disclosed, I think the Coast Guard has pretty much debunked that notion.

    I was on the fence for quite awhile on this issue, and during that time I found the against arguments less than persuasive. They are even less so, now. When I read crap like this…

    The UAE is not our friend. They sponsor terroism.

    …I’m embarrassed for our side.

    This deal has as much chance of compromising our national security as I have of winning the Powerball without buying a ticket.

  25. Cheapshot911 Comment by Cheapshot911 UNITED STATES

    DPW paid more than 20% above P&O’s actual value to take over.

    Thanks for that bit of scary news.
    Now we get to wonder where they’re goin’ with this if the notion of profit is in the backseat.

    They gotta know somethin’ more/have other plans to be plunkin’ down on a top-heavy deal like that. ‘Just ain’t smart money, unless they have things other than profit in mind.

  26. Puddle Pirate Comment by Puddle Pirate

    Finally, somebody raises the question I thought nobody was ever gonna get around to asking. Why bother unloading a nuke when one could just detonate the thing in the middle of the harbor? Why go through all the trouble and extra chances of being caught?

    One word. Deniability.

    Container on a ship goes kaboom, the list of possible suspects is narrowed to those who shipped containers on that boat on that voyage, and CBP has a hard copy of the cargo manifests.

    On the other hand, one container in a yard that has 500,000 other containers delivered at differing times from 50 other ships over a one month period would be an awful tough thing to prove.

    Is it any protection at all against a rogue terrorist on his own? Nope. Not at all.

    But when we talk nukes, we’re worried about nation states like Iran and North Korea that possess nukes supplying terrorists (or doing it themselves), or nations like Syria buying a nuke and doing the same.

    If there ain’t substantial deniability, a nation state won’t light off a nuke in the US, cause they know what we’d do about it.

  27. Mike M Comment by Mike M UNITED STATES

    Why bother unloading a nuke when one could just detonate the thing in the middle of the harbor?

    This raises a good point. We can have the best port security possible, but what mechanisms are in place at the point of lading to ensure security of cargo that is destined for a US port?

    According to US Customs and Border Protection, it’s supposed to be the Container Security Initiative (CSI).

    Under CSI, CBP has entered into bi-lateral partnerships with other governments to identify high-risk cargo containers and to pre-screen them before they are loaded on vessels destined for the United States.

    And:

    The United Arab Emirates became the first Middle Eastern country to join CSI when the declaration of principles was signed in Dubai on December 12, 2004. A CBP deployment team will work closely with the UAE government personnel to target high-risk cargo containers destined for the United States.

    Sounds pretty good, but does anybody know how if it’s performing up to expectations?

  28. Unregistered Comment by Chairman eDog, RCP UNITED STATES

    I’m not sure which way the port deal should go, but I think that Taranto makes some good points that you’ve misread. His purpose in talking about racial profiling–I’m not sure where he actually stands on the subject–is mainly to point out the Democrats’ hypocrisy on the issue and further the point that they stand for nothing but opposition (and should thus remain as such in government). Also, he generally argues against isolationism as the left has come to define it, as an excuse to ignore foreign threats to America. Likewise the left, at the same time they push for isolationism, carp endlessly about the measures we currently take in defending the homeland now as erroding our freedoms. In this regard it makes a lot of sense to point out that: a) as a practical matter we simply can’t lock down this country, and thus can’t defend it through exclusively defensive measures; and b) given that reality, we imperil our civil liberties by ultimately making ourselves more vulnerable to attack. One can argue for or against the port deal, but Taranto’s critique of isolationists and civil libertarian absolutists is both very eloquent, and utterly devastating.