Fighting Terrorism Since 1492

Maybe I’m an unlikely candidate to write this column for the following reasons:

  • I opposed the formation of the Department of Homeland Security and still consider it a testament to the archaic notions that bigger is better and that centralized authority is more efficient.
  • My ancestral heritage includes American Indian or "native American" blood.
  • Most of my non-Indian ancestors were late arrivals to these shores — coming, as they did, in the early part of the 20th century, long after the Indian wars were over.

Yet, I take offense at a T-shirt finding popularity among the hate-America. You can see an image of it on this page here.

"Homeland Security," it reads, over a photo of four armed Indians. "Fighting Terrorists Since 1492."

In fact, there are a whole series of variations on the theme. (I trust those reading this column will have the good sense not to purchase any.)

I’m sure this is getting some yucks in college faculty lounges and among Ward Churchill fans in academia.

But it’s not funny. In fact, it’s insulting. It’s insulting to you, me and should be to every single American. The fact that it is obviously not insulting to every American is the real tragedy behind the "joke."

What we can deduce from this bumper-sticker version of American history is the following:

  • The real Americans were the Indians, who would never have known what a rifle was — or the wheel, for that matter — had it not been for the European "terrorists" who invaded their shores.
  • Columbus, who discovered America in 1492, was a "terrorist" and every non-native person who followed was as well.
  • That our fight against the people who killed 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001, and their allies is hypocritical because we ourselves are mostly descendants of foreign invaders.

It is this kind of moral relativism that is rendering Americans incapable of discerning right from wrong, from distinguishing between truth and lie, from telling up from down, right from left, black from white.

It must be the goal.

Some people hate America so much that they want to shape its future by rewriting its past. They want to obscure the present by twisting history. They want to demoralize us from defending ourselves and our way of life by persuading us that we are no better than our enemies.

How do you have dialogue with such people?

What common ground do we have with people who really see the world through this inverse reality?

What must it be like living in such a parallel universe?

How do you feel being caricatured as the moral equivalent of a 9/11 suicide hijacker because of the color of your skin?

Imagine America — the birthplace of real human freedom in the world — being maligned as the incubator of terrorism, racism and oppression.

That’s what’s going on here. I hate to make too much of a T-shirt, but the T-shirts are only symptoms of the mental illness infecting a vast part of our population.

Let me summarize here:

We are at war today with Islamofascists who seek to destroy us, our country and our memory. It is the same enemy that drove Columbus to seek a sea route to the East in 1492 — because people who called themselves, as they do today, muhahadeen, had blocked the land routes. It is the same enemy President Thomas Jefferson was forced to fight in America’s first war — with the so-called "Barbary Pirates," in fact Islamic terrorists who hijacked commercial ships back then because there were no airliners.

No amount of wishful thinking will change the fact that we are at war. No amount of self-loathing will make our enemy go away. No amount of blaming America will make us immune to the next unprovoked attack by an enemy that would behead anyone wearing one of these T-shirts as quickly as they would behead someone wearing a cross or the Star of David.