Steve Sack’s Sunday (Nov. 22) cartoon attempts to contrast the London Blitz of the 1940s motto “Keep calm and carry on” with the ISIL Blitz of 2015, in which the U.S. is supposedly reacting with a “Panic and abandon your values” mentality.
Surely, Sack is wagging his values finger directly at Congress, among others, and their focus on preventing an estimated 10,000 poorly vetted Syrians from coming into our midst at this time.
But Sack’s blitz comparison is a false narrative.
How might the Luftwaffe-bombed Londoners of 1940-41 have reacted had they been informed that 10,000 poorly vetted German refugees (80 percent of them single men between the ages of 19 and 35) would be allowed to settle among them? Would Londoners still have kept calm and merely carried on? Fair-minded people could certainly think: probably not. In fact, there might have been riots in the streets.
Remember, the German Luftwaffe’s London Blitz began Sept. 7, 1940, and ended May 21, 1941, killing an estimated 40,000 Londoners.
Perhaps Sack would do better to compare Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt’s infamous Executive Order 9066, which he signed on Feb. 19, 1942 — shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
FDR’s executive order essentially imprisoned an estimated 70,000 actual U.S. citizens (not refugees) of Japanese descent.
Yes, in the spring of 1942, American citizens were ordered to internment camps (basically prisons), without the right of habeas corpus.
Today? ISIL propaganda is exhorting homegrown radical sleeper cells to initiate terror and carnage upon innocent Americans. Last week, the FBI acknowledged that it is investigating 900 cases of potential Islamic extremist terrorists in our midst, and senior intelligence agency officials testifying before Congress readily admit that while they possess the process to vet refugees, they simply do not possess the critical database to properly vet refugees from Syria — or wherever these refugees originated from.
It is not an abandonment of our basic values to prudently slow the inflow of unknown refugees — 80 percent of whom are single men. Rather, it is an adult conversation that recognizes the federal government’s first and foremost obligation to its citizens. Namely, to make certain that our citizens are safe from outside potential predators (few as they may actually turn out to be) who would seek to do harm.
Obama’s political operatives say that the refugees pose no threat, yet highly placed intelligence officials have a different assessment.
This is too important. Let’s make certain to get this right.
Thomas R. Schwebach lives in Eden Prairie.