Front Page















War - It's Not Politically Correct
September 20, 2001

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

A dramatic shift has taken place in America. In many ways, we are a different nation from the one that existed prior to September 11, 2001. Patriotism is in full blossom. Faith is expressed freely. We pray out loud. We sing spontaneously. We even sermonize from newsrooms and street corners. Our hearts swell in spite of their brokenness.

At some point we are going to stop and ask ourselves why we have not behaved this way in such a long time. The answer will elude us until we are prepared to face a rather unpleasant reality.

A number of faulty attitudes and presuppositions have managed to fix themselves firmly within our institutions, and their effects have been damaging in ways we never intended. Slowly, our thinking became restricted, our communication inhibited and our conduct contrived. The reverberations from our newfound assumptions affected daily operations of schools, courts, worship centers, newspapers and politics. It was irritating at times, but we adjusted as we went along.

We will have time to analyze and, most likely, reevaluate the social and cultural implications of our "progressive experimentation at our leisure. Except for one area, which has fallen upon our nation,s shoulders with a jarring force. It is that most indispensable area of national security. In this realm, we have no time for prolonged national introspection, no time for assessing alternatives. In this realm, we must simply abandon any and all deference to political correctness, and we must do so immediately.

In matters of national security, political correctness has already exacted a price. It has compromised the integrity of our borders, the sovereignty of our nation, the strength of our intelligence and the effectiveness of our forces.

The legislative and judicial branches, too, have weighed us down with reams of laws pertaining to racial profiling, harassment and civil rights in an effort to construct a legal foundation for politically correct ideas.

One of the problems with political correctness in action is that it gives birth to rules of law that can quickly turn into preventive policy and cultural norm. Relative to national security, this can be deadly.

Because of preventive policies, based on underlying law, an airline employee might be discouraged from detaining a passenger or informing security professionals about suspicious activity, if any ethnic or racial inferences may be made. An agency might lower its standards of performance for physical ability in an effort at inclusiveness. An instructor might sacrifice accuracy to avoid offending the sensibilities of some students. These types of preemptive behavior oftentimes end up inhibiting investigatory practices, law enforcement and even truth itself.

The impulse toward internationalism, a sometimes stepchild of political correctness, must be subjugated for national security reasons as well. The US Ambassador to the Ukraine, Carlos Pacual, has expressed his desire that terrorist prime suspect, Osama bin Laden, be handed over to an international body. In exchange for support, China is demanding that we change our policy toward Taiwan independence and the people of Tibet, and that we yield sovereignty over the matter of war to the United Nations Security Council. Dissenting countries of Europe who are members of NATO have indicated that they will not supply military troops and hardware to our antiterrorism coalition, despite Article 5, a specific provision of the North Atlantic Treaty, which requires member states to treat an attack on any one of the members as an attack on its own nation.

These facts underscore the role that international organizations and treaties play, when the US is responding to a declaration of war on its people. In a rejection of the supra-nationalism, which has been heralded by some intellectual elites, our leaders have laid out this admonition to the world: America will defend herself. Join us or get out of the way.

Does all this mean that in our country we must jettison the Bill of Rights for the sake of international relations, the intelligence community or law enforcement? Certainly not. But it does mean that we must recognize the exigency of our circumstances. We are now a nation at war. With acceptance of this reality, we must put aside the foolishness that amended thinking has imposed and come to a collective realization. Political correctness has no role to play in love of country or in war.

Reproduced with the permission of . All rights reserved

Copyright © 2001 -
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

All Rights Reserved