In the middle of our relentlessly vicious winter, I flew to Florida to deliver a lecture, after which I planned to sit in some blessed sunshine. There was precious little of that. It was cold, it rained, the swimming pool remained covered as the temperatures remained in the 30s. On my second day there, I experienced my second post-operative “spontaneous” fracture in the last seven months which made each step agony and which kept me confined to my dear friends’ very comfortable leather couch for eight days. Each day I hoped I’d improve; each day, like the weather, I only got worse.
I drove to the airport, hoping that the flight back would not be delayed by bad weather and that the pilot would not have to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River. So there I was: Gratefully confined to the airline’s wheelchair, when I was told that both my companion and myself had been randomly selected for an extra-special, super-duper security search.
I kid you not: At least two men of Middle Eastern descent (who could have been FBI agents for all I knew), breezed right on through as I sat there. Two people did a slow-and-careful search of our carry-on luggage; they examined my computer millimeter by millimeter. Special chemicals were involved. And much time.
My patient companion was put in a radiation/x-ray chamber and radiated. We took off our shoes, coats, jackets, and jewelry. (If they could, they would have had me remove my bright shiny new hip too). I was physically patted down in every imaginable place–and had to try very hard not to laugh when the security attendant told me that she would “also have to search my wheelchair.” “Please do,” I said, “but it is not mine, it belongs to the airline.” She nevertheless searched it vigorously, especially below the wheelchair seat while I was still seated in it.
Two of the security guards were weather-beaten, angry-looking prison warden-like women with whom one does not wish to make eye contact. Three more were milder sorts but all were “just following orders.” As I sat there I wondered: What if they were border guards in a war-zone? What if my life depended on whether I made this flight? How exactly does one “sweet-talk” such self-important bureaucrats?
And thus, does terrorism–and our need to defend ourselves from attack–impinge more and more upon our lives. Airports are no longer any fun, all the glamor and excitement are gone, one waits on long lines to be searched, as we must, we must.
I would like every passenger to remember why. These burdensome and necessary procedures are not due to American foreign policy or to Israel’s precious existence but to death-eating Muslim terrorists. As I’ve written many times: Not all Muslims are terrorists–absolutely not–but these days, all terrorists seem to be Muslims.
For saying true things like this, as is our right to do in free democracies, Mark Steyn was tried for committing “hate crime speech” in Canada and now Geert Wilders will be tried for it in Holland. Taslima Nasrin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Wafa Sultan, all live in hiding because they spoke out about Islam. Which of us will be next?
I say: All of us must be next and we must keep on speaking the truth until we roundly defeat the jihadists on all the fields of battle.