Monday, February 27, 2006

Homeland Security?

The former spokesman for the US-deposed Taliban is now a student at Yale University. This is not a joke. Well, actually it is, but the joke is on the American people, and very much at their expense. Recall that the Taliban was the ultra-extremist Islamic government of Afghanistan that gave safe harbor and protection to Osama bin Laden, before and after September 11, 2001. Recall that the US invaded Afghanistan and dislodged the Taliban, at the expense of American lives. Recall that the Taliban, though driven from power, remains active along the Afghan-Pakistan border, conducting a low level insurgency against the new Afghan government – i.e., assasinations, robbery, bombings, rapes and the murder of innocent civilians who have displeased them. Yet, the Taliban’s former ambassador, who pleaded his regime’s murderous case abroad, apparently had no trouble gaining a visa to study in the US. What a fine tribute to the American and Allied soldiers who lost their lives bringing the Taliban down. This is what passes for "Homeland Security" under the Bush administration.

John Fund, writing in the Wall Street Journal’s Opinion Journal, can’t hide his dismay.

Never has an article made me blink with astonishment as much as when I read in yesterday's New York Times magazine that Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, former ambassador-at-large for the Taliban, is now studying at Yale on a U.S. student visa. This is taking the obsession that U.S. universities have with promoting diversity a bit too far.

Something is very wrong at our elite universities. Last week Larry Summers resigned as president of Harvard when it became clear he would lose a no-confidence vote held by politically correct faculty members furious at his efforts to allow ROTC on campus, his opposition to a drive to have Harvard divest itself of corporate investments in Israel, and his efforts to make professors work harder. Now Yale is giving a first-class education to an erstwhile high official in one of the most evil regimes of the latter half of the 20th century--the government that harbored the terrorists who attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001.

"In some ways," Mr. Rahmatullah told the New York Times. "I'm the luckiest person in the world. I could have ended up in Guantanamo Bay. Instead I ended up at Yale." One of the courses he has taken is called Terrorism-Past, Present and Future.

Many foreign readers of the Times will no doubt snicker at the revelation that naive Yale administrators scrambled to admit Mr. Rahmatullah. The Times reported that Yale "had another foreigner of Rahmatullah's caliber apply for special-student status." Richard Shaw, Yale's dean of undergraduate admissions, told the Times that "we lost him to Harvard," and "I didn't want that to happen again."

It is just enough to be sickening. American universities won’t allow the military to recruit on campuses, or permit R.O.T.C., but will vie with each other for people who, if they had the political power, would destroy those very institutions. Can there be a better example of the intellectual self-loathing that hails itself as "multiculturalism"?

I don't believe Mr. Rahmatullah had direct knowledge of the 9/11 plot, and I don't think he has ever killed anyone. I can appreciate that he is trying to rebuild his life. But he willingly and cheerfully served an evil regime in a manner that would have made Goebbels proud. That he was 22 at the time is little of an excuse. There are many poor, bright students--American and foreign alike--who would jump at the opportunity to attend Yale. Why should Mr. Rahmatullah go to the line ahead of all of them? That's a question Yale alumni should ask when their alma mater comes looking for contributions.

President Bush, who already has a well-known disdain for Yale elitism from his student days there, may also have some questions. In the wake of his being blindsided by his own administration over the Dubai port deal, he should be interested in finding out exactly who at the State Department approved Mr. Rahmatullah's application for a student visa.

If the administration cannot keep – at a minimum - former Taliban officials from entering the US, not to mention taking up space at our premier universities, how can it expect to be trusted on any issue of national security? When President Bush asks Americans to trust him that our ports will remain secure even if managed by a company from the United Arab Emirates – one of only three nations to recognize the Taliban government – what can Americans do but look at Yale and wonder?


At 10:27 PM , Anonymous perroazul del norte said...

It is always a shock when you find something sensible in the WSJ. What you normally find is a Mad Magazine approach to such issues as the trade deficit and illegal immigration.


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