December 2008


 Official photo of Gen. Victor Krulak, circa 1960s. – UT file photo

Lt. Gen. Victor H. Krulak, who entered the U.S. Naval Academy as an undersized 16-year-old and rose to commander of all Marine Corps forces in the Pacific, died Monday night at the Wesley Palms Retirement Community in San Diego.

He was 95. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Rising barely 5 feet, 5 inches, Gen. Krulak was jokingly nicknamed Brute by his academy classmates. The moniker stuck, reinforced by his direct, no-nonsense style. And, as Time magazine later said, “There was nothing undersized about his brain.”

A sign in his Honolulu office while he commanded Pacific forces expressed Gen. Krulak’s disciplined leadership: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

While commanding more than 100,000 Marines in the Pacific from 1964 to 1968, Gen. Krulak took part in a critical stage of America’s buildup of forces and involvement in Vietnam.

Before his retirement from the military after 34 years in 1968, he was considered a strong candidate for commandant, the top Marine post that his oldest son, Charles, attained in 1995.

Gen. Krulak became, at 43, the youngest brigadier general in Marine Corps history up to that time. By then, he was a decorated veteran of World War II and the Korean War and had been wounded while directing a Marine parachute battalion in the South Pacific against overwhelming odds.

When Gen. Krulak retired from the military, he received the second of two Distinguished Service Medals. For the next nine years, he was employed by Copley Newspapers, serving at various times as director of editorial and news policy and news media president of Copley News Service.

He retired as vice president of The Copley Press Inc. in 1977 and contributed columns on international affairs and military matters for Copley News Service.

He also wrote the book “First to Fight,” an insider’s view of the Marine Corps.

A tenacious critic of the government’s handling of the Vietnam War, he wrote that the war could have been won only if the Vietnamese people had been protected and befriended and if enemy supplies from North Vietnam were cut off.

“The destruction of the port of Haiphong would have changed the whole character of the war,” he said two decades after the fall of Saigon.

Gen. Krulak once summed up the U.S. dilemma in Vietnam by saying, “It has no front lines. The battlefield is in the minds of 16 or 17 million people.”

His first-hand knowledge of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam was enhanced by his 54 visits there during the 1960s.

Before assuming command of Fleet Marine Force Pacific in 1964, Gen. Krulak served as principal adviser on counterinsurgency warfare to then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“I never got enthusiasm out of war, and I’m convinced that the true pacifists are the professional soldiers who have actually seen it,” he said many years later.

Gen. Krulak, a native of Denver, received his appointment to the Naval Academy before finishing high school. “I was underweight and little – so they called me ‘Brute,’ ” he said.

Gen. Krulak received a waiver to bypass the Marine Corps height requirement of 5 feet, 6 inches.

He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps after graduating from the Naval Academy in 1934.

All three of Gen. Krulak’s sons followed him to the Naval Academy. Each served in Vietnam while Gen. Krulak was commanding the Hawaii-based Fleet Marine Force.

The leadership Gen. Krulak exhibited in combat during World War II marked him as star on the rise.

On the island of Choiseul, he led his outnumbered battalion during an eight-day raid on Japanese forces, diverting the enemy’s attention from the U.S. invasion of Bougainville.

Gen. Krulak’s troops destroyed hundreds of tons of supplies, burning both camps and landing barges. He was wounded on Oct. 13, 1943, and later received the Navy Cross for heroism along with the Purple Heart.

The PT boat that transported Gen. Krulak off Choiseul was skippered by a young Navy lieutenant, John F. Kennedy. Years later, then-President Kennedy chose Gen. Krulak as a special adviser on guerrilla warfare in Vietnam.

Gen. Krulak’s distinguished service in World War II as assistant chief of staff of the newly formed 6th Marine Division earned him a Legion of Merit with a combat V.

He received a Bronze Star at the end of the war for his role in negotiating the surrender of Japanese forces in the area of Tsingtao, China.

In May 1998, Gen. Krulak was inducted into the Navy Department’s Acquisition Hall of Fame for his work in developing landing boats that were crucial to the success of scores of amphibious landings in World War II.

Gen. Krulak worked with Andrew Higgins, a New Orleans boat builder, to produce a model of what became the Landing Craft, Vehicles and Personnel. More than 2,000 of the craft were built for the U.S. military and its allies.

As chief of staff with the 1st Marine Division during the Korean War, Gen. Krulak earned a second Legion of Merit with a combat V. He also received an Air Medal for reconnaissance and other flights in Korea between Aug. 1950 and July 1951.

In December 1959, Gen. Krulak, then a two-star general, assumed command of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, a position he held until his appointment in 1962 as an adviser in the Kennedy Administration.

In 1963, he was described by his World War II commander, Gen. Holland M. “Howling Mad” Smith, as “the most brilliant officer I’ve known in my 58 years in the Marine Corps.”

A longtime Point Loma resident, Gen. Krulak was honored in 1968 as San Diego’s “Citizen of the Year” by San Diego Uplifters, a group of 400 professional and business leaders.

Gen. Krulak was known for writing his own military speeches and was a popular speaker before civic organizations. He received several national awards for his patriotic writing and speaking, including one in 1978 from the Freedoms Foundation.

He was active in many community organizations and was a former president and trustee of the Zoological Society of San Diego. He received honorary degrees from the University of San Diego and Loyola University.


 Via American Patrol:

By Mail Foreign Service

A Saddam Hussein house of horrors museum is set to open in the New Year in Baghdad, it emerged today – the second anniversary of the dictator’s hanging.

The exhibition includes a man-shaped iron cage used to torture unsuccessful athletes, bloodstained noose and battle plans for the extermination of rebellious Kurds.

It is designed to send a clear message that even the most feared dictator cannot hope to evade justice.


Brutal: The judge who sentenced Saddam to death hopes he isn’t forgotten

And it was created by Judge Arif Abdul Razak al-Shaheem, whose tribunal sentenced Saddam to death.

’We thought that people might forget the works committed by dictators who committed horrible acts against them,’ he said.

‘This is not related to national reconciliation. This museum is about history. History must not be forgotten.’

The museum will showcase torture devices such as a man-shaped metal cage where, in the Iraqi Olympic Centre, Saddam’s son Uday used to lock under-performing athletes for weeks at a time – and set them naked under the burning sun, the metal searing their flesh.

There is a steel bar from an intelligence centre, with a specially welded hook from which countless Iraqis were hung.


Torture device: Under-performing athletes were put in this cage and left in the sun

It will include personal effects found with Saddam when he was discovered hiding on an Iraqi farm in December 2004, including a Quran, a cassette recording of Mozart, a dusty black briefcase.

Chairs will be on display that were sat in by Saddam and his top lieutenants during their High Tribunal trials, including the one that ended in Saddam’s execution for killing 148 men and boys following an assassination attempt in 1982.

The museum will also have a research centre where legal researchers or historians can comb through 26million documents, including the handwritten orders to crush opposition from minority Kurds, which led to the death of tens of thousands.

A floor below Judge Shaheen’s office, the High Tribunal continued on Tuesday proceedings against Ali Hassan al-Majeed, a Saddam confidante known as ‘Chemical Ali; for his role in gassing Kurds, and Tareq Aziz, a former deputy prime minister, on charges they systematically crushed political opponents.

Majeed has already been sentenced twice to death, but his execution has been held up by political disputes. Since Saddam was executed, his half brother and several other officials have been sent to the gallows as well.


Grim: A noose used to hang Saddam’s opponents

The new case against Majeed, Aziz and over 20 others revolves around the arrest and execution of tens of thousands of members of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Dawa party.

Its timing rankled some politicians outside Maliki’s sphere, who complained it was a bid to influence provincial elections next month that will be a test of rival parties’ influence and will set the tone for parliamentary polls in late 2009.

Violence has dropped sharply, but Iraq risks backsliding into civil war if it can’t bury deep political grievances.

Judge Shaheen rejected that any of the tribunal’s dozen or so cases have been politicised, just as he sought to separate the new Saddam museum from the fractious politics of Iraq today, where former enemies have yet to fully reconcile.


Colorado Springs-based Maytag Aircraft Corp. hopes to double its annual revenue to $40 million within five years after forming two joint ventures designed to help the longtime defense contractor diversify and win more civilian work.

The ventures with California-based New Bedford Panoramex Corp. (NBP) and Dubai-based Red Orange LLC are designed to pair Maytag’s airfield management expertise and background in providing aviation support services to military bases with NBP’s focus on navigation aids and lighting systems used at airports and Red Orange’s history of providing logistics services to government agencies in Afghanistan, Iraq and other war-torn regions.

The Maytag-NBP venture hopes to bid on a contract to manage the control tower and airfield electronics, operations and maintenance at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, said David Nelson, Maytag Aircraft’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

The base in Cuba is home to a controversial detention camp primarily used to house detainees. President-elect Barack Obama has pledged to close the base.

"We want to start bidding on contracts at smaller airports and build up to bigger airports," Nelson said. "The potential of these joint ventures is they could eventually be the biggest part of the company, especially with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) revamping its systems. We will always maintain our historic operations in refueling and aviation support services to the Department of Defense, and it was always be a contributor to the company."

Maytag also is growing its traditional aviation service business by winning a five-year contract this year to manage fuel tank operations at 19 Air Force bases in Europe and the eastern and southern U.S. that will generate $9.5 million a year in revenue. The services had been provided by Air Force personnel, but Nelson estimates that outsourcing the work to private contractors cuts costs for the military an average of about 20 percent.

"With defense budgets likely to get leaner, we expect to see more outsourcing because the private sector can do these services for less," Nelson said. "We also believe there will be more opportunities to expand this new contract with more services."

The company added 190 employees at the 19 locations to perform the contract, expanding its 350-person work force by more than 50 percent. Nelson said Maytag plans to add three staff members to its eight-person headquarters staff next year for the contract.

The new contract and joint ventures are part of a two-year effort Nelson launched when he was promoted to chief operating officer in 2006 after the company’s revenue had declined by half to $10 million in the previous two years. Nelson immediately formed a three-person team to bid on contracts as the centerpiece of "a more focused effort" to improve the company’s business development, quality assurance and customer satisfaction.

Maytag also is bidding on more contracts jointly with its corporate parent, Los Angeles-based Mercury Air Group Inc., to combine Maytag’s military aviation support expertise with Mercury’s air cargo and logistics experience, Nelson said.

Founded by appliance heir Lewis B. Maytag in 1950, Maytag Aircraft was acquired by Mercury in 1984. Maytag Aircraft has completed more than 400 government contracts and is the largest provider of air terminal and cargo handling for the Air Force Air Mobility Command.


Communist Cynthia McKinney

(Communist News Network) — An Israeli patrol boat struck a boat carrying medical volunteers and supplies to Gaza early Tuesday as it attempted to intercept the vessel in the Mediterranean Sea, witnesses and Israeli officials said.

CNN Correspondent Karl Penhaul was aboard the 60-foot, Gibraltar-registered pleasure boat Dignity when the contact occurred. When the boat later docked in the Lebanese port city of Tyre, severe damage was visible to the forward port side of the boat, and the front left window and part of the roof had collapsed.

The Dignity was carrying crew and 16 passengers — physicians from Britain, Germany and Cyprus and human rights activists, including former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney — who were trying to reach Gaza through an Israeli blockade of the territory.

The captain of the Dignity said the Israelis broadcast a radio message accusing the vessel of being involved in terrorist activity. But Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor denied that and said the radio message simply warned the vessel not to proceed to Gaza because it is a closed military area.

Palmor said there was no response to the radio message, and the vessel then tried to out-maneuver the Israeli patrol boat, leading to the collision.

Penhaul said at least two Israeli patrol boats had shadowed the Dignity for about half an hour before the collision, moving around the vessel on all sides. One of the patrol boats then shined its spotlight on the Dignity while the other, with its lights off, "very severely rammed" the boat.

The captain of the Dignity told Penhaul he received no prior warning. Only after the collision did the Israelis come on the radio to say they struck the boat because they believed it was involved in terrorist activities. 

The captain and crew said their vessel was struck intentionally, Penhaul said, but Palmor called those allegations "absurd."

"There is no intention on the part of the Israeli navy to ram anybody," Palmor said.

"I would call it ramming. Let’s just call it as it is," McKinney said. "Our boat was rammed three times, twice in the front and one on the side.

"Our mission was a peaceful mission to deliver medical supplies and our mission was thwarted by the Israelis — the aggressiveness of the Israeli military," she said.

The incident occurred in international waters about 90 miles off Gaza. Israel controls the waters off Gaza’s coast and routinely blocks ships from coming into the Palestinian territory as part of an ongoing blockade that also applies to the Israel-Gaza border. Human rights groups have expressed concern about the blockade on Gaza, which has restricted the delivery of emergency aid and fuel supplies.

The collision was so severe, Penhaul said, that the passengers were ordered to put on their life vests and be ready to get in lifeboats. The Dignity began taking on water, but the crew managed to pump it out of the hull long enough for the boat to reach shore.

Palmor said the vessel refused assistance after the incident.

The boat was carrying boxes of relief supplies, volunteers and journalists to Gaza, the Palestinian territory now subject to an intense Israeli bombing campaign.

Israel launched airstrikes against Gaza on Saturday in what Defense Minister Ehud Barak called an "all-out war" against the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which has ruled the territory since 2007.

The Palestinian death toll has topped 375, most of them Hamas militants, Palestinian medical sources said Tuesday. At least 60 civilians have been killed in Gaza, U.N. officials said.

Hamas has responded with volleys of rocket fire aimed at southern Israeli towns, which have left six Israelis dead — five of them civilians.

Hamas has vowed to defend Gaza in the face of what it calls continued Israeli aggression. Each side blames the other for violating an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire, which formally expired December 19 but had been weakening for months.

 Via the pro-anything-Mexican Houston Chronicle
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Carlos Garcia-Hernandez, 19, a citizen of Mexico, was turned over to Mexican officials on Monday

A Mexican citizen and former Houston gang member was deported to his native country Monday to answer murder charges in connection with the deaths of two women during a robbery earlier this year.

Carlos Garcia-Hernandez, 19, was turned over to Mexican officials on the Brownsville International Bridge. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Garcia-Hernandez was a member of the "Houstone" street gang. He was arrested Dec. 11 after ICE received word that Mexican authorities were seeking him.

The homicides were committed during a robbery in Cuernavaca, Mexico, in March. Three other individuals involved in the killings already are serving prison sentences in Mexico.

Garcia-Hernandez has previous convictions in Houston for possessing marijuana, escaping from law enforcement custody and driving with a counterfeit driver’s license, according to ICE, which previously deported him in November 2007.

Garcia-Hernandez’s deportation was among an increased number of such actions in 2008. ICE said its repatriation of illegal immigrants jumped 20 percent in the latest fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. ICE removed or returned 349,041 illegal immigrants to their native countries, compared with 288,663 in fiscal year 2007. A third of those removed in 2008 had other criminal convictions in addition to being in the country illegally, according to the agency.

By Noel Sheppard

In an obvious attempt to counter the typically anti-Israeli sentiment prevalent throughout the international media whenever Israel defends itself, the Israel Defense Forces launched its own YouTube channel Monday.

As most impartial Americans are aware, old and new media were used against Israel in 2006 to foment international criticism of its attacks on Lebanon not the least of which was a Reuters photographer caught doctoring pictures

With this in mind, as reported by the Jerusalem Post Tuesday, the IDF plans on being much more proactive this time in making the international community completely aware of what’s really going on with Israel’s recent military response in the Gaza Strip (video example embedded above): 

In the midst of its Gaza operations, the IDF is entering yet another conflict zone: the Internet. The Israeli army announced yesterday the creation of its own YouTube channel, through which it will disseminate footage of precision bombing operations in the Gaza Strip, as well as aid distribution and other footage of interest to the international community. 

"The blogosphere and new media are another war zone," said IDF Foreign Press Branch head Maj. Avital Leibovich. "We have to be relevant there."

Her sentiment reflects a growing awareness in the Israeli government that part of the failure of the 2006 Second Lebanon War was Israel’s lack of readiness for the intense media debate surrounding its operations. […]

"The important thing is to get the truth out there," she added, noting that her office, in addition to curating the YouTube channel, had delivered multiple private briefings to bloggers around the world. She said that members of her department were also getting ready to start their own "vlogs," a new media term for regularly posting videos of oneself speaking one’s mind in diary form. 

This seems like a brilliant strategy, so much so that maybe the Bush administration should have considered doing this years ago to counter the constant stream of Democrat talking points regularly espoused by America’s media.

Just a thought.



Standing guard over a section of the Khyber Pass. Times Online photo.

NATO’s vital supply link through the Northwest Frontier Province has been shut down as the Pakistani military launched an operation to clear the Taliban from the area.

"Supplies to NATO forces have temporarily been suspended," Tariq Hayat Khan, the Khyber agency’s political agent, told reporters. The main road between Peshawar has been closed as the military launched attacks using "artillery, tanks and, helicopter gunships," Geo News reported. It is unclear if the operation is being led by the Army or the paramilitary Frontier Corps.

The operation began in the Jamrud region just west of Peshawar. The Taliban overran the Jamrud region a month ago. "The government has to take action or we shall see Iraq-like situation in the area in the coming few months," a Pakistani official told Daily Times on Dec. 3.

The move comes as Taliban attacks have increasingly targeted NATO columns and shipping terminals in Khyber and Peshawar. More than 300 NATO vehicles and containers have been destroyed in a series of attacks on shipping terminals in Peshawar as well as attacks on convoys moving through the region.

More than 160 NATO military vehicles and containers were destroyed in two attacks on Dec. 7. Just yesterday, four NATO fuel trucks at the Torkham crossing point were set ablaze after the Taliban fired rockets on the trucks as they were parked.

The Pakistani government shut down the vital Khyber Pass crossing other two times this year. The government closed the crossing for one day in September to protest US airstrikes against Taliban and al Qaeda operatives sheltering in the tribal areas. The second closing in November was in response to the poor security situation in Peshawar and Khyber.

After the major attacks on the terminals, the government said NATO convoys would be accompanied and protected by Pakistani military units. But Pakistani units did not intervene in successive attacks on terminals and supply columns in December.

NATO and the US military in Afghanistan downplayed the attacks on the terminals, describing the effects on the NATO operation in Afghanistan as "militarily insignificant." But the US is currently looking to open alternative supply routes through the former Soviet republics.

The NATO logistical chain through Pakistan stretches from the port city of Karachi to Peshawar, through the Khyber Pass to Kabul. More than 70 percent of NATO supplies move through Peshawar.

The Pakistani military launched an operation with the intent of clearing the Taliban from the Peshawar district in November. In a press conference, a Pakistan Frontier Corps general touted the success of the operation, noting 25 Taliban fighters were killed and 40 captured. The operation, designed to relieve pressure on the provincial capital, was the second military offensive in Peshawar since the summer.

The offensive failed to drive the Taliban from Peshawar, as the multiple attacks on NATO convoys and the string of bombings and attacks on foreigners inside the city demonstrate.

Despite the deteriorating security situation in the Northwest Frontier Province, the Army has decided to pull at least two divisions from the region to bolster the Indian frontier. The 14th Division began withdrawing last week, and it is thought the 23rd Division is also redeploying to the east.

Editor’s note: This review of Samuel Huntington’s Who Are We? by John Fonte appeared in the May 31, 2004, issue of National Review.

Assimilation Nation

Harvard’s Samuel Huntington is perhaps America’s foremost political scientist. His forte is comprehensive intellectual analysis of the deepest issues we face. In the 1970s, on President Carter’s National Security Council staff, Huntington organized the most thorough strategic review of the Cold War ever undertaken, influencing the Brzezinski and, later, Reagan counteroffensives against world Communism. In the 1990s, his detailed analysis of the new global fault lines in The Clash of Civilizations alerted a complaisant pre-9/11 world to the dangers ahead. Who Are We?: The Challenges to America’s National Identity is Huntington doing what he does best: It is a classic — perhaps the definitive — overview of the future of the American nation-state.

Huntington argues that American identity today is based on both ideology and a common culture. The ideology — the “American Creed,” a belief in liberty, democracy, individual rights, and the like — is a “product of the distinct Anglo-Protestant culture” brought to North America by the mostly British settlers in the 17th and 18th centuries. Universalist Enlightenment concepts also played a part. These ideas proved especially fruitful because they found “receptive ground in the Anglo-Protestant culture that had already existed in America for over a century.” This culture includes the English language; British traditions of law, rights, and limited government; the values of dissenting Protestantism (especially its moralism and anti-hierarchical spirit, which made it different from European Protestantism); the work ethic, economic opportunity, individualism, and Christianity.

Huntington contends that two widely accepted propositions about American identity — that we are a “nation of immigrants” and that our identity is defined solely by the values of the American Creed — are half-truths that are ultimately misleading. First, he says, we are a classic “settler” nation, in which the ideas and institutions of the original settlers established the core culture that (with modifications) “still primarily” endures. It is this “Anglo” culture in the first place that attracted immigrants, who then, in large measure, did not simply replicate the old country but assimilated into the new — into the American mainstream. Thus, as a people, we are descendants of settlers and assimilated immigrants, not simply a “nation of immigrants.”

Second, although the Creed is a crucial element of American identity, our nation is not solely based on ideas. Huntington notes that a strong believer in the American Creed of liberty, democracy, and individual rights, who lives in Russia or India, is not an American, but a Russian or Indian. That person would be an American only if he immigrated, learned America’s language and customs, took the oath of allegiance, and became a loyal citizen of the United States. Moreover, a truly multicultural America (not what exists today, a country with many subcultures within a common civic core) would ultimately become multi-creedal. If ethnic and religious groups had distinct cultures in opposition to the mainstream culture, they would eventually advocate different political creeds and ideologies.

Huntington makes it very clear that America’s Anglo-Protestant culture is not dependent upon British ethnicity or Protestantism. He heralds our “multiethnic, multiracial society in which individuals are judged on their merits” as “the America I know and love.” He declares that “America will still be America long after the WASPish descendants of its founders have become a small and uninfluential minority.” The chief weakness of the book, however, is Huntington’s failure to articulate the extent to which the principles and politics of America’s 18thcentury Founders both influenced the pre-existing settler culture and established the moral and intellectual foundation for repudiating all racial and ethnic hierarchies. Some attention to the work of scholars like Thomas West and Charles Kesler could have strengthened the section on the Founders.

That flaw, it must be admitted, is a minor one; Huntington’s account is otherwise irreproachable. He describes how, since the 1960s, powerful forces among American elites have launched a sustained effort — one that is, “quite possibly, without precedent in human history” — to “deconstruct” American national identity. This “deconstruction coalition” operates like the “imperial and colonial” regimes of old, which promoted subnational identities in order to “enhance the government’s ability to divide and conquer.” Besides support for the subnational, the “denationalized elites” embrace the transnational — and denigrate affection for and loyalty to the American nation. He quotes the declaration of Amy Gutmann, the new president of the University of Pennsylvania, that it is “repugnant” for American students to learn that they are “above all citizens of the United States” (as opposed to having “primary allegiance” to “democratic humanism”).

Huntington, the grand strategist par excellence, explains that the issues of transnationalism, “racial preferences, bilingualism, multiculturalism, immigration, assimilation, national history standards, English as the official language, Eurocentrism,” and so on are “all battles in a single war over the nature of American national identity”: the attempt by elites to dismantle America’s Creed and common culture. For example, Huntington argues that “it would be hard to overestimate the importance” of the effort by elites to promote racial and ethnic group preferences. This is a major assault on a core principle of the American Creed: the concept of equal rights for individuals regardless of race. Significantly, almost all of the deconstructionist measures are strongly opposed by substantial majorities of the American people, leading Huntington to ponder the emergence of “unrepresentative democracy.”

Huntington declares that the “central issue” concerning immigration after 1965 is not whether it should happen, but whether the new immigrants should be assimilated. Historically, that’s what immigration has meant: Americanization. Immigration with assimilation, Huntington states, has been a “great success story” that has brought to America “millions of dedicated, energetic, ambitious, and talented people who became overwhelmingly committed to America’s Anglo-Protestant culture and the values of the American Creed.”

One chapter of this book recently appeared as an article in Foreign Policy, and touched off some controversy. Huntington argues that Mexican immigration today differs from that of the past (and from today’s Asian immigration) in a number of important ways, all of which impede assimilation. Mexico shares a 2,000-mile border with the U.S., which makes it easier for immigrants to retain and reinforce old loyalties. Mexican immigrants are highly concentrated in regions that were once part of Mexico, which fosters resentment. And Mexicans are the single largest group of immigrants (and overwhelmingly the largest percentage of illegal immigrants), as a result of which a large number of today’s newcomers speak one language, Spanish — which, in turn, makes English acquisition less important than it was when immigrants spoke a greater variety of languages.

Moreover, Huntington tells us, the U.S. “appears to face something new in its history: persistent high levels of immigration.” Previously, he notes, immigration reductions greatly facilitated the Americanization of immigrants. Still other cultural factors militate against the assimilation of the Latino immigrants: the emergence of denationalized elites (often corporate leaders); the availability of inexpensive travel and communications; the expansion of dual citizenship; the promotion of multicultural ideology and ethnic identity in schools; and continuing government policies fostering group preferences and bilingualism. We are simply no longer living in the world represented by Ellis Island. It is possible, Huntington surmises, that over the course of the century the U.S. will develop into a bicultural, bilingual nation with two very different peoples — similar to Canada’s bifurcated English and French populations, speaking two different languages and adhering to two different cultures.

A preemptive strike against Huntington’s thesis has already been launched. Some have made hysterical accusations of “xenophobia” and “racism”; others contend that his evidence does not hold up. The crucial issue is this: To what extent is “patriotic assimilation” — primary attachment to American identity and sole loyalty to the American nation — occurring? Huntington points to studies citing loyalty problems among Muslim immigrants. An empirical study of Los Angeles Muslims found that only 10 percent of the immigrants surveyed felt more allegiance to America than to a Muslim country. He also argues that the available evidence suggests that Mexican immigrants’ identification with America is “weak.” The most comprehensive longitudinal study of the children of immigrants found that Mexican-American students (ages 13 and 14), whether born in Mexico or in the U.S., “overwhelmingly did not choose ‘American’ as their primary identification.” Among the American-born students in the study only 3.9 percent considered themselves primarily American.

Huntington did not cite a Pew Hispanic Center study published in December 2002 that strengthens his case. Taken eight to ten months after the patriotic high point of 9/11, the study revealed that among American citizens of Mexican descent, 55 percent considered themselves Mexican “first,” 25 percent considered themselves primarily Latinos or Hispanics, and only 18 percent considered themselves Americans “first.” So far, Huntington’s critics (such as Michael Elliott in Time magazine) have pointed only to studies that ask soft, generalized questions (do you feel pride in America?) but not questions that ask for choices between the U.S. and immigrants’ birth nations — which is, after all, what the oath of citizenship is all about. To date, Huntington has presented stronger evidence than his critics and it is clear that elites are nervous.

Thus Alan Wolfe, writing in Foreign Affairs, finds Huntington “incendiary,” “nativist,” and “exaggerated,” while ignoring the empirical evidence that Huntington presents on, for example, the attitudes of immigrant children concerning American identity. Wolfe charges Huntington with “fatalism,” and then paradoxically implies that there is little that America can do about immigration. According to Wolfe, the trouble with Huntington is that instead of providing “leadership,” i.e., supporting elite opinion, the professor “turns himself into a populist” (in other words, stands with the American people).

Academics who have been loudly proclaiming — almost gloating — that Latino (and Muslim) immigrants are resisting Americanization and choosing instead “selective” or “segmented acculturation” (economic, but not patriotic, assimilation) are now dishonestly attacking Huntington for quoting them accurately. For years, elites on the left and the right have suppressed any serious debate over the interplay of immigration, assimilation, and loyalty. Thanks to the strong and courageous voice of Samuel Huntington — Harvard scholar and American patriot — they just might not be able to get away with it any longer.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — An Iraq-born Canadian citizen who was picked up at the U.S. border last week was charged Monday with conspiring to spy for Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

A criminal complaint filed by the Justice Department alleges that Mouyad Mahmoud Darwish, 47, was paid to provide information to Iraqi government officials and intelligence officers in 2000 and later, including that Iraqi volunteers were being trained by the U.S. military in Virginia.

The complaint was filed in Maryland, where Darwish worked as a restaurant cook before moving back to Canada. He could face up to five years in prison if convicted of the charge of conspiracy to act as an agent for a foreign government.

An alleged co-conspirator, Saubhe Jassim Al-Dellemy, 67, pleaded guilty to the same charge in Maryland last week. The two are among at least a dozen people charged by the Justice Department since the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq with acting as illegal agents for Saddam’s government or his intelligence service, federal authorities said.

According to an affidavit, Darwish was employed in a Laurel, Md., restaurant and also worked as a driver and performed other tasks at the Iraqi Embassy in Washington during the alleged conpsiracy.

His 2001 application for permanent U.S. residence was denied in 2006 after he allegedly provided conflicting information. Court documents indicate he never revealed his affiliation with Saddam’s Ba’ath Party or the government of Iraq, nor his employment at the embassy.

U.S. authorities learned of his alleged activities through Iraqi Intelligence Service documents seized by U.S. troops following the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein and Patrick Rowan, assistant attorney general for national security, said in a statement.

Darwish was scheduled to appear for a detention hearing in U.S. District Court in Buffalo on Tuesday. A Justice Department spokesman did not know Monday whether Darwish has a lawyer.

Prosecutors say the seized documents establish that Darwish received money and provided information to the Iraqi Intelligence Service and the Iraqi government.

In conversations recorded by the FBI in 2003 and 2004, Darwish is heard telling coconspirators about activities by the Iraqi ambassador and other Iraqi government officials associated with the interim government following the fall of Saddam’s regime, according to court papers.

Darwish was arrested Dec. 24 at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo after border agents conducting a secondary inspection discovered he was the subject of an active FBI warrant, Customs and Border Protection spokesman Kevin Corsaro said.

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