(updated below - Update II)
The Obama administration announced today that it will pay $200 million to the tiny Pacific island-nation of Palau in exchange for Palau's agreement to accept 17 Chinese Uighurs who have been imprisoned at Guantanamo for seven years. The Uighurs have been locked away despite the fact that even the Bush Pentagon concluded years ago that they pose no threat whatsoever and were never "enemy combatants." They've been imprisoned by the U.S. despite being cleared because no other nation was willing to accept them, principally because the Chinese government considers them to be separatists and were demanding they be returned to China, and nobody wanted to offend China by accepting them.
Writing on Michelle Malkin's blog Hot Air today, war-supporting tough guy Ed Morrissey is petrified about this development and, as a result, he has announced that he is now too fearful to consider visiting that island:
Of course, with a recidivism rate for released Gitmo detainees of around 14%, odds are that a couple of the Uighurs might not be quite as cuddly as Obama promises. Hopefully it will work out all right for Palau and its tourists, but if I were making decisions on expensive South Pacific vacations, I’d start looking elsewhere.
It's hard to put into words how inebriated with irrational fear someone has to be in order to be so scared of 17 Uighurs -- who were never guilty of anything -- that they would avoid traveling to whatever place this handful of persecuted individuals is located. But this is the right-wing movement at its core: its leaders cynically ratchet up fear levels as high as possible to justify whatever they want to do (invade Iraq, torture people, spy on Americans with no warrants) and their adherents (along with plenty of others) become more and more paralyzed by their fears of anything Muslim. This, after all, is the same faction that continues to shake with terror at the very idea that accused Terrorists will be brought to the U.S. -- in handcuffs, imprisoned, and disappeared into super-max facilities. And it is the same faction that made accepting the Uighurs into the U.S. politically unpalatable by threatening legislation -- The Keep Terrorists Out of America Act -- that would bar their entrance.
As damaging as the resulting policies has been from the last eight years of constant fear-mongering, far worse is what it has done to the American national character, turning much of the citizenry into a weak and easily frightened herd, where the mere mention of the word Terrorist -- or Muslim -- sends people into spasms of fear and blind submission. A frightened Ed Morrissey planning his vacations to avoid Uighurs -- along with things like this ad -- have really become the face not only of our right-wing super-warriors, but much of the country itself:
As commenter sysprog put it when pointing to Morrissey's confession of fear:
I'm about ten miles from the federal prison and the federal courthouse in Manhattan, so, until they ship former Gitmo detainee Ahmed Ghailani somewhere else, I'm staying down in the fallout shelter.
The Wi-Fi signal is very weak down here, but the 55 year old saltines and peanut butter are surprisingly tasty.
What's most amazing of all is that these are the people who describe themselves -- and are described by the media -- as being "tough on terrorism." They're many, many things, but "tough" is most certainly not one of them.
UPDATE: Our stalwart, tough right-wing play-acting warriors should probably also avoid vacationing in Paris, the locale of recently released (and completely innocent) Guantanamo detainee Lakdhar Boumediene; Australia, where released Guantanamo detainee David Hicks is to be found roaming free; London, where released and tortured Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed currently resides; and, most of all, places like Washington D.C. and Kansas, where our own home-grown, decidedly non-Muslim Terrorists are thriving.
In fact, as sysprog suggests, there don't seem to be many safe places left for our tough right-wing civilization warriors aside from hiding in their fallout shelters.
UPDATE II: Superb job, Nancy Pelosi: she formally announces tonight that she opposes the Obama-backed Graham/Lieberman amendment. That's how you dismiss rank fear-mongering -- and act as an independent member of Congress.