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America's Mortal Danger: in his new book In Mortal Danger, Congressman Tom Tancredo warns that multiculturalism, immigration, and terrorism threaten to destroy America and the West as a whole.

In Mortal Danger, by Congressman Tom Tancredo, Nashville, Tennessee: Cumberland House Publishing, 2006, 224 pages, hardcover. (For ordering information, see the ad on the inside back cover.)

Nothing grabs headlines like rockets raining on cities, and so the Hezbollah attack on Israel and the resulting Israeli reaction have monopolized news reports and programming over the past few weeks. Hezbollah leaders, backed by Iran and Syria and bent on the destruction of Israel, have 13,000 Katyusha rockets and thousands of troops to employ in an all-out effort to destabilize Israel and the region. It is a frightening situation that could escalate into a wider conflict. Moreover, it may be an apocalyptic vision of the future of the American Southwest if we cannot gain control of our own borders. On its face, such a conclusion seems almost absurd. That is, unless one reads In Mortal Danger, the frightening new book by Congressman Tom Tancredo. The book is both an invaluable summary of the uniquely important role America plays in preserving Western Civilization and a warning of the incredible dangers the nation now faces from the twin and related evils of terrorism and illegal immigration.

Western Civilization

Perhaps uniquely among politicians, Tancredo realizes that the United States is the sole remaining exemplar and defender of Western Civilization. This is a difficult concept to understand, especially because the concept of one civilization as different from another is no longer clear. To begin to make sense of why Tancredo and others like him worry about the security of Western Civilization, it is necessary to recover the meaning and definition of the word "civilization."

Essentially, civilization is the larger structure that ties together otherwise disparate cultures. In its broadest sense, therefore, Western Civilization is formed by two related and intertwined historical commonalities: Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman culture. These provide otherwise unrelated peoples with a common cultural framework and background, regardless of language or ethnicity. In the West, this means that people in cultures as varied as English and German and Italian and French and American all share certain common ancestors in their religious, artistic, and political structures. The same can be seen to be operative in Islamic culture, where disparate nations and peoples share a common ancestor in the civilizing force of Mohammedanism that unifies Islamic art, law, and religious practice.

For many people, and Tancredo is one of them, Western Civilization is uniquely beneficial. It has, for instance, allowed for the development of the concept of individual freedom. It also uniquely allowed for the development of science and commerce, and through these made possible the comfortable, advanced lifestyle enjoyed by hundreds of millions of people throughout the world today. But as never before, Western Civilization has come under fire.

For Tancredo, multiculturalism is one of the engines of destruction. As a former educator, the author is well placed to make observations about how far the multiculturalist cancer has progressed, and the book is full of vignettes on the subject. Tancredo, for instance, notes that the textbook American Odyssey, by McGraw-Hill, only "devotes as much space to James Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution ... as is given to [Marxist labor agitator] Cesar Chavez" In another example, Tancredo cites a Los Angeles teacher who wrote to him to complain that "the middle school in which he taught had scheduled five 'cultural celebrations' during the 2005 school year but did not plan any observances to mark traditional American events. Emphasis was placed on the Latino Heritage Celebration, Dia de la Muertos ('Day of the Dead,' an Aztec ritual), an Underground Railroad play, ... Hawaiian Day, and the 'Unity Festival,' which was formerly known officially as Multicultural Day." Is it any wonder that people educated this way have no understanding of and complete disdain for Western Civilization?

Immigration Invasion

The cultural attack from within, however, is matched by the twin and related evils of invasion and terrorism from outside the borders. And make no mistake: the immigration crisis at the southern border is an invasion, and sometimes an armed invasion. Some of the most alarming details that Tancredo provides relate to the armed militant groups that take advantage of our porous border.

Among these is the gang known as MS-13. The full name of the gang is Mara Salvatrucha, and it was formed by elements of the communist guerrilla forces that fought a civil war against the Salvadoran government in the 1980s. According to Al Valdez of the Orange County (Calif.) District Attorney's office, MS-13 was formed when former members of the native Salvadoran gang La Mara joined forces with rebels from the Communist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMNL). Ac cording to Valdez, "members of La Mara and FMNL formed what is now known as the Mara Salvatrucha (MS) street gang in Los Angeles. Like many other street gangs, MS initially formed for protection, but quickly developed a reputation for being organized and extremely violent. MS membership continues to be fed by refugees from groups like FMNL." Mara Salvatrucha may have as many as 700,000 members worldwide who, while being victims of the group's harsh intimidation tactics, are themselves guilty of incredibly violent crimes of all types.

According to Rep. Tancredo, MS-13 is thought to have had contacts with Mideast terrorists seeking to exert pressure and initiate terrorist attacks in this hemisphere. "In July, 2004," Tancredo writes, "reports surfaced of an al Qaeda figure meeting with MS-13 in Honduras in order to secure entry routes into the United States." In fact, on February 10, Ebner Anibal Rivera-Paz, the supposed head of the Honduras branch of MS-13, was arrested in Texas and on February 24 an MS-13 member was arrested in Matamoros, Mexico, while trying to smuggle three illegal aliens across the border. This prompted John Naland the chief officer of the American Consulate in the border city of Matamoros to warn of potential terrorist ties. "The Maras are certainly a threat to the United States," Naland said. "There has been some intelligence that al-Qaeda has talked with the Maras to help smuggle someone in to the U.S.," Naland continued in comments to ABC television affiliate station KRGV in Texas. "It's kind of the logical open door that could be used and the Maras are just ruthless enough to do it."

Hezbollah in Our Hemisphere

As if the problems on the border with the incredible wave of illegal immigration were not bad enough as it is, and as if MS-13 and its alleged ties to al-Qaeda were not alarming enough, the world's most well-equipped and dangerous terrorist organization may be operating in Mexico. Since the mid-1990s, Hezbollah, under the command of terrorist chieftain Imad Mugniyah, has been operating in the Western Hemisphere. The first Hezbollah attack in the region occurred in 1994 when a car bomb exploded in front of the Israeli Embassy in downtown Buenos Aires. Since then, according to Patrick Devenny of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, Mugniyah has extended Hezbollah operations throughout the hemisphere including into Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

So far, Hezbollah activities in North America have been limited to efforts to help fund fighters in the Middle East, but that may be changing, according to Tancredo. According to the congressman, "In March 2006, FBI director Robert Mueller Jr. told a House appropriations subcommittee hearing that the FBI had broken up a smuggling ring organized by the terrorist group Hezbollah that had operatives cross the Mexican border to carry out possible terrorist attacks inside the United States." It should be remembered that Hezbollah is the sworn enemy of the United States. "'Death to America' was, is, and will stay our slogan," Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah pledged at a 2005 rally in Beirut.

In sum, it is impossible to read In Mortal Danger without coming to the conclusion that the nation faces its greatest crisis since World War II. Our border is not secure, and we have many of the same problems beginning to occur along our border with Mexico as have happened between Israel and Lebanon. With these problems exacerbated in many cases by the same terrorist organizations that are attacking Israel, how much longer will it be before war comes to our own borders and our cities?
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Author:Behreandt, Dennis
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 21, 2006
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