Choosing the Battleground

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 10, 2004

The passengers and the crew of a plane due to travel from an Egyptian resort to Moscow refused to fly when two Chechnyan women got on board. The Egyptian authorities, however, asked that the women be allowed to get on the plane. Guess what? They got on the plane. They then acted suspiciously, locking themselves in the toilet right after they boarded and as a result they were kicked off the aircraft. Rightly so.

Some would say, &uot;Hey, wait a minute. Isn’t this profiling?&uot; Of course it is. When you look at what has happened in Russia in recent weeks – planes being blown out of the sky, subways being bombed and hundreds of children being held captive in a school with more than 200 being murdered and another 600 injured and hospitalized – is it too much to ask that we begin to recognize exactly what’s going on in the world and take steps such as profiling to prevent it?

As in the case of the Chechnyan women, isn’t profiling the appropriate measure to save lives? It’s long past time to begin profiling, even if the president won’t mention that politically incorrect word. We need to profile – we are, after all, at war. Does anybody doubt that there is a third world war in progress right now – a war between the freedom loving people in the world and the terrorists trying to destroy them? And isn’t it obvious that the terrorists attacking us are all radical Muslims?

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Yet we worry we might offend the tender sensibilities of the terrorists by recognizing just who it is trying to kill us. These are people who don’t care about women, who don’t care about children, who wouldn’t hesitate a single minute to kill women and children. Yet we are afraid to offend them by taking the obvious precaution of profiling.

We need not look any further than the atrocity in Southern Russia where mothers were forced to choose which of their children held captive in their school by Chechnyan terrorists they could carry to safety, and which must be left behind, perhaps to die. One mother speaking from the safety of a nearby house was quoted as saying she could not understand how her friends could tell her how happy she should be that she had been allowed by the gun-toting thugs to take her son out of the school while leaving her daughter behind.

&uot;People say they are happy that my son and I were saved,&uot; she told a reporter. &uot;But how can I be happy? My daughter is still inside the school. &uot;

I can understand how she felt. I have two children. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have to choose which one could be saved and which one killed. The monsters who demand that innocent parents make such choices are the enemies we face.

These only the latest incidents in the war against fanatical Muslim terrorists – there will be many more such atrocities to come. Every single one of us could be faced with the sort of horror Russian parents endured in that Russian school. Our enemies don’t attack those who can fight back, they only war against those who are helpless. They attack women, they attack children.

We are at war, and that’s the kind of war we are fighting. It is a global war and it is being fought in Russia, in Israel, and the middle East, in Spain, in France – and it happened here in America on 9/11.

The Democrats and the media are outraged because Vice President Cheney had the courage to warn us that war could come home to our shores, should the American people choose to elect John Kerry.

He was right. We are either going to go after and kill these terrorists on their home grounds or we are going to have to face them here at home. President Bush has made it clear that he will fight them wherever they live. John Kerry can’t seem to decide where or how, or even if, he’d fight them. He would leave it up to the enemy to choose the battle ground, and you can be sure it would not be on their turf but on ours.

Dick Cheney was right.

Mike Reagan, the eldest son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is heard on more than 200 talk radio stations nationally as part of the Radio America Network. Send comments to for Mike.