Hitchens: America must stand behind Ayaan Hirsi Ali

posted at 12:29 pm on October 8, 2007 by Allahpundit

Indeed we must. The only semi-sane argument for both the Dutch and American governments to refuse to pay for her protection is if they thought it would cause all sorts of Islamic critics and reformers to come out of the woodwork and seek protection too, thereby making the security costs exorbitant. Which, needless to say, no one thinks is in the offing.

And if it was, I suspect at least 50% of the population would be more than happy to put those costs on the taxpayers’ tab.

Suppose the narrow and parochial view [to refuse to pay for her security] prevails in Holland, then I think that we in America should welcome the chance to accept the responsibility ourselves. Ayaan Hirsi Ali has become a symbol of the resistance, by many women from the Muslim world, to gender apartheid, “honor” killing, genital mutilation, and other horrors of clerical repression. She has been a very clear and courageous voice against the ongoing attack on our civilization mounted by exactly the same forces. Her recent memoir, Infidel (which I recommend highly, and to which, I ought to say, I am contributing a preface in its paperback edition), is an account of an extremely arduous journey from something very like chattel slavery to a full mental and intellectual emancipation from theocracy. It is a road that we must, and for our own sake as well, be willing to help others to travel.

For a while, her security in America was provided by members of the elite Dutch squad that is responsible for the protection of the Dutch royal family and Dutch politicians. The U.S. government requested that this be discontinued, for the perfectly understandable reason that foreign policemen should not be operating on American soil. The job has now been subcontracted, and was until recently underwritten by The Hague. If The Hague defaults, then does the “war on terror” administration take no interest in protecting the life of one of the finest enemies, and one of the most prominent targets, of the terrorists? Hirsi Ali has been accepted for permanent residence in the United States, and would, I think, like to become a citizen. That’s an honor. If she was the CEO of Heineken or the president of Royal Dutch Shell, and was subject to death threats while on U.S. soil, I have the distinct feeling that the forces of law and order would require no prompting to consider her safety a high priority.

Both he and Anne Applebaum claim to know that Hirsi Ali is back in the United States and under some sort of armed guard, although for obvious reasons they’re not saying more. In the meantime, with the Dutch parliament set to debate the issue later this week, he recommends e-mailing the embassy. So do I.

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Comments

This must be a red-tape problem. I can’t imagine any other reason to deny her security.

I wonder if it’s appropriate to have our Secret Service protect her…

unamused on October 8, 2007 at 12:36 PM

Keep after it AP. Thanks.

Griz on October 8, 2007 at 12:41 PM

I’m glad this story is being kept alive, its one that could easily get buried.

Bad Candy on October 8, 2007 at 12:44 PM

Were I of the ability and resources to do so, I would gladly provide such security. There are too few of her kind willing to stand firm against Islam.

MNDavenotPC on October 8, 2007 at 12:45 PM

I can’t imagine any other reason to deny her security.

Really? You can’t imagine any other reason why?

I’ll give you one: Bush has lost whatever balls he had in standing up to these pricks, and now has bought right into the “religion of peace” crap.

MadisonConservative on October 8, 2007 at 12:48 PM

Where do I donate??

As stated earlier…I say we hire John Smeaton to watch over our Ayaan. At least we know he’s successful. :)

tickleddragon on October 8, 2007 at 12:51 PM

And if it was, I suspect at least 50% of the population would be more than happy to put those costs on the taxpayers’ tab.

I would. She can have the social security money I’m sure I’ll never see. I’d even take a tax increase. The world needs people like her right now. Plus, our government has an interest in stopping the people who are after her.

Esthier on October 8, 2007 at 12:52 PM

How many Muslim critics should we provide security for?
I’m not a negative person, I admire her and all. But there are other critics of the Muslim world we don’t harbor.
Maybe I’m out of touch with reality or something.

SuperManGreenLantern on October 8, 2007 at 12:55 PM

According to Michelle’s website, Ayaan is indeed back in her new country. Thank you HotAir for keeping us to date on this important story. But can we please have another picture of Ayaan. Nobody wants to see this brave woman crying.

Tony737 on October 8, 2007 at 12:59 PM

Does anyone here think that George Bush is going to do ANYTHING? Fat chance. This guy is out of touch and on autopilot.

We have border guards rotting in solitary confinement while he does nothing… NOTHING.

The Federal Govt is so isolated from reality, not a freakin thing will be done.

Though it should be.

VinceP1974 on October 8, 2007 at 1:01 PM

I am sure that we can take Carter’s detail and give it to her.

Ropera on October 8, 2007 at 1:02 PM

How many Muslim critics should we provide security for?
I’m not a negative person, I admire her and all. But there are other critics of the Muslim world we don’t harbor.
Maybe I’m out of touch with reality or something.

SuperManGreenLantern on October 8, 2007 at 12:55 PM

We should provide security for anyone in the country… that is the function of gov’t if I’m not mistaken.

VinceP1974 on October 8, 2007 at 1:02 PM

We all need to look out for our own protection.Our Govt has abdicated it’s role in this.

bbz123 on October 8, 2007 at 1:10 PM

iirc, Salman Rushdie hid out at Hitchen’s house after the Fatwa. Hitch knows the threat she faces first hand. It can’t be a money thing. If they can’t find the funds out of the $2,900,000,000,000 they’re going to spend next year, there’s something very very wrong.

trubble on October 8, 2007 at 1:11 PM

VinceP1974 on October 8, 2007 at 1:02 PM

Except for the fact that the Supreme Court says otherwise (Warren v. District of Columbia) which is part of the reason that I do hope she becomes a citizen. That gives her access to all kinds of things such as 2nd Amendment Rights. And the reason we have that right is because, ultimately, it’s up to you to make sure you’re safe. Can exceptions be made? I think so. I think they should in her case. The problem you’re going to have is that nobody’s going to want to do it.

The State Department isn’t going to do it. Neither is the FBI. Congress sure as hell wont. It’d be up to the President and he hasn’t really been … reliable lately.

Really you know, the Republican Presidential Candidates are missing a huge opportunity. I mean, Mitt Romney could just pay for it himself, but even the others could try to set up some kind of fund or foundation to help her out. I think that would generate a favorable response amongst voters.

apollyonbob on October 8, 2007 at 1:15 PM

I wonder if Blackwater wouldn’t be the best outfit to protect her? And, apparently they are rolling in the gov’t dough…

Califemme on October 8, 2007 at 1:15 PM

I’m all for granting her whatever protection she needs. My only concern would be that we do it in a way that won’t open the floodgates for every foriegner that is under threat. It’s kinda harsh but we can’t afford to provide everybody’s care.

TBinSTL on October 8, 2007 at 1:27 PM

Hitchens is correct.

Yet the US liberal politicians and media remain silent about a courageous woman in distress.

The only people who seem to care about this WOMAN are mean, nasty, sexist conservatives.

Hmmmmmm

Always Right on October 8, 2007 at 1:27 PM

I think an endowment would be a good idea for her long term security costs. Anybody work with grant writing and/or non-profit legalitites out there? Any AEI folks? I’d be willing to donate some money, but I don’t have much. I’d also be willing to do some donor research. Maybe some rich people could be convinced to contribute some big cash – especially some of the high-profile types. It’s pretty common for successful people or their estates to donate huge sums to their alma maters for new buildings etc. Building a private endowment for Hirsi Ali and others’ security would be an even better investment for academic feedom and for cause Civilization in general.

forest on October 8, 2007 at 1:42 PM

Robert Spencer on October 4 re. Ali

JiangxiDad on October 8, 2007 at 1:44 PM

Maybe I’m out of touch with reality or something.

SuperManGreenLantern on October 8, 2007 at 12:55 PM

Well, yes…

iirc, Salman Rushdie hid out at Hitchen’s house after the Fatwa. Hitch knows the threat she faces first hand. It can’t be a money thing. If they can’t find the funds out of the $2,900,000,000,000 they’re going to spend next year, there’s something very very wrong.

trubble on October 8, 2007 at 1:11 PM

Thanks for being the first to actually credit Mr. Hitchens. His balls are definitely more steely than others’.

The only people who seem to care about this WOMAN are mean, nasty, sexist conservatives.

Hmmmmmm

Always Right on October 8, 2007 at 1:27 PM

And many of them don’t know her either. You’d think that the women’s groups, the ACLU, the freedom-loving ‘progressives’ would hold out many tin cans for this cause…dreaming…hoping…wishing…

Entelechy on October 8, 2007 at 1:51 PM

AP and MM,

If you learn of a legitimate fund to provide for her security, let us know. I pledge $100 as an initial donation.

And I’ll kick in another $100 matching donation to the first card-carrying NOW member to pony up a Benjamin for Ms. Ali.

Anton on October 8, 2007 at 1:57 PM

You might be an islamophobe if……

Stand up for equality in rights for women.
Don’t want to see homosexuals jailed or murdered.
Believe in freedom of speech and expression even when it is unpopular.
……

paulsur on October 8, 2007 at 2:04 PM

We should provide security for anyone in the country… that is the function of gov’t if I’m not mistaken.

It simply isn’t possible to do so.
Assume for the sake of argument a minimal security detail of a single bodyguard 24/7. If the people work in 8-hour shifts, that’s 21 shifts per week to cover, so 3 cops working 40 hours and a fourth catching 48. Providing security to 20% of the country would require the remaining 80% to be police officers doing no other law enforcement work, much less anything else productive, like feeding people, treating illness, etc.

The Monster on October 8, 2007 at 2:16 PM

That’s great news to hear!

After Allahpundit, Hitchens is my favorite Atheist!

Note: I am not an atheist, although I do find them to be a bit funny at times.

Darnell Clayton on October 8, 2007 at 2:18 PM

Entelechy on October 8, 2007 at 1:51 PM

Well, no.
She’s not a citizen. Why don’t you pay for her security? Like I said, I’m not a negative person, I admire Hirsi Ali, but again, how many of these people are we expected to pay to have secure?
We didn’t protect Rushdie. We’re not protecting any number of Muslim critics. Where do we draw the line?
If she were a citizen, I think it would be a different story.

SuperManGreenLantern on October 8, 2007 at 2:32 PM

Maybe the narcissist Clinton can offer up 10 of his body guards… the hypocrisies of the left is beyond the pale!

Bob on October 8, 2007 at 3:07 PM

Well, I’d kick in some cash to protect her. (If Fred!? doesn’t do well in the debate tomorrow, I’d add what I would have sent to his campaign too.)

Or, I can fix up the spare bedroom here and provide security myself if she is interested in living in the middle of nowhere, (with a guy that is ‘paranoid’ enough already).

LegendHasIt on October 8, 2007 at 3:10 PM

Didn’t I just read Glenn Greenwald last week saying that the whole Islamic threat was overblown? Ayaan Hirsi Ali just needs to relax and stop succumbing to the propaganda of rethuglicans and the right-wing noise machine. If there was a real threat, Glenn would surely know.

John on October 8, 2007 at 3:28 PM

I fear I have nothing much to add about Ayaan Hirsi Ali beyond a strong sentiment that somehow we defend her. Defending her is hardly an act of charity. It’s self-interest for all of us who don’t want to bow on the floor before muslim overlords or die in the effort to stop them.

But I do want to say a word to the gun nuts here. I oppose gun control, but talk about Hirsi Ali having a gun and the responsibility of her defense being ultimately her own is more than a little gun nutty. Hirsi Ali faces evil, trained assassins far beyond what a petite intellectual woman could ever hope to face. She needs government protection. She doesn’t need suggestions that she be Wonderwoman.

thuja on October 8, 2007 at 3:45 PM

Well, no.
She’s not a citizen. (we should put her on a fast track to make her one) Why don’t you pay for her security? (how do you know that I don’t already?) Like I said, I’m not a negative person, I admire Hirsi Ali, but again, how many of these people are we expected to pay to have secure? (there’s only one Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and I’m sayint this to you reasonably, and with no malice. If you think about it really seriously, you know exactly what I mean).
We didn’t protect Rushdie. (we should have – Hitchens risked his and his family’s life by doing so – that ‘smart’ Maureen Dowd gave him away; for his courage I admire him so greatly) We’re not protecting any number of Muslim critics. (we should) Where do we draw the line? (it’s not a big line, unfortunately; and if it were, it’d still be a worthy cause)
If she were a citizen, I think it would be a different story. (again, let’s make her one soon).

SuperManGreenLantern on October 8, 2007 at 2:32 PM

SMGL, no malice intended. I feel very strongly about this because of the significant moment in history we find ourselves in. A few years from now you and I will know if we let her down, and us in the process.

Entelechy on October 8, 2007 at 4:35 PM

thuja, well said, on all points.

Entelechy on October 8, 2007 at 4:37 PM

“But I do want to say a word to the gun nuts here. I oppose gun control, but talk about Hirsi Ali having a gun and the responsibility of her defense being ultimately her own is more than a little gun nutty.”
thuja on October 8, 2007 at 3:45 PM

Where did you get the idea that anyone here was seriously recommending that? I read through all the previous posts three times and didn’t find any that said that directly.

Only one that even alluded to it, and he was correct in that according to the Supreme Court, the government (IE: Police, FBI etc.) is NOT responsible to proactively protect any individual… Only to clean up the mess afterwards and try to find prosecute and imprison the perpetrator.

Ultimately, legally, the security and safety of any individual who is not given Secret Service protection (in the case of Presidents and their immediate family, certain Federal officials and Presidential candidates) State Police protection (in the case of Governors and certain other state officials), The only time that the government is required to actually protect an individual is when they are in custody.

LegendHasIt on October 8, 2007 at 4:44 PM

I suspect at least 50% of the population would be more than happy to put those costs on the taxpayers’ tab.

I sure would…

Babs on October 9, 2007 at 11:52 AM