Indeed, no lookyloos congregate near the place, not one, Irvine being a blasé, cosmopolitan sort of neighborhood (nobody calls it a community except politicians and UCI eggheads who fret that it’s not one). There’s just a small pickup truck parked, as if driven on the left side of the cul-de-sac, in front of the place. And of course: the now newsworthy American and Marine flags draped over the balcony just above Hesham Mohamed Hadayet’s front door.
Those banners, which an upstairs neighbor put on display after Sept. 11, are said to have inflamed Hadayet for the past ten months, sufficient anger for him to grab two handguns and a knife, stuff extra ammunition into his coat pockets, drive 45 miles up the 405, park in front of the Tom Bradley terminal, waltz up to the El Al ticket counter at LAX, and start shooting.
Excuse me, but people in Irvine get enraged by second-hand smoke, more housing developments, and the prospect of another international airport being built close enough to put limo drivers out of business. Some might even hate conspicuous displays of patriotism. But they fume and write letters to the editor. They don’t commit acts of murderous mayhem and, yes, terror.
Sometimes they’re victims of dark terror — like one of my neighbors, nice guy, an Egyptian-American whose fate placed him on board an Egypt Air flight awhile back, the one that nose-dived into the Atlantic just outside of New York when a copilot developed a similar case of rage. And sometimes they’re preposterously tolerant of the world’s bad guys.
A dozen years or so ago, Irvine’s hubristic socialist mayor, Larry Agran, started promoting what he called “municipal foreign policy” — the idea that the Constitution should be ignored while the nation’s mayors paved the way to world peace. At the height of the Nicaragua unpleasantness, on a Memorial Day if memory serves, Larry squired a Sandinista athletic team around City Hall.
For such stunts he was defeated in the 1990 election, the same splendid June day that Czechs voted out a half-century of Communist rule. (I remember because I witnessed it all in Prague.) A great day for global democracy. All but two years later, burying the ignominy, Larry ran for president, getting himself arrested for trying to crash a Democrat debate in New York City. Forgetfulness being one of Irvinites’ charms, Larry has managed to get himself back into the mayor’s chair where, this Fourth of July, the very day one of his non-voting constituents motored up to LAX to make a mess of thousands of travelers’ plans, he was hosting a delegation of Chinese Communists.
We do love our diversity here in Irvine. Come, sit around one of our many neighborhood swimming pools, partake of the delicacies of any number of ethnic fast food places — and you’ll marvel at the foreign accents. Stroll across the university campus — and you’ll imagine yourself warped to someplace across the Pacific. Go to church. If it’s not a megachurch like the renowned, non-denominational “Mariners,” it’ll likely be Korean or Taiwanese. Our polyglot cast might just drive a Pat Buchanan over the top, but most of us — including those who vote for the noble Congressman Chris Cox — rather like the cosmopolitanism.
Alas, Hadayet naturally gravitated to it as well. We all now know how he felt at dusk every Friday, when presumably he had to brake his limo to allow wide-brimmed pedestrians their ritual walk to Temple. An associate did say he hated Israel and paid preternatural attention to violent events in the Middle East. Could he not find proper Muslim apparel for his wife when he shopped at the Mervyn’s kitty-corner from his not-so-upscale and atypical dwelling?
His wife. It develops that her presence here kept him in the country — he was here on a six-month work permit — just as the INS was about to deport him in 1992. How? By winning an INS “diversity lottery,” surely the first most Americans have heard of that cute iteration of diversity perversity. Someone ought to tell the benighted migras that Irvine doesn’t need fiat diversity, thank you.
Anyway, the ingrate did send her and the kids back to Egypt just a fortnight before he slew two El Al employees and El Al security ended his sick spree. That would suggest premeditation. The homicide/suicide act blatantly apes the Palestinians’ favorite provocation, the one that takes place with such depressing regularity inside Israel.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?