On Saturday evening, a flight from Brussels landed at Newark carrying a man thought to be a Liberian who was vomiting and apparently showing other symptoms of Ebola, the disease that has broken out in epidemic proportions in West Africa. He was evacuated and later found not to be infected with the disease, which — if left untreated — can kill up to 90 percent of the people who are infected.
That’s a higher percentage than those killed by bubonic plague, which kills about 66 percent of those untreated.
Last week, a Wall Street Journal report gave us insight into President Obama’s desperate efforts to concede enough to Iran in his nuclear weapons negotiations that even the contumacious ayatollahs would have to give him a guarantee of peace in our time.
Still, America remains preternaturally cool. Nothing bothers us. We shouldn’t panic, but we can’t have faith that the government can handle this and has everything under control. Don’t just take the word of the head of the Centers for Disease Control because what he says is nonsensical.
Dr. Thomas Frieden told a Friday news conference, “Though we might wish we can seal ourselves off from the world, there are Americans who have the right of return and many other people that have the right to enter this country.” Frieden also said that a travel ban could make the problem worse by impeding health care workers and supplies from reaching the Ebola-riddled nations. What utter nonsense. A travel ban is precisely what is necessary to protect America’s population against one of the deadliest diseases.
We’re supposed to rely on screenings — taking peoples’ temperature, making them fill out forms swearing that they’ve not been exposed to Ebola — to protect us. What person, faced with impending death from Ebola, wouldn’t lie on an otherwise meaningless form on the chance that the lie would mean passage to America and a possible cure?
How many people from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea will arrive today on aircraft, ships and across our open borders by car and on foot? Nobody knows. How many will, like the man who lies at death’s door in a Dallas hospital, be infected with the disease? Again, nobody knows, least of all our government.
Obama is sending thousands of U.S. troops into the Ebola-infected region and some of them will inevitably be exposed to it and infected. Some may die and others may live to infect others even here at home. Let’s be precise: no U.S. troops should be sent and those already there should be ordered back. The good they can do is very little, and the risk to them is too enormous to require any soldier to take.
At last report, we are running out of the experimental drug that has been used to treat Ebola. It’s long past time for a ban on travel between the three nations in the Ebola region. Frieden’s point that some have the right to come back to the U.S. is right, but only to a small extent: U.S. citizens can, but they needn’t be allowed to come in airliners and ships that don’t provide for quarantine and be required — by force, if necessary — to be quarantined and treated here. No one — no foreign citizen — has any “right” to come here at all, far less if they’ve been exposed.
But our government insists they can take care of the problem. Mistakes were made, but trust us. “The United States is prepared to deal with the crisis,” Lisa Monaco, homeland security adviser to President Obama, told reporters at a White House briefing on Friday.
We’re the same government that has lied to you on just about every topic for nigh onto six years, but we insist we’re trustworthy. We’ve not held anyone accountable in the IRS for discriminating against conservative groups, in the Justice Department for investigating journalists in violation of the First Amendment or DEA for the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal, the State Department for the bungling that cost four American lives in the 9-11-12 attacks in Benghazi, to name just a few of our malpractices in government.
Ebola is a disease that mutates almost constantly. Twenty-four years ago, it was documented to have mutated into an airborne virus that infected macaque monkeys but wasn’t then transmittable to humans. If Ebola mutated into an airborne form contagious to humans, there could be a global pandemic. That may never happen, or it already may have. We don’t know, and as sure as death and taxes, neither does our government.
Rush Limbaugh was right when he said on Friday that this is all political. Obama doesn’t want to endanger his open borders and amnesty program by even implying that America has any right — even in protection of its population against a deadly health hazard — to limit anyone’s access to our country. There is no action that the Obama’s administration takes that is not calculated to gain political ground. This is no different.
Congress should forthwith pass legislation banning travel to and from the Ebola region. It’s too late to stop Obama from sending troops there, but not too late to recall them.
But as we’ve become accustomed to, Congress won’t do anything. No travel ban will be forthcoming and no resolution will pass disapproving of the troop deployment. Nor will Congress disapprove what Obama is doing with Iran.
According to that Wall Street Journal report, Iran’s not going to compromise on any of the key issues. It’s not going to stop enriching uranium, and it won’t disassemble any of its uranium enrichment centrifuges. So Obama, eager to get an agreement on any terms, will concede those points and more. He is reportedly planning to propose that some of the centrifuges’ plumbing be disconnected to provide a “solution.” It’s not a solution, of course, because Iran could reverse its action at a moment’s notice, and it can be counted on to dissemble, cheat, and otherwise not live up to any agreement. Why should it not? Any agreement will not be enforced because it suits Obama’s political agenda to decline any effort at enforcement.
And it gets worse. UN Security Council Resolution 1929 says Iran may not “…undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” When we’re talking about Iran, UN Security Council resolutions are as effective as any of the UNSC resolutions before it, which is to say not at all. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei this summer ordered his Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps — which has the methods and the means — to mass-produce ballistic missiles.
In congressional testimony earlier this year, the State Department said the UN resolution was meant to cover nuclear-armed missiles, not just any old ballistic missiles that might be capable of delivering nuclear weapons. That, obviously, is a willful misreading of the resolution’s plain words. Without objection from Congress or from any of the Republican presidential aspirants, this too will stand until it is too late to reverse.
We know, as my friend Walid Phares often points out, that Iran is delaying the actual production of nuclear weapons until it can produce sufficient defenses of the facilities it will use to do so, including the uranium enrichment centrifuges. If Obama continues on his present course, they will perfect those defenses to a point that neither we nor the Israelis will be able to destroy them without engaging in what may be a nuclear war.
Ebola is an immediate threat that demands immediate action. Iran is preparing to be such a threat as soon as it is able. We have been seeking a proper label for Obama’s foreign policy doctrine, and now we have it: it’s the Alfred E. Neuman Doctrine. As long as America is unwilling to generate enough political energy to refuse his “What, Me Worry?” approach, this will continue.
Let’s not panic. But let’s get off our collective duffs and demand action before any more damage is done.